Retired Episcopal priest and counselor
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.