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Sherry L. Coker, Sr.

February 6, 2018

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Sherry Lamar Coker, Sr. of Forest, Virginia passed away February 6, 2018 at the age of 91 years.  He was born May 8, 1926 in Atlanta, Georgia, son of the late Tren Forest Coker and Cebe Coker Smith and stepfather Homer Gale Smith.  He is survived by his beloved wife Luanne Lewis Coker with whom he would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on February 17, 2018.

He began his lifelong career in outdoor advertising in Atlanta.  He held the position of branch manager in several states before coming to Lynchburg in 1966 as owner and general manager of Virginia Outdoor Advertising Company.  Sherry, Luanne and their family made their home in Lynchburg until his retirement in 1982.  He and Luanne moved to Deltaville, Virginia on the Chesapeake Bay where he was able to realize his dream of living waterside for 24 years until returning to the Lynchburg area.

Sherry was active in many local civic organizations including the Jaycees, Rotary, Exchange Club and the Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce. He served on the boards of the American Red Cross, The Academy Music Theater and was president of Lynchburg Tours, Inc.  and  the Lynchburg Ad Club. He was appointed by the Governor to the Virginia Boating Advisory Committee and the Virginia Transportation Safety Committee.

He was a member of Rivermont Avenue Baptist Church in Lynchburg and Zoar Baptist Church in Deltaville and most recently Calvary Baptist.  Always an active church member, he served as a Deacon for many years, taught Sunday School and brought his love of sailing to the youth at Camp Piankatank in Hartfield, Virginia.

His love for boats began as a young child and he built his first boat at age 10.  He learned to sail in San Diego, California where he was stationed in the Marine Corps in the 1940’s. He was a passionate sailor and skilled navigator; sailing and racing at VISA Yacht Club at Smith Mountain Lake and Fishing Bay Yacht Club in Deltaville.  He was a life member of the US Power Squadron, Commodore of VISA, and Commander of the Lynchburg Power Squadron and was a qualified vessel inspector and taught boating safety classes.  In retirement Sherry and Luanne enjoyed extended sailing excursions throughout the Chesapeake Bay and along the Eastern Seaboard.

Focus on family was important and from a young age, all the kids participated in boating, camping and church activities.  He was playful dad, a skilled woodworker, handyman and good neighbor to all. He was artistic and was known as a sharp dresser who loved color, bow ties, white buckskins and paisley shirts.

In addition to Luanne, he leaves to cherish his memory two sons, Sherry Lamar Coker Jr. and Robin L. Coker (Kelly); three daughters, Sherry Lu Coker, Cindy Coker Joslin Martin, and Lori Coker Short; five grandchildren, Will Joslin, Spencer Joslin (Liz), Ross Martin, Tyler Short and Kelsey Short Peppel (Duane), two great-grandchildren, Madison Joslin and Mason Joslin; and brother Byron Coker (Frances) of Atlanta, GA and nieces and nephews.

The family would like to express deepest gratitude for the loving care given to him and kindness shown to the family by the nurses at Centra Hospice House in Lynchburg.

The family will receive friends at Tharp Funeral Home in Lynchburg on Sunday, February 18, 2018 from 2-4 PM.  A private family graveside service will follow at a later date. Should friends desire, contributions may be sent to Centra Hospice House, Lynchburg, VA.

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