Diver Steve Coke's ashes destined for OzBy Hugh Fort
September 08, 2010
The ashes of a “one in a billion” diving fanatic who died suddenly will be spread at locations around the world, including the Great Barrier Reef, to celebrate his love of life underwater.
Much-loved dad-of-three Steve Coke, who ran the Mill Park Café in Wildridings, died from heart failure on Tuesday, August 24, aged just 49.
Steve, who also had three stepchildren, was a keen scuba diver whose dream was to dive in Egypt and along the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
His family have decided some of his ashes will be spread in the two diving spots as well as in Portsmouth.
It was there he spent holidays with his partner, Lita Marchant, with whom he lived in Keldholme in Wildridings. Some of his ashes will stay in Bracknell.
His brother Terry, who lives in Australia, will take some of Steve’s ashes back with him after funeral.
Steve, who ran the café for around 10 years, was very well known and well liked in Bracknell and his death has left family and friends shocked.
His stepdaughter Karly Marchant told The Standard how it left “a huge hole”.
She said: “We are getting over the shock now.
“He was truly one in a billion, a real joker, young at heart.
“We have been really helped by some of the amazing letters we have got from the people who knew him.
“He was a kind, gentle man who had time for anybody and would be on hand to help anyone with anything.
“His loss will be felt by everyone and anyone who knew him and was a true hero and inspiration in our eyes and will never be replaced.”
She said her stepfather had been due to go diving in Egypt next year and was looking forward to a trip to Australia to dive on the reef with his stepson Aron.
Karly told The Standard animal-lover Steve would regularly don his waders to help stricken animals in the nearby Mill Pond.
His family is asking for any donations to be made to the Swan Lifeline and Swan Sanctuary charities.
Karly added: “He was a member of Divecrew in Bracknell and used to always read all the diving magazines.”
He was also a huge fan of singer Pink and went to see the flamboyant singer at the O2 arena in London.
The family hopes to play some of his favourite songs at his funeral, which is held at Easthampstead Park Crematorium on Thursday, September 9, at 1.30pm. All are invited.
Karly added: “It’s hard to put into words how much we cared about him, he will never be replaced and leaves a huge hole in our lives.”
Steve leaves behind his partner Lita, his sons Daniel, Jason and Leigh, and his stepchildren Karly, Aron and Gary.
He also had seven grandchildren, the oldest is Karly’s daughter Danielle, 15, and the youngest is one-year-old Skyla, who is the daughter of his eldest son Daniel.
Collin Miles, owner of Divecrew scuba club, which is in Binfield Road, Priestwood, said: “Steve was a member here for six years. He was a very amiable, friendly guy, and a good diver.
“He ran a small business and so did we, so we always tried to help each other out.”
The Standard was contacted by Karly’s ex-partner Dean Jurcic, who wanted to pay tribute to Steve.
He said: “Steve was a genuinely amazing man. He helped so many people in so many different parts of society.
“He loved animals. He would stop to help a hedgehog in the road and spent a lot of time working on the lake. We will all miss him.”
To donate flowers or give to the swan protection charities contact Funeralcare in Rectory Row, Easthampstead, on (01344) 454 398.