Oliver Franklin Coker
1922 - 2020
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5/29/1922 - 12/6/2020 Oliver Franklin Coker passed away peacefully on December 6, 2020 at the age of 98. He was born in Lufkin, TX on May 29, 1922. He hitchhiked to San Pedro at the age of 16 and never left, going on to graduate from USC on the GI bill after a stent in the US Army Air Corps as a Corporal and Artillery Gunner during WWII. Jolly Ollie was his nickname in the halls of San Pedro High School where he taught Chemistry and Modern Science for 25 years. His favorite line was "Coker's the name and poker's my game!"Ollie is survived by his wife of more than 30 years, Lillian Light, by his son, Paul Coker and his daughter, Roberta Coker plus a multitude of grandchildren and great grandchildren. Services are planned for late Spring of 2021.


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Published in Palos Verdes Peninsula News on Dec. 21, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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3 entries
January 4, 2021
Mr. Coker was indeed widely known as Jolly Ollie when I studied chemistry with him in 1963-64. My partner, Nick Mardesich, and I took advantage of his offer to submit daily extra credit write-ups on a technical topic of our choice and we boosted our grades up to “A.” We were studying physics together at the same time under Mr. Elliott, and both Nick and I went on from their foundation to earn degrees in physics and to complete long careers as physicists.
So, Jolly Ollie, thanks for introducing me to the building blocks of the Universe. (And truly, about that big explosion in the lab, it wasn’t me!)
Gene Rogers
Student
December 22, 2020
I remember him going down the hall. He graduated with my Dad in summer 1941. Found Dad's high school reunion many moods ago. Was so surprised to see them both. Dad died in 1962 at the age of 40. I never had him as a teacher. But always said hi when we saw each other. Her was always smiling. He will be missed.
Debbie Armstrong Bickford
Student
December 21, 2020
RIP Mr. Coker My condolences to his family. Loved your Chemistry labs. Went on to teach Chemistry partly because of you.
Ann Christensen
Student
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