Re­tired Epis­co­pal priest and coun­selor

The Dallas Morning News - - Obituaries - By JOE SIMNACHER Staff Writer jsim­nacher@dal­las­ Twit­ter: @Joes­im­nacher

The Rev. Henry Cornick Coke III faith­fully served decades of Dal­las fam­i­lies, first as a priest and later as a li­censed coun­selor.

He taught and led ser­vices at St. Michael and All An­gels Epis­co­pal Church, where he per­formed many wed­dings. Later in his ca­reer, he be­came a pri­vate coun­selor to con­tinue help­ing peo­ple.

Coke, 89, died Nov. 15 of com­pli­ca­tions from Parkin­son’s dis­ease while in hos­pice care at his Dal­las home.

Ser­vices were Nov. 25 at St. Michael and All An­gels Epis­co­pal Church.

“It was a life well lived,” said his wife, Anne Coke of Dal­las.

She said that since her hus­band’s death, she had been com­forted by the many let­ters re­ceived from peo­ple he helped through­out his ca­reer.

Coke was born in New Haven, Conn., where his fa­ther was at­tend­ing Yale Law School. When the fam­ily re­turned to Dal­las, Coke III at­tended Texas Coun­try Day School, which be­came St. Mark’s School of Texas. He con­tin­ued his ed­u­ca­tion at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn., and re­ceived his bach­e­lor’s de­gree from Yale Col­lege.

Coke at­tended the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan Law School be­fore en­ter­ing Gen­eral The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary of the Epis­co­pal Church in New York, where he earned a mas­ter of di­vin­ity de­gree in 1954.

That year, he mar­ried Anne Crad­dock Schoel­lkopf and was or­dained as a priest. His first as­sign­ment was in Wi­chita Falls as priest-in-charge of St. Mary’s, a mis­sion that later grew to be­come a church.

In 1958, Coke be­came the Epis­co­pal chap­lain at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at Santa Bar­bara, a post he held un­til join­ing the St. Michael staff in 1961.

In 1971, he earned a mas­ter’s grad­u­ate de­gree in sa­cred the­ol­ogy from the Perkins School of The­ol­ogy at South­ern Methodist Uni­ver­sity.

Coke re­tired from the St. Michael staff in 1976. He was a mar­riage and fam­ily ther­a­pist from 1976 un­til 1992.

He con­tin­ued his min­istry at the church, teach­ing on Sun­days and cel­e­brat­ing Mass one morn­ing a week for years as he bat­tled Parkin­son’s, un­til he had a mini-stroke, his wife said.

“As he got older, he just couldn’t do it any­more. He taught a class un­til he just re­ally had to slow down,” she said.

Coke at­tended ser­vices at St. Michael af­ter he could no longer take part as a priest. He faced his ill­nesses with dig­nity, his wife said.

“He kept his sense of hu­mor and his wis­dom,” she said.

In ad­di­tion to his wife, Coke is sur­vived by two sons, Henry Coke IV and John An­drew Coke, both of Dal­las; two daugh­ters, Anne Coke Long and Sarah Coke King, both of Dal­las; 12 grand­chil­dren; and two great-grand­chil­dren.

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