Cokely, 95, Liberty, MO, peacefully passed away Monday morning, May 9, 2005, at
Pleasant Valley Manor. Coach was born April 27, 1910, in Grant City, MO, the son
of John Jay and Gertrude Cokely. He met the love of his life, Elsa Gibson, in
high school and would marry her in 1934 after graduating from Baker University.
They were inseparable until her death in 2003. Ken's teaching and coaching
career began in California, MO, and took them to Caledonia and Platte City
before landing in Liberty, MO, in 1943. It was here in Liberty that their roots
took hold; where they raised their two children and were incredibly active in
the school and community. Ken was a fixture at school until his retirement in
1975. During those 32 years, he coached football, basketball, tennis, and track,
taught girls PE during the war years, plus biology and drivers education; and
served as athletic director. And in 1972, Liberty High School honored him with
the dedication of the new gymnasium, "Cokely Fieldhouse." Although Ken had a
heavy schedule with family, teaching, and coaching, he still found time to be
active in the American Cancer Society, Meals on Wheels, Lion's Club, the Red
Cross, and Liberty United Methodist Church. His good deeds earned him William
Jewell's Outstanding Citizen Award in 1988, the Liberty Sertoma "Service to
Mankind" award in 1991, and the Lions Club International Foundation Melvin Jones
Fellowship. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend, and
probably the best coach anyone could ever have. He will be greatly missed by
all. He was preceded in death by his parents, his loving wife, his son John
Kenneth Cokely, his brother Harold J. Cokely, and his sister Irene Spencer. He
is survived by his daughter Kaye Megown and husband Larry, Hot Springs, AR;
three grandchildren, Lori Megown, New York, NY, Mike Megown, St. Louis, MO, and
Robyn Hart, Jefferson City, MO; and eight great-grandchildren. Funeral services
will be 2 p.m. Thursday, May 12 at Liberty United Methodist Church, 1001 Sunset,
Liberty; burial in Glenridge Cemetery, Liberty. Friends may call from 1 p.m.
Thursday at the church. Memorial contributions can be made to the Liberty United
Methodist Church or the Liberty Lions Club Ken Cokely Scholarship Fund. (Arr.
Church-Archer-Pasley Funeral Home, 816-781-2000)
Published in the Kansas City Star on 5/11/2005.
Cokely history from Funeral Program