Thomas (Tom) Ray Coker, Jr., age 67, of The Woodlands, Texas passed away Friday evening February 21, 2020 at Memorial Hermann Hospital - The Woodlands after a brief battle with cancer. He was surrounded by family and close friends. Tom was born on December 12, 1952 in Marshall, Texas. He was preceeded in death by his Father Thomas Ray Coker, Sr. and Mother Marian Elderleen Belk Coker. Tom graduated from Marshall High School in 1971 where he participated in football, basketball, and baseball. He was a local leader of DeMolay, he especially enjoyed participating in all of the activities of the organization, including many events in other cities. He was a member of The United Methodist Youth Fellowship and was a member of the Marshall Corral Club He went on to graduate from the University of Houston with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and President of his Pledge Class. His career in business ultimately led him to Allstate where he enjoyed tremendous success in the insurance industry as a Field Sales Leader and an Independent Agent. Tom enjoyed life to the fullest; he never met a stranger, always had a good word to say about everyone and his optimistic and positive attitude was infectious. He put down roots in Texas, New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona making friends and memories along the way. He stayed active throughout his life and loved to travel, garden and ski, as well as play tennis, golf, music and create beautiful pieces of art. He was a talented artist, exhibiting his work at many art shows. He assisted with art classes at The Art Event in Marshall, Texas. His fondest memory of his younger years was when he, Wes Holmes, Steve Hartt and Ron Davidge performed as the Beatles, “I Saw Her Standing There” at the Lions Loonies. The Beatles always held a special place in his heart. In later life, St. Augustine, Florida was his favorite place to visit as it combined all his favorites: the beach, art, history and golf. His love of gardening inspired him to work with community leaders and establish a community garden in Marshall, Texas called Grow Green Marshall. Tom served as President of the Marshall Regional Arts Council, Guild President at the Longview Museum of Fine Arts, and Board Member-The Longview Museum of Fine Arts. Also, he was a member of First United Methodist Church, Marshall, Texas, and the Rotary Club. Tom is survived by his wife, Linda; son Cliff and his wife Stephanie; his precious granddaughters, Christiana, Beatrice and Vivienne; brother William E. Coker; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews; and an immeasurable number of devoted friends. Tom’s family will receive visitors from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 14, 2020 in the Historic Sanctuary of First United Methodist Church, Marshall, Texas. The funeral will follow at 1:00 p.m. at the Church with Pastor Rodger Garbs and Pastor Ron Davidge officiating. The burial service will take place at Algoma Cemetery in Marshall, Texas immediately following. Pallbearers will be Kyle Bennett, Charles Blalock, III, Garrett Boersma, Christopher Byron Coker, Chase Beavers-Madison, Dale Diercks, and Michael Hernandez Russell. Honorary Pallbearers will be Charles Abraham, Ron Davidge, Walter Floyd, Kyle Furrh, Wes Holmes, Mark Merrill, Jack Munden, Billy Earl Pool, Joe Pressler and the Marshall High School Senior Class of 1971. Memorials can be made to First United Methodist Church, 300 E. Houston, Marshall, Texas; Marshall Regional Arts Council P.O Box C, Marshall, Texas; Friends of Marshall Animals P.O. Drawer V, Marshall, Texas.
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