Obituary of Barbara Denise Coker
Barbara Denise Martin Coker left us on January 5th, 2023 at the age of 61.
Barbie, Barb, or Tia, as known by those closest to her, brought joy and laughter into all the lives she touched. She often would have a loving grin and humorous quip as part of all her interactions with friends and family. She had an unending love for her fur-babies and had a love and affinity for every animal in the world.
She is and will be missed as a wife, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend.Barbara graduated Norwalk High School, Norwalk, California in 1979. Shortly thereafter she met the love of her life, James Coker, who finally made an ‘honest woman’ of her after forty years together by uniting in marriage on July 30, 2021.
Barbara was preceded in death by her dad, Lucion Martin, her step-father, Norman Wallace and her brother-in-law, Jens Moller. She is survived by her husband, James Coker; her son, Sheldon; her mother, Frances Wallace; her step-mother, Carolyn Martin; siblings Debbie Moller, Charlotte ‘Charli’ Stone and Ron Richards, Becky and Jon Toledano, and James Martin; nieces and nephews Kristal and Michael Biesecker, Jesse and Justin Maxwell, Bryan and Carmen Toledano, Righteous Richards, and Aiden and Kazoua Toledano; great-niece, Iris Toledano; and cousins Melinda Bollinger, Charlene and Cary Ricketts, Helen and Calyn Organ, and Mary and Tim Britt.
Barbie’s husband, Jim, remembers Barbie loved animals, especially her cats. “The world is a sadder place without her in it,” further, Jim said, “Barbie was my partner and best friend for over 40 years. She was a kind and gentle soul loved by all. She changed my life for the better. She will be missed each and every day. Until we are together again, my love.”
Barbie’s Mom, Frances, remembers when Barbie and Jim moved to Oroville, Barbie was amazed by so many birds and other wildlife. She said they did not have many birds flying around in Downey. Barbie was always describing different birds she had seen and wanting to know what they were named. She would then look them up in a book given to her by Frances, to learn about them. She would do the same with the four-footed “friends” that came to the yard. She even liked knowing skunks were in the area. She named the deer and could tell you the differences in each one. “They all looked the same to me” remembers Frances.
Frances also remembers Barbie as incredibly honest. She was not judgmental. She was kind and helpful. Frances believes Barbie would give away her last cent if she thought it would help someone. She was very loving and caring. She was courteous and respectful. She seemed to enjoy hard work and took pride in her accomplishments.
Barbie’s step-mother, Carolyn, remembers Barbie’s wicked sense of humor. “When with Barbie, listening to her or thinking of her, you could not help but smile.”
Barbie’s sister, Charlotte, has numerous, wonderful memories of growing up, attending high school and living adult life with Barbie but her favorite memory is of Barbie being present when she delivered her long-awaited, desperately desired child, a daughter named Righteous, three days before Barbie’s 31st birthday. Although Barbie loved being Tia to all of her nieces and nephews, being a fellow Taurus, she interceded on Righteous’ behalf with her mom several times while Righteous was growing up.
Barbie’s sister, Becky, remembers when she found a kitten in front of a school. It was loaded with fleas and his eyes were crusted shut. Becky took the kitten home, cleaned him up and gave him medication. Becky wasn’t able to keep the kitten so she called her sister, Barbie to see if she could give him a home. “Barbie did; she was there to help save the kitten who became one
of her fur-babies known as Ono.”
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To honor Barbie’s memory a celebration of her life will be held this summer with additional details to follow.