Gail Coker, 63, of Waco, passed away Saturday, March 5, 2011, at her residence with her family by her side. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 9, at Columbus Ave. Baptist Church with the Rev. Ron Durham and the Rev. David Shuttlesworth officiating. Interment will follow at Waco Memorial Park. Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, in Bean's Parlor at Grace Gardens Funeral Home
Gail was born in Roanoke, Virginia to the late Joseph E. and Grace Garst Jamison. She graduated from William Fleming High School in Roanoke in 1965. She graduated from Carson Newman College in 1969 with a B.A. degree and from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1971 with a Master's Degree in Religious Education. Upon graduation she became Director of Childhood Education at First Baptist Church in Waco where she served for eight and a half years.
In 1977, Gail married David M. Coker of Waco and they had two children. In 1980 Gail began teaching at St. Paul's Episcopal School and served there for two years. In 1982 she began a twenty-five year career at Baylor University serving in the Graduate School office, Piper Child Development Center and the acquisitions department of Moody Library. She retired from Baylor in December, 2010.
During the 1970's and 1980's she led preschool Sunday school training conferences and VBS clinics in Texas, Oklahoma, and California. During the late 1980's and early 1990's she wrote preschool Sunday school curriculum for the Southern Baptist Convention. Gail and David joined Columbus Avenue Baptist Church in 1983 and began teaching together in preschool Sunday school for fourteen years. Gail also served as a department director and part-time Preschool Division Director during this time.
After surviving breast cancer in 2002, Gail became a tireless worker for the Susan G. Komen Foundation Race for the Cure in Waco. She recruited team members to walk, worked with corporate sponsors, and co-chaired survivor celebration events. In her "spare" time for the past fifteen years, Gail has sold Pampered Chef kitchen products, and for two years was a part-time sales associate at Coldwater Creek.
Having worked with so many Baylor students, faculty, staff and their families over the years and having attended so many Baylor sporting events, it was only natural that Gail would become an Alumna By Choice in 1993. She continued to support football, both basketball teams, baseball, and softball as long as her health permitted.
Survivors include by her husband, David; son, Jeff Coker; daughter, Allison Harvey and husband, Brian; and grandson, James Harvey, all of Waco; brother, Donald Jamison and wife Priscilla, of Lexington, Virginia; sister, Jo Ann Webster and husband, Ed, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; brother in-law, Ron Coker and wife, JoAnn, of Fairport, New York; nephews, Mark Jamison and wife, Elizabeth, Alan Coker and wife, Dawn; nieces, Lynne Kinder, Ami Holt and husband, Paul, Karen Webster, Suzy Coker; and several great-nephews and nieces; and many friends.