Karen Denise Coker, 43 of Carrollton, TX was welcomed into eternal life with Jesus Christ on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 in Carrollton, TX after enduring many years without complaint from the difficulties of pulmonary sarcoidosis. She was born at BaylorHospital in Dallas on a cold snowy night, January 5, 1970 to the joy of Patsy and Johnny Coker.
Among Karen’s many gifts was that of nurturer. She humbly cared for countless children throughout her high school and college years. She received so much joy in witnessing many of these young people grow into adults and start their own families. She received her greatest joy from helping her siblings, Angela Sluder and John Coker, raise her nieces and nephews. It was common to find Karen building legos, playing board games and learning how to play Wii as she embraced her role as “favorite aunt”. As her nieces and nephews grew Karen could always be counted on as a safe place for them to seek a warm embrace and gentle wisdom.
In Karen’s younger years her heart’s desire was to be a cheerleader. Little did she know that her greatest cheering years would come in her 30’s and 40’s as she became the ultimate cheerleader for her niece and nephews attending countless band concerts, football, baseball, softball and basketball games. As one friend described her “she was always a sweet addition to the fans”.
Karen loved growing up and living in Carrollton often reminding her family the importance of our Carrollton roots. She graduated from NewmanSmithHigh School in 1988. She was a member of the Troyanns where she made numerous lifelong friendships. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas Women’s University in 1993 with a Bachelor’s of Science.
Karen’s vocation in life was caring for her family especially her mother after her father’s passing in 1997. Karen and Patsy shared a beautiful relationship that was far more than the traditional mother/daughter relationship. They were best friends, sisters, shopping partners, travel buddies and chatterboxes; they truly were companions in life. Karen & Patsy together were welcomed in to the catholic faith at Easter vigil in 2007 and she regularly attended Mass at MaryImmaculateChurch.
Karen cherished her relationship with her older brother, John. Although there were separated by seven years in age they drew close to one another as they experienced the joys and challenges of life including the loss of their dad and sister, additions of new family members, health and financial fluctuations. Karen always offered a stable presence in her brother’s life.
Karen is survived by her mother, Patsy Coker of Carrollton; brother and sister-in-law John & Michelle Coker and her nephews, Nathan, David, Sean and niece, Caroline Coker all of Lewisville. Nephew, Christian Coker of San Antonio; nieces, Nichole & Marion Sluder of San Antonio; great-nieces Grace and Peyton; and dear friend Emily Reid Thune of Keller.
Karen is preceded in death by her father, Johnny Coker Jr of Carrollton and sister, Angela Sluder of San Antonio.
The family will receive visitors Saturday, December 14, 2013 4 PM – 6PM at North Dallas Funeral home 2710 Valley View Lane, Farmers BranchTX75234 with a praying of the Rosary at 5:00 PM.
Mass of Christian burial will be held at 12:00 noon Monday, December 16, 2013 at Mary Immaculate Catholic Church 2800 Valwood Parkway Farmers Branch officiated by Father Bruce Bradley. Interment immediately following the Mass at HilltopCemetery in Carrollton.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to Foundation for Sacroidosis Research 1820 West Webster Avenue Suite 304, Chicago, IL 60614 312-341-0500.
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