Benita Coker Neder

NEDER, BENITA COKER, 74, died peacefully on March 2, 2013, surrounded by her loving family. Benita was born on June 22, 1938 to Artis Ben and Myrtle Coker of Wauchula, FL. She attended Hardee County public schools, graduating Class of 1956 in the National Honor Society, and attended the University of Florida and Sophie Newcomb at Tulane University. Her charm and beauty were recognized in various beauty pageants as a young woman, but her deepest beauty was personified in how she loved unconditionally and treated all people with value and dignity. Her college roommate, Charlotte Neder from Jacksonville, introduced her to Charlotte's oldest brother, George A. Neder, Jr., a recent graduate of Emory University School of Medicine. After a whirlwind courtship, George and Benita were married in 1958. After medical residency in New Orleans, they moved to Orlando in 1963 where George established an allergy and immunology practice. George and Benita were married 54 years and had two precious daughters,
Cheryl and Tissie. She referred to the girls as her magnum opus, her greatest works. Benita appreciated art and gardens, fashion and color. She was an accomplished painter, enjoyed playing the piano, decorating her home, reading, cooking, travel, shopping, antiquing and caring for her many feline friends. Ormond Beach was one of her favorite places to read, relax and enjoy the warmth of the sun and the beauty of the ocean. She had a megawatt smile and sparkling blue eyes that always saw the best in people. She was an attentive listener who made you feel like the most important person in the room. A thoughtful and generous gift giver, Benita made holidays an opportunity to express her love and creative thoughtfulness. Despite her age, she remained young in spirit and related well to young people, most especially her three grandsons who adored her. Benita had a quick wit and was the only person who could put George in his place. The two of them enjoyed all things about the Florida Gators and are original Orlando Magic season ticket holders. They are longtime members of the Orlando Country Club and attended First Presbyterian Church of Orlando. Besides her husband George, Benita is survived by her daughter, Cheryl Lynn Neder and husband John Sapora of Jacksonville, and devoted grandsons, Riley, Joey and Ben Sapora. Jerry Fadem, MD and Doug Pearce, DVM were her adopted sons, well-fed by Benita and faithful to the very end. Additional special family includes Keith and Tracey Spoto of Lakeland, Ronnie and Arlene Neder of Gainesville, Chuck and Susan
Neder of Chattanooga, and special caregiver Sonia Sinclair. She is survived by her brother, Ben Coker and wife Gail of Lakeland, as well as many dear nieces and nephews. Benita is predeceased by her parents and her daughter, Cynthia Lee "Tissie" Neder, and her sister-in-law Charlotte Neder. Benita would also want us to recognize and provide treats for her current Siamese home companions, Gator and Miss America, and Kuching the stray cat who hit the jackpot, and honor the memory of Mr. Baby and the royal lineage of Oscars I through IV of Siam. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Central Florida, Inc., 2727 Conroy Road, Orlando, Florida 32839, and the Summer Camp Scholarship Fund in honor of Cynthia Lee
Neder at Youth Conference Ministries, P.O. Box 4328, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37405. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. this Saturday, March 9, at the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando, 106 East Church Street, Orlando, Florida. Officiating will be the Rev. Dr. Chuck Neder and the Rev. Dr. Howard Edington.

Published in the Orlando Sentinel on Mar. 5, 2013