William Gordon Coker Jr, 83, long-time resident of San Antonio and Seguin, passed peacefully to eternal life while surrounded by family at his home on Sunday, August 16, 2020. Bill was born in Eagle Pass, Texas on October 31, 1936 to William Gordon Coker Sr. and Maureen Elliott Gardner Coker. He graduated from Crystal City High School in 1954, where he was very involved in athletics, including football, basketball, and track. He also served as student council president, senior class president, and was voted a class favorite.
Bill then studied at The University of Texas at Austin, where he was on the freshman track team, and was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity. During the 1958 Intramural Divisional Track Finals he broke the long-held 1948 record in the 220-yard dash. He graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English. Upon graduation, he moved back to Crystal City to teach English and to coach the track team, prior to being drafted into the Army. He then served at Fort Richardson in Alaska for the next two years, and received an honorable discharge following completion of reserve duty in San Antonio.
Upon his return from Alaska in 1961, he married his college sweetheart, Carol Culbertson Coker, and they settled in San Antonio. Over the years, he served in a number of community service capacities, including Councilman to The City of Hill Country Village, Board Member of the San Antonio Better Business Bureau, President of the City of Hollywood Park Homeowner’s Association, and Chief of the local YMCA” Indian Princess” Program.
In his professional life, Bill enjoyed a long career in financial services beginning with Travis Savings & Loan for 25 years, where he served as Senior Vice President. He later served in the position of Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Home State County Mutual Insurance Company in Dallas until his retirement in 2000. After retirement, he and Carol moved to a home on Lake Placid in Seguin, on the same street where three of his siblings and their spouses also lived.
Over the past 20 years, he has enjoyed living on the Lake, reading books cover to cover, traveling, spending time with Carol and their three daughters, sons-in-law, their six grandchildren, his siblings and extended family, staying in touch with lifelong friends, and almost daily visits and outings with his beloved brother and “compadre in mischief”, Jack.
Bill is predeceased by his parents, his brother, James Lloyd Coker, his in-laws, Clarence and Elizabeth (Betty) Culbertson, his brother-in-law, John Croisant, sister-in-law, Joan Culbertson Dibrell, and his nephew, Kellis Dibrell. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 59 years, Carol, his three daughters and their respective partners: Catherine Coker (Stuart Wells) of Hondo, Elizabeth (Libby) Coker Zrembski (Captain John, USN-Retired) of Springfield, VA. and Suzanne Coker Castleberry (King) of Boerne. Grandchildren include Kylie Cooper Lanham (Justin) of Iowa Park, Tx, Charles and William Goodenough of Boerne, and Karolina, Anna and Zara Zrembski of Springfield, VA. He is also survived by his siblings and in-laws: Jack Gardner Coker (Linda) of Seguin, Janet Coker Morris (Wayne) of Corpus, Lora Coker Murphy (Mike) of Austin, Alice Delphenis Coker of Montgomery, Tx, Sam Dibrell of San Antonio, Dr. Clare Culbertson Laminack of Fort Worth, Julie Culbertson Croisant of San Antonio, and numerous dear cousins, nephews, and nieces in Texas, Georgia, New Mexico and Washington State.
Bill, Dad, Popo, Tio, and Uncle Bill was deeply loved and will be missed for his quick-wit and sense of humor. He was dedicated to his family and enjoyed his role as the patriarch. He also shared a special relationship with each and every one of his grandchildren, and they were all a true joy in his life.
Although he was an introvert at heart, Bill never met a stranger and was often the life of the party. He enjoyed learning about and building connections with the people he crossed paths with until the very end. Throughout his life, he sought the authentic over the superficial, and was quick to remind his children to be humble and grateful, with no tolerance for pretentiousness. He will be remembered for his many creative talents and pursuits over the years…. a voracious reader, a wordsmith, a poet, a story teller, a lover of cooking Cajun and South Texas cuisine, a grower of hot peppers and a baker of bread, a fluent Spanish speaker, a painter of Texas Hill Country scenes, a fan of Mariachi and marching music, and a major high school and college football enthusiast.
The family is most grateful for the loving care that Bill received from Kindred Hospice of San Marcos and from his special caregiver, Elizabeth Serrano. They all provided a lot of dignity, quality of life and comfort to him and the family over the past several months. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Laurel Heights United Methodist Church, 227 W. Woodlawn, San Antonio, Tx 78212; Kindred Hospice of San Marcos, 1911 Corporate Dr., Suite 104, San Marcos, Tx 78666, or a charity of one’s choice. Due to COVID-19, a private graveside service and celebration of life will be planned for a later date in San Antonio.
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