Colonel Morgan B. Coker, PhD



Col. (U.S. Army Retired) Morgan B. Coker, PhD, age 93, of Florence died July 6, 2017. A Celebration of Life service will be held on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 2 pm at Effingham Presbyterian Church after a private burial with full military honors in the Florence National Cemetery. Visitation will be held after the service in the church’s Family Life Center. Born in Turbeville, SC, on September 16, 1923, he was the son of William Luther and Maggie Morris Coker. He attended the Turbeville schools and graduated in 1940. He continued his education at Marion Military Institute in Marion, AL and Georgia Tech in Atlanta, GA. World War II interrupted his education; he was called to active duty and at the war’s end he received a Regular Army commission. In 1951 he graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Military Science. He also studied Mechanical Engineering at George Washington University. At the end of the Korean War he resigned from the regular army to lead the family farming business until 1965. While farming, he reentered the army reserves and in 1977 retired as a Colonel of Armor. He also entered the University of South Carolina from which he graduated with a Master’s in Business Administration in 1966 and a PhD in Business and Economics in 1971. He then immediately joined the faculty of the newly established Francis Marion College as the founding head of the Department of Business Administration. In 1987 he became the first Dean of the School of Business at Francis Marion University. He retired in 1990 and in 2000 he was appointed Dean Emeritus of the School of Business by the University’s Board of Trustees. Because of his significant contributions to Francis Marion community and the many students he impacted, the Board of Trustees awarded him an honorary Doctorate of Humanities in 2014 and the School of Business named its Outstanding Alumna award after him. He served for 17 years on the Board of Directors of the Florence Educators Federal Credit Union, 12 years on the Board of Directors of the Pee Dee Farm Credit Union, and 8 years as a Trustee of Lander University. He was also a member of the Civil Air Patrol and commanded the Florence squadron for several years. He was a member of Effingham Presbyterian Church where he served as an Elder. He is survived by his wife Helen Oeland Coker, a daughter Helen Harrison Coker of Lexington, and stepsons Rev. E. Weyman (Anne) Camp of Hollywood, SC and J. Oeland Camp of Summerville, SC, and eight grandchildren. Also surviving are two sisters, Rebecca C. Thies of Fairfax, Va and Gertrude C. Hall of Turbeville, SC, and two brothers, Dr. W. Luther Coker, Jr. of Newport News, VA and Dr. Steven N. Coker of Florence, SC, and numerous nieces and nephews. His sister Mary Ellen C. Brigman predeceased him. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Dr. Morgan B. Coker scholarship at Francis Marion University or to Effingham Presbyterian Church. Please sign online registry at