Fond Memories of Joyce Edwards Cocker: a Caring Educator

Our Aunt Joyce passed away of recent and will be laid to rest in South Elgin Illinois a suburb of Chicago. 

My memories of Aunt Joyce include summer trips to her home where we’d play in the basement with my cousin, Sharon and listen to Elton John and Elvis records and play with the two dogs; Buddy, Bo and the cat named Buttons. 

Her husband, Stanley which preceded her in death would rub my head and call me “knucklehead,” of which she would proceed in an infectious laugh.

She was passionate about education and ensuring young children got off the ground with a program of learning. She was involved in leadership of the teachers union at one point and a passionate and caring educator. 

She and her family were huge fans of Elvis and treated us to an Elvis concert hosted in Chicago when I was a youngster, that being my first official concert with hundreds more to follow after having a taste of a live music event as a youngster. 

Joyce was a very capable pianist who could cord and play music by ear, a talent of which I always admired.  Over the years Joyce and her family would travel during the summer to visit ours or we would venture near Chicago to visit hers. Many times meeting in the center at the family farm in Southern Illinois. Though the years ventured past us and as time does we were separated by distance, I’ll always cherish the childhood memories of our times together. The formal family crafted obituary follows…

Joyce (Edwards) Coker of South Elgin, IL passed away peacefully on June 10th, 2024 at the age of 83 in Hutto, TX. Born in Rosiclare, IL and raised in Cave- in-Rock, IL to John and Lorene Edwards.

Joyce married her high school sweetheart, Stanley Coker, in Reno, Nevada in 1961. They were married for 53 wonderful years together until his passing in 2014.

Joyce earned her Bachelor's degree in Education from Southern Illinois University and later, her Master's from Northern Illinois University. She was a member of the Illinois Teacher's Association, National Association of Education, and Elgin Teachers Association. She was also a member of the Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority where she previously served as the President of the Elgin Chapter. Joyce shaped young second grade minds as a devoted teacher at Wayne Elementary School, retiring after 37 years

In retirement, Joyce's commitment to the community was evident through her volunteer work at the gift shop at St. Joseph hospital and Shop and Share in Elgin, IL. Joyce is survived by her two children, Sharon Kay Coker and Bradley Allen Coker (Mimi); her grandchildren, Nicholas Reuter, Elizabeth Reuter (Andrew Gonzalez), and Randal Berkley, and her great-granddaughter, Charlie Belle Reuter. She is also survived by her brother John M. Edwards, sister Linda Ramsey (Tom), and many nieces and nephews. She is now reunited in heaven with the love of her life, Stanley Coker, her parents, John and Lorene Edwards, and her other cherished loved ones. Joyce will be remembered for her kindness, generosity, and love for her family. Her legacy of love and service will continue to inspire all who knew her.

A celebration of life will be held on Monday, June 17, 2024 from 10:00 am until time of service 12:00 pm at Countryside Funeral Home, 95 South Gilbert St. South Elgin, IL 60177. Interment will follow at Little Woods Cemetery, St. Charles Twp. IL. For more information, please contact Countryside Funeral Homes, 847-289-8054

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