We need to remind ourselves that our bodies are not what make us who we are.
Born in Brooklyn New York, Nancy married the love of her life, John T. Coker Jr., in a backyard wedding on June 1, 1969. Shortly thereafter, they moved to Southern California.
Avid readers interested in philosophy, Nancy and John began visiting and attending Theosophical Society meetings in the mid-1970s, becoming members of the Theosophical Society after their daughter Jessica was born in 1977.
In 1979, Nancy and John moved to Burkittsville, Maryland where, along with a friend, they started a mail-order cottage industry, Deva Natural Clothes. The company made and sold clothing using only natural materials and employing local workers. Deva was initially an experiment to prove that you could create quality products that would not adversely affect the environment while providing substantial wages for all involved. The company, for which Nancy served as president for 10 years, grew rapidly and became wildly successful. In addition to running Deva, Nancy led a successful initiative to change an antiquated law in Maryland that negatively impacted piece workers. Her work continues to benefit these people today.
Their mission accomplished with Deva, John and Nancy sold the company in 1989 and the family returned to California to continue their work with the Theosophical Society.
Nancy was a member of the staff at the Theosophical Society for more than twenty-five years, serving in various capacities during that time. In addition to being in charge of the Theosophical Correspondence Course, which occupied most of her time in recent years, Nancy also helped with the production of Theosophical University Press publications, organizing and conducting study groups in the Theosophical Society Library Center, and chairing and presenting topics at the Library’s Friday Evening Discussions. In addition to writing nearly two dozen articles for Sunrise magazine, Nancy also represented the TS at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago (1993) and South Africa (1999).
A natural leader who didn’t like the limelight, Nancy adapted her introverted personality style, learning to “extrovert” when the situation required it. She had a gift of always making everyone she touched, personally or through her written correspondence, feel accepted and good about themselves. Her writing showed the true wordsmith she was – insightful, carefully crafted and kind at heart.
“Our vision of old age is fraught with complexities and paradoxes: we talk about the body aging, but most of our cells are under the age of seven. And what could it possibly mean to our divine spirit, an infinite being, to grow old? What might growing old mean to the galaxy? To a star? Just as our faces have changed since infancy, imagine how the face of the earth has changed over its lifetime: volcanoes arising and continents moving around clashing into one another. We need to remind ourselves that our bodies are not what make us who we are.”
-Nancy Coker, Conscious Aging Sunrise 2007
Her family brought her great joy. Her daughter Jessica, son-in-law Jeff and her grandchildren Isabella, Jackson, and Jonathan were the light of her life. She spent most of her free time with her family – even traveling the country with them during 2013-2016 when they travelled North America in a 32-foot RV.
Nancy was a devoted daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, and friend. She enjoyed crafting, especially paper crafts, sometimes buying paper just to have it and loved all things chocolate. She made jewelry for friends and family, entertained her grandchildren with arts and crafts and was always looking, researching, and finding new ways to learn and grow.
Nancy is survived by her father, Maurice “Bugs” Bower and his partner, Kathyrn Podwall; her daughter, Jessica Coker-Lentz, son-in-law Jeff Lentz, grandchildren Isabella, Jackson and Jonathan Lentz; her sister and brother-in-law Elizabeth and Kevin Larsen, and nephew Parker Pulliam.
She was preceded in death by her husband, John T. Coker, Jr. and her mother, Ruth Lane Spain.
Her life will be celebrated in a private service on Saturday, August 10, 2019. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Theosophical Society via PayPal [email protected] or via by check: P.O. Box C, Altadena CA 91001.
|Name||Nancy Sue Bower Coker|
|Date of Birth||October 21st, 1948|
|Date of Death||August 1st, 2019|
|Home Town||New York, NY, US|
|Other City||Altadena, CA, US|
|Interests||Art crafts, Making jewelry, Writer|
|Favourite Saying||Our vision of old age is fraught with complexities and paradoxes. -Nancy Cocker, Conscious Aging Sunrise 2007|
|In Memoriam Donation||Theosophical Society|
|Funeral Home||Mountain View Mortuary & Cemetery|
2400 North Fair Oaks Avenue
Altadena CA 91001
|Parents||Maurice Bower, Ruth Lane Spain|
|1963 - 1966||Educator, Education|
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Nancy will be loved and missed by her daughter Jessica Coker-Lentz, her father Maurice "Bugs" Bower and grandchildren Isabella, Jackson and Johnathan and her sister Elizabeth.