Cover photo for Hylda Margaret Coker's Obituary
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1934 Hylda Coker 2023

Hylda Margaret Coker

July 12, 1934 — August 15, 2023

Port Carling

 

Hylda passed very peacefully with her cherished little dog Misty in her bed and family at her bedside in Andy’s House Hospice in Port Carling.  She was a vibrant and active 89 year old through her very last days.  Hylda enjoyed life to the fullest, was always busy and up for any adventure that came her way.  Having lost her beloved husband of 52 years, Byron, in May of 2021, she was enveloped in love by her family and friend Shelley Zeats who supported her to spend her last years in her own home on Lake Rosseau.  Hylda will be greatly missed by her son Colin and daughter-in-law Kristen, her daughter Kelly, son-in-law Jamie Nairn and her grandsons Tannor and Ryley.  Hylda leaves behind her sister-in-law Vicki Kerr, her brother-in-law Alan Coker and his wife Sonya, her sister-in-law Patricia Coker (Bruce) and many nieces and nephews.  She was predeceased by her brothers Ross Wilcox (Isobel) and Jack Wilcox (Val), her sister Joyce Kirk (Gord) and her sister-in-law Marlene Cameron (Ken).

Hylda was the youngest child born to Francis Llewellyn Wilcox and Emma Jane Kelly and grew up in the heart of Toronto.  In her early years, Hylda was a physical education teacher at Perth Avenue JPS in Toronto as well as a “cheerleader” for the Toronto Argonaut Football team.  She spent many years as an integral member of the “Argoettes”- the precision dance and marching team performing the pre-game and half time shows during Argonaut football games at Exhibition Stadium.  She had the opportunity to perform on stage with Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Jimmy Durante and other big stars during her young dancing career.  Hylda has maintained contact with her fellow Argoettes since they disbanded in 1965 – attending their annual reunion as recently as last September.  This group of amazing women came together for a reunion performance during the Argos “Pink Game” in Oct 2015 – when Argos cheer teams from the 1930’s to present united to put on a half time show in supporting the fight against Women’s Cancers.

In the mid 60’s Hylda met Byron (a young pharmacist who had built himself a cottage “in God’s Country” on Lake Rosseau while attending UofT) via a vintage dating service – involving handwritten letters on paper – and they were married on March 15th, 1969 at Leaside United Church.  When their first born Kelly arrived, Hylda retired from teaching and stayed at home to raise their family while taking on the job of being the bookkeeper for their pharmacy “The Apothecary Shop”.

Hylda was always very active and athletic.  She enjoyed playing softball (in later years with Kelly on “The Apothecary Shop Pharm Team”), tennis, curling, golf, swimming and waterskiing.  She also maintained her love of dancing throughout her life and taught seniors line dancing into her 70’s.  Her last waterskiing adventure was in her 80’s.

She and Byron were always very active volunteers.  Even becoming ‘volunteer grandparents’ through a program for local children in need. They were recognized by the District of Muskoka with their ‘Community Services Recognition Award’ as Outstanding Community Contributors in 2015.

Hylda has also been an active and contributing member of the Port Carling United Church for many decades.  She has been a longstanding member of the United Church Women (UCW).

Hylda was a resilient and determined fighter.  She was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia in 2001 and battled significant illness for many years.  She never gave up hope that she would beat this dreaded disease.  With excellent medical support from Dr Paulette Burns and many others, surprisingly after a 7 year battle, she beat the odds and survived.  She went on to have 20 more wonderful years enjoying and appreciating every day with her two grandsons (her “pride and joy” as she called them), her family and friends.

Hylda had a smile that lit up the room.  She taught people what unconditional love really is. We will cherish and remember her as a kind soul, a loyal friend, a devoted Argo’s fan, a perpetual cheerleader and an amazing woman with infectious energy.

Good-bye Gram – enjoy dancing with Poppa into eternity!  Thank you for all that you have given and taught us.  You will never be forgotten.  “LUV-YA TOO!”

A truly heartfelt thank you goes out to NP Christine Degan and the wonderful caring staff at Andy’s House Hospice for their exemplary care and support of Hylda and family over this past month.  Cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Hylda’s Life will take place this fall. Notification to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations to Andy’s House Hospice in Port Carling, The Alzheimer Society of Muskoka or the Port Carling United Church would be appreciated. 

 

In memory of Hylda Margaret Coker, please consider making a donation to one of the following charities:

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