James Robert (Bob) Coker (Sign Guestbook)

James Robert (Bob) Coker, age 72, of Knoxville, passed away Friday, December 14th at Tennova North Hospital. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Helen Rose Huckabee Coker and brother John Mitchell Coker.

Bob was a graduate of West High School and attended Tennessee Wesleyan College. He was also a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy and the Redstone Arsenal Academy.

Bob began his career with the Knoxville Police Department in 1969. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1973, then to Lieutenant in 1975. In 1992 Bob was promoted to Captain. Just four years later, he was appointed Deputy Chief and served in that role until he retired in 2003. While serving with the KPD, he was instrumental in establishing a bomb squad unit for the department.

In addition, he also served as the Executive Director of Knox County E-911 for 10 years.

Survivors:  Loving wife Wanda Dalton Coker, brother Ralph S. Coker, sisters-in-law Barbara, Carolyn, and Katherine, as well as many devoted nieces, nephews and friends.

Family will receive friends 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Thursday, December 20th, 2018 at Gentry-Griffey Funeral Chapel followed by a 7:00 p.m. memorial service with Dr. William Boyd Bingham, III officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Gateway Christian School-Binghamtown Baptist Church, 1 Gateway Drive, North 25th Street, Middlesboro, KY 40965. Gentry-Griffey Funeral Chapel is honored to serve the Coker family and invites you to view and sign the online registry below.

22 guestbook entries for “James Robert (Bob) Coker”:

  1. Mark and Dee Dee Seals says:

    Prayers for you Wanda as you navigate this great loss. Bob was loved and respected by so many. We love you and surround you with our prayers at this time.So sorry.

  2. Mary Jo Brogan says:

    Love you Wanda sorry to hear about your loss of Bob you’ll be in our prayers Mary Jo Mallicoat Brogan

  3. Lew Weems says:

    Wanda, you are in our thoughts and prayers. Bob was a good man and a good public servant. He will be missed.

  4. Jim Bentley says:

    “BOB” COKER Family
    So sorry to hear of the passing of such a great man. I first met BOB when we came to teach the FBI Bomb Investigators school prior to the Worlds Fair. I subsequently recommended him for his attendance at Hazardous Devices School in Huntsville, AL. We later worked together when I was transferred back to the FBI office in Knoxville, TN as the Special Agent Bomb Tech. His professionalism and experience will be sorely missed. Keeping you and yours in my prayers.
    Jim Bentley, SABT, FBI Retired.

  5. Tommy Greene says:

    Ralph, I am sorry for you lost. I have only known one Coker in my life and it was you. You may not remember me,but you played baseball for me at West in the spring of 1968. My condolences to you your family. Coach Greene

    • Ralph Coker says:

      Tommy,
      I do remember you giving me the opportunity to start at shortstop. I went on to start on the UT JV at shortstop.
      Thank you for your thoughts and your baseball and life advice. Ralph

  6. John Fugate says:

    Wanda ,Sorry for your loss Bob was a good man.Will be praying for you

  7. Jack & Connie Lane says:

    To the family,
    I wish to give my condolences on the passing of Bob. I grew up with Bob and his family in the Marble City Area. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers and I know that you will cherish all the memories that you shared together.

  8. Richard Voiles says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. I had known Bob since Tennessee Wesleyan College and then when we were both working for the Knoxville Police Department. He will be sorely missed by all retired and many current members of the KPD.

  9. Susan (Willis) Fenn says:

    Mrs Coker,
    I am so sorry to hear of Chief’s passing. Although I never met him personally I feel like I knew him through my sister and brother in law(Bill). He meant a great deal to them and their family. Of all the stories I have heard about him, he must have been a great man with a kind and gentle heart. He will be missed by more than you know. Prayers with you and your family.

  10. Ken and Judie Martin says:

    Wanda. We are so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. He was a good man. You and Bob had a wonderful life together. When we lose a loved one it’s one of life’s greatest challenges. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this very sad time. God bless you .

  11. CWO Chaplain Bill Bates says:

    To the Coker Family it sadden’s me to have learned my Training Officer of 1973 Knoxville Police Academy as I became a Proud Knoxville Police Officer has passed away! There was only one Chief Coker he will be missed,but never forgotten!Bob was my Lt.on shift and was alway’s ready to back us up on any call! Job and career well done!You will be in my prayers at this most difficult time!May God Bless and keep you in His Love Always!

  12. Bill Snyder says:

    Wanda. Sorry for your loss of a fine man. Prayers to you and family. You and Bob have been friends for many years.

  13. Stephanie Cole says:

    Wanda, Sorry for your loss. My thougts and prayers are with you. Love Stephanie Cole

  14. Kitty Bracken says:

    Wanda, I am so sorry that I can not attend the service for Bob. I will be praying for you as I understand the lost of a spouse. I pray for your hurt that you are feeling and for strength during this time. I love you.

  15. Larry Grant says:

    Sorry for your loss, praying for Wanda and the family. Deputy Chief Bob Coker was a very special leader and mentor.

  16. Virgil Hubbard says:

    I was saddened to learn of Chief Coker’s death. I first met Chief (then Lt) Coker while I was a trainee in the 1981-A KPD Recruit class where he was a guest instructor. I often admired his leadership principles while with KPD and was I fortunate to continue a limited association with him while he was Director of the Knox County 911 Center. He will be missed by not only his family and friends, but his KPD family as well.

  17. Jim Winston says:

    Wanda,I was sorry to read of the loss of Bob. I remember when I was walking a beat down town when you and Bob first met around 1970. I admired his work at KPD along with his brother Mickey. Wishing you strength during this loss.

  18. Jim Winston says:

    Wanda, it was sad to hear of the loss of Bob. I admired him, he was a true leader at an early age. I remember when you first met Bob. I was walking a beat downtown. Yall made a sharp couple! Wishing you strength during this sorrowful time.

  19. Bonnie Douglas says:

    My prayers are with you Wanda.
    Love, Bonnie

  20. Mary Venn says:

    Dear Wanda,
    You know how much we love you and Bob. Our hearts are broken at his loss, and we will miss him very much. We thank you both for all the love and happy times you two shared with us throughout the years. We will always remember his sweet laugh and smile, as well as, his kind and caring ways.

    Our love and prayers are with you, Wanda. May the memory of Bob’s love and the Lord’s grace and mercy give you strength–especially now when your loss is so very heavy in your heart– and always. God bless you, sweet lady.
    Love, Mary, John and Anya

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