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A memorial celebration of Sam Coker's life will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church in Natchitoches on Thursday, March 28 at 2 p.m. Visitation will be at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home on Wednesday, March 27 from 5-8 p.m.
Sam Coker died peacefully at home on March 7, 2013 at the age of 84 years old. He was born to Mary Louise and Harvey Guy Coker, Sr. in Knoxville, Tennessee on Nov. 27, 1928.
Sam was preceded in death by a daughter, Nancy, parents, one brother and one sister.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 63 years, Charlsie Coker, one daughter, Cindy Seghers and husband Philip, and two sons, Gordon Coker Jr. and wife Gabrielle, and David Coker and wife Brenda. He is also survived by a brother, Roy Coker, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Sam received both his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the University of Tennessee and a Doctorate in physical education from the University of Iowa. His 43 year professional teaching career included: Karns High School teaching physical education and general science; Atlantic Christian College in Wilson, North Carolina teaching physical education courses, Intramural Director, and Track and Field/Cross Country Coach; and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, where he served as Head of the Department of Physical Education for 13 years, Chair of the Division of Student Teaching, Chair of the Division of Undergraduate Physical Education, and Director of Continuing Education for six years until his retirement.
Sam was Professor Emeritus at Northwestern State University, life member of the American Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) and served as president of both the LA AAHPERD and the Southern District AAHPERD, and on numerous committees. In 2010, he was inducted into the Barton College (formerly Atlantic Christian College) Athletic Hall of Fame. Sam was a member of Phi Epsilon Kappa and the LA Teachers Association.
Sam's community involvement and service were as significant as his professional accomplishments. He was an active member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Natchitoches, serving as a member of the vestry, on the diocesan standing committee, and assisting with the Eucharist. He was founder, life member and honorary board member of the El Camino Boys and Girls Club in Natchitoches. In 1998, he was recipient of national recognition by the Boys and Girls Club of America for 50 years of service to the organization. He taught a defensive driving course for senior citizens, and taught first aid and aquatics courses for the American Red Cross.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the El Camino Boys and Girls Club, P.O. Box 2063, Natchitoches, LA 71457 or Trinity Episcopal Church, 533 Second Ave, Natchitoches, LA
Published in The Town Talk from Mar. 22 to Mar. 26, 2013