Lawrence D. Cokel, 90, of Carthage, passed away Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 8:30 AM at Memorial Hospital in Carthage.
Lawrence was born February 12, 1932, the son of Maurice and Lelia (Munson) Cokel in Monmouth, Illinois. He attended Immaculate Conception School in Monmouth. Lawrence went on to serve in the US Navy from 1952 to 1955. On August 11, 1956, he was united in marriage to Esther Miller of Knoxville, Illinois. Lawrence spent 60+ years as the owner and operator of Cokel’s Welding Shop in Carthage. He was a member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus, and the V.F.W.
In his teens, Lawrence enjoyed playing baseball with the Vega boys in Monmouth. For many years he enjoyed playing cards and poker with friends and family and was fortunate enough to spend his evenings playing 10-point pitch with his friends at Hickory Grove the past several months. He also enjoyed gardening and was always anxious to get his tomato plants started in his greenhouse. Lawrence moved from Monmouth to Carthage in 1955 and began his welding career with Tom Rand, and later purchased the welding shop. His brother, Maurice, Jr. joined him shortly thereafter and helped build the current welding shop in 1959. In 1968, his son Rick joined him at the shop and they worked side-by-side for 45 years. After Lawrence retired in 2013, Rick continued to run the shop, and Lawrence remained an integral part of the business by stopping by to request coffee and supervising to make sure no one was taking too long of a break. In 1964, he built one of the first car washes in Hancock County, adjacent to the welding shop.
Lawrence is survived by his five children, Richard (Kelly) Cokel of Carthage, Connie (Keith) Bruns of Carthage, Cynthia (Doug) Smith of Carthage, Thomas (Jamie) Cokel of Waukegan, Illinois and Jeffrey (Ann) Cokel of Carthage; one brother, Julius Cokel of Monmouth, IL; ten grandchildren; sixteen great grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Esther Cokel, a sister Maxine Sage, a brother Maurice Cokel Jr., a grandson Tony Cokel and his beloved St. Bernard, Duke.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM Thursday morning, May 26, 2022, at Immaculate Conception Church in Carthage with burial to follow in Calvary Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 4:00 – 7:00 P.M. Wednesday evening at Printy Funeral Home in Carthage. Memorials can be made to Immaculate Conception Church in Carthage, IL.