We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Laird Funeral Home
Graveside services for James Coker, Jr., 90, of Nacogdoches, will be held at 10:00 AM on Monday, May 23, 2022, at Shady Grove Cemetery with Bro. Paul Sever officiating. Visitation will be held from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM on Sunday, May 22, 2022, at Laird Funeral Home.
James Clyde Coker, Jr., more commonly known as “Papa,” enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, Lucas Alan and Alyssa Beth Coker. He loved to crack jokes about his wife, Nell Ruth Tucker-Coker’s, cooking, although it was always phenomenal. He enjoyed everything outdoors. He loved to hunt, fish, and work hard with his cows in the pasture. He was the definition of hard work and was a strong role model and hero to his family.
He grew up in Nacogdoches and attended high school at Nacogdoches ISD, and then college at Stephen F. Austin State University. He played football for the University, known as “the scrappy little guard” and #37, and loved to reminisce on his time there. His son, Gary Alan Coker, and daughter-in-law Carmen Alyssa Bennett-Coker graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in the early 1990s. His granddaughter, Alyssa Coker, and soon-to-be-grandson in law, Joel Jovanny Marroquin, attend Stephen F. Austin State University as well. He would bring this up in conversation as often as possible and beam with pride at the thought of his children and grandchildren attending his beloved alma mater.
After college, he worked and served in several different positions such as the Texas DPS as a state trooper, the Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office, the distribution departments of Tyson Foods, Inc., and the United States National Guard for 12 years as First Sergeant. He exceeded expectations in any position he found himself in and truly loved to work. During retirement, he even continued to work part-time at Nacogdoches BancorpSouth. His work ethic knew no bounds, along with his love for his wife of almost 63 years, Nell Coker. James and Nell met at a mutual friend’s house and the sparks flew. Nell always joked that she had “reeled” James in with her “good looks.” Of course, James would nod and laugh along. They soon married after meeting and had two children, James Robert “Bob” Coker and Gary Coker.
James was a very faithful, God-fearing man. He and his wife, Nell Coker, are members of Calvary Baptist in Nacogdoches. Oftentimes, he could be found in his sofa chair in the living room, reading passages from the Bible to discuss with his family, especially his grandson, Lucas Coker who is a youth minister at Douglass First Baptist Church. James always had a word of advice sourced from the Bible that he would lend to anyone who needed it.
James Coker is survived in death by his wife, Nell Coker; son, Gary Coker, and daughter-in-law, Carmen Coker. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Lucas and Alyssa Coker.
He is preceded in death by his mother and father, James Clyde Coker, Sr. and Lela Mae Prince-Coker, along with his brother, Jerry Jasper Coker. He is also preceded in death by his eldest son, James “Bob” Coker.