Larry Coker '79
July 10, 2020 10:51 AM
updated: July 10, 2020 11:37 AM
Larry Warren Coker
April 19, 1921 - July 6, 2020
Colonel Larry Warren Coker (Papa) passed away Monday, July 6, 2020, at home.
Larry was born on April 19, 1921, on the hill of Puddin Swamp, South Carolina, to Clarence Epps and Laura Jane Dennis Coker. He was the second of six children joining Gerald Ray Coker and later Homer, Laura Jane (Lolly), Donald, and Clarence Jr. (Butch). Larry
grew up on a farm and in a family community where he learned the values that would give him such a rich life.
In his youth, there was no indoor plumbing, no electricity, no radio or television. Life was based on the farm’s needs for each of the seasons. Sunday nights were the time for Bible stories in front of the fire. There, he learned of Jesus’ ministry, the Ten
Commandments, and of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin. Larry first accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior during a revival at 12 years of age. He rededicated his life “by restating my faith and hope in Him” at a Chapel service on June 21, 1942. He was given a card
of his rededication that he carried in his wallet for the next 78 years.
Larry graduated from Clemson University in May 1942, receiving a Bachelor of Science in General Science and was commissioned in the United States Army. The next month he reported for duty at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, which began an Army Career that would
span 35 years and World War II, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam War.
When Larry entered the Army, he held a Reserve Commission in the Infantry and in 1958 received a Regular Army Commission in the Medical Service Corps. Throughout his career, he excelled with any assignment given to him. After attending the Infantry Officer
Basic Course, he was asked to be an instructor. Deployed to the Philippines in World War II, he was assigned as a Company Commander in the 28th Replacement Depot and two years later would be the Depot Commander. Later in his career, he was an instructor at
the Medical Field Service School, served as the Executive Officer of the 44th. Medical Brigade in Vietnam, and as Chief of Staff of the 7th Medical Command in Europe.
Larry was also a gifted educator and during a break in service after World War II taught High School in Sumter, South Carolina, where he also coached baseball and served as Assistant Principal. He pursued his education throughout his life and received a Master
of Education from Texas Christian University in 1951 and a Doctor of Philosophy from Texas A&M University in 1979.
He married Virginia Charlotte Ransom on July 18, 1946, in Fort Worth Texas. They shared a beautiful life for the next 41 years, until Virginia passed from cancer. Larry and Virginia have six children: Jean Ransom, Sandra Lynn, twins Larry Warren Coker, Jr.,
and Linda Clare, and twins David Allen and Dennis Earl.
Larry was blessed to find love again and married MaryAnn Coker on July 7, 1990. With that marriage he welcomed three more children to the family: Stanley, Jamie and Corrie. Together, Larry and MaryAnn enriched not only their lives, but their combined families,
churches, and community.
Left to honor Larry, and remember his love are his wife, MaryAnn; daughters: Jean Gregg; Sandi (David) Molitoris; Linda (Doyl) Gray; Ellen Coker; Corrie (Tyson) Mims; sons David Coker; Dennis (Elizabeth) Coker; Stanley (Pam) Coker; and Jamie Coker; sister Laura
Jane (Lolly) Thigpen; brother Clarence (Butch) Epps Coker, Jr.; two sister-in-laws, Margaret Ransom Ball, and Lois Ann Coker; 27 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren. He is preceded to Heaven by one son, Colonel Larry (Buz) W. Coker, Jr.
Larry’s friends and family are invited to celebrate his life and his victory in Jesus in an outdoor ceremony 11:00 a.m. Thursday, July 9, at Pine Grove United Methodist Church, Turbeville, South Carolina.
Flowers are wonderful, but we ask that you follow his example and make a memorial gift to a charity of your choice and invest in your community, as Papa did his. If you don’t have a favorite, you may want to consider a gift to Pine Grove United Methodist Church
or Horse Branch Free Will Baptist Church in Turbeville, SC. Acknowledgments and cards can be sent to Mrs. MaryAnn Coker, PO Box 66, Turbeville, SC 29162.
One final thought: Larry said that “God has been kind to me through all these times and years and He has provided guidance, inspiration, needs, energy and good health. To Him be the Glory!”
Arrangements have been entrusted to Floyd Funeral Home.
136 E. Main St. Olanta, SC 29114
JUL 9. 11:00 AM (EDT)
Pine Grove United Methodist Church Cemetary
1090 Morgan Street
Turbeville, SC, 29162