Rev. James Floyd Coder

Holton, Kansas


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Rev. James Floyd "Jim" Coder TOPEKA- Rev. James Floyd Coder, 93, of Topeka, KS passed away Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at Stormont Vail Hospital. He was born July 19, 1924 in Wamego, KS the son of Ralph Albert and Leona Gladys (Fleck) Coder.

Jim graduated from Wamego High School in 1942. He attended Kansas State University from 1944-1946 and later graduated from Highland Community College in 1950. Jim received his AB Degree from Washburn University in 1958 and his MS Degree from University of Kansas in 1965. In 1969, Jim completed his Ministerial Correspondence Course of Study in Nashville, TN and was Ordained Deacon in 1970 for United Methodist Church in Baldwin, KS. He completed graduate work in the summers of 1974, 1977 and 1986 at Washburn University in Topeka, University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO and University of California in Berkeley, CA.

Jim married Dorothy L. Huffman on June 6, 1948 in Havensville, KS. To his union, three children were born, Timothy L. Coder, Terry L. Coder and Tamara L. Coder.

In 1942, Jim worked for Howard, Needles, Tammen and Bergendorf Engineers at Fort Riley, KS and from 1942-1944 he worked for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He was a teacher for School District #11 in Pottawatomie County from 1945-1946 and later became principal for Belvue Grade School in 1946. He has also worked as a claims adjuster for Farm Bureau Insurance Co in Manhattan and he was a partner in Williams and Coder Insurance in Hiawatha. From 1955 - 1958 he was Director of Religious Education and Assistant Pastor for Lowman United Methodist Church. Form 1958 - 1974 he worked for Topeka High School as a Social Studies Teacher and later Guidance Counselor. From 1974-1986 he was Director of Guidance Services for Topeka Public School; retiring in July 19, 1986. Jim had many part-time jobs, including mail carrier, custodian, Pastor (for Padonia UMC, Elmont Methodist, Pleasant Hill Methodist and Williamsburg UMC), teacher, consultant and columnist for Topeka Capital Journal.

He was a member of Citizens Potawatomi Nation, Kansas National Education Assoc., a representative for KNEA Professional Standards Committee, member of KPGA and later President of Northeast Kansas Personnel and Guidance Assoc. Jim was also on the Advisory Committee for ACT and SAT, Chairman of KPPGA State Legislature Action Committee, President of KACES, member of State Dept. of Education Title IV Advisory Council and presenter of Houghton-Mufflin International Conference on Iowa Tests.

Jim was best known in Northeast Kansas as the Emcee for over 40 years of the Elmont Opry. He was co-founder, with the Lawton family, of the wonderful outreach musical ministry of the Elmont United Methodist Church. Over the years, thousands attended the Opry and heard Jim's voice as he sang classics like "Great Speckled Bird", "Red Sails in the Sunset", and "Sioux City Sue." He loved introducing all the "Opry Boys and Girls" and welcoming guests from all over Kansas and the world. Jim had a great eye for talent and traveled with his wife, Dorothy, all over Kansas and neighboring states, searching for potential Opry performers.

Throughout his entire life, Jim served as a mentor, counselor, and pastor to individuals from all walks of life. He was love in action.

Survivors include his wife; 2 sons, Tim Coder (Marlene) of Hoyt, KS and Terry Coder of Topeka, KS; a daughter, Tammy Coder Mikinski (Mike) of Linwood, KS; 7 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Muriel Grant and 5 brothers, Ralph, Jr., Robert, Frank, Andrew and Eugene "Gene" Coder.

Funeral Services will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday, October 21, 2017 at Elmont United Methodist Church. Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Monday, October 23, 2017 in the Wamego Cemetery. Family will greet friends 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. Friday evening at the church and also, from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Saturday morning. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Elmont United Methodist Church or Highland Community College to be designated to a student scholarship c/o Mercer Funeral Home, P.O. Box 270, Holton, KS 66436. To leave a special message for the family, please visit www.mercerfuneralhomes.com.

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I miss you, Uncle Jim. Thank you for being a guiding light in my life. You will always be remembered. Love, Jane

Sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers sent your way.

I am saddened and sorry to hear about your father. I remember your father as my guidance counselor at Topeka High School. He was a kind a great man. Prayers and thoughts for you and your family. May your father rest in peace.

Terry and family, so saddened to learn of Jim going home. I know that it is a difficult time right now. Recall the good years and good times! I recall his true caring for his students at THS. His love and caring attitude is to be his legacy lived on through each of you. May He who has abundance of peace share upon each, the amount in need.

What an inspirational man! I am so glad we had lunch not long ago. Jim was one of the finest educators I have ever known and a great friend. His inspiration has endured the decades and will continue. Much love to you all.

Tim and family, I am sorry for your loss, I did not know Jim, but from what I have read he was a man of God, and his faith and your faith may help bring peace to all. You are in my prayers.

Dorothy, Sorry to read about Jim's passing. Jim was a great Husband, Father, and a Teacher. Jim will be missed by the seaman community, especially the Elmont community. Dorothy your family is in our thoughts and prayers. Jim you will be missed.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.

Aunt Dorothy, Tim, Terry and Tammy,
Uncle Jim was one of the finest people I have ever known. With his loving compassion, sharp intellect and strong commitment to social justice, he made a difference in our world. He will be deeply missed. I am so sorry for your loss, and ours.