Born on April 28, 1934, in Pineland, South Carolina, Anna Lee Coger Greer learned early on that hard work was an essential and fruitful part of daily life. As the third oldest of Mary and Martin Coger’s nine children, Anna helped Mary manage the family farm, doing two hours of chores before walking to school, then more chores and homework afterward. Anna recalled this part of her life as fact, nothing more. The example of a powerful woman who created things, grew food, and nurtured a large family guided Anna throughout the rest of her life.
Mary and Martin Coger instilled a deep respect for education and a drive to achieve in Anna and her siblings, Charles, Henry, Pernell, Evelyn, Richard, Mary, Osia, and Ronald. Like her siblings, Anna learned to transcend what others would see as limitations and that is the legacy she leaves to her own children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
After high school in South Carolina, Anna moved to New York City, eventually joining the United States Naval Women’s Reserve as a WAVE. The Navy was a fitting outlet for her discipline, strengthand determination. She met Morris Greer in the Navyand they married on July 21,1956.
Anna and Morris had three daughters: Chandra, Tammy, and Pamela. The family moved many times due to Morris’ military career, each time Anna making a new home for her girls.
Anna gave of herself to her girls beyond all measure. She kept an impeccable home and cared deeply about her family’s well-being. She shopped at a thrift store in an affluent neighborhood so her daughterscould wear beautiful clothes donated by others. And she sewed exquisite outfits for them herself, including pink and white Easter dresses, each different and highly detailed. She sewed her own clothes as well, most memorably her elegant red wool coat of master tailor quality.
“I want to expose you girls to as much as I can,” she said, piling them in the car for road trips to Disneyland, museums, zoos, beaches, wherever she thought something might interest them – like Tijuana, Mexico. Why not? Her daughters will never forget their terrifying ride on the freeways of Long Beach, California in an old stick shift sports car Morris had left behind during one of his deployments. Unfortunately, Anna had no idea how to drive a stick shift but this was a minor detail; there were things to see and do.
Passing on her miraculous, unwavering sense of self-worth, Anna taught her daughters to feed their souls with beauty. The museum visits helped with this. On Anna’s 60th birthday, she visited the Picasso museum in Paris with her daughter. After a thoughtful study of his work, her takeaway was simple and succinct: “I don’t think he liked women,” she said.
Anna, on the other hand, was a feminist who believed her daughters could reach the greatest of heights,and was completely supportive when they didn’t quite get there. She never gave up on anything or anyone. In addition to fast driving and fierce will, she modeled a sense of justice, respect for civility, strength of character, and intellectual curiosity for her girls. No current event escaped her investigation. She loved discussing politics, when her intelligence and sharp insight were most in evidence. One of her great thrills was seeing Michelle and Barack Obama in the White House for two terms.
Her roots as a farmers’ daughter gave her a love for vegetable gardening and home remedies. You listened and obeyed when she recommended flax seed oil for an ailment. She loved reading, creating things, dining at restaurants, cooking and baking, specializing in her sublime lemon pound cake. She filled her home with the music of Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Dinah Washington, Curtis Mayfield and Beyoncé. She wore out her Richie Havens records while her husband was stationed overseas in the Navy.
She loved to laugh. And what a laugh Anna had -- a loud, full-out expression of delight and joy. If you heard it, you never forgot it. We never will.
Anna is survived by her siblings Henry Coger, Pernell Coger, Evelyn Polite, Richard Coger, Mary Brewsterand Osia Coger; her daughters, Chandra Greer (Steve Moravec), Tammy Greer and Pamela Greer; her grandchildren, Maya Moravec, Eva Moravec, Cory McAfee (Kumani “Destiny”), LaRoy Johnson, Taishah Johnson, Journi Buford and Khari Overton; and her great-grandchildren, Da’Naia, Dezirae, Rori, Lauryn, Royal, LaRoy Jr. and Danity; and many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.
Her parents and her brothers Charles Coger and Ronald Coger preceded her in death.
Anna had a rare purity of spirit. She never lost her sense of optimism and belief that the best day was always right around the corner.
This is not our best day, Mama, but you wanted us to look forward, never back.
We love you and miss you, forever and always.
Anna’s family suggests sending memorial contributions to firstbook.org which provides books and other educational materials for underprivileged children.
Link to fundraising page is
Visitation ~ 6-8 p.m. Friday, June 28, 2019 in the Chapel (Campbell & Sons Funeral Home)
Visitation ~ Saturday, June 29, 2019 10:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m. at the Church
Funeral service will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 29, 2019 at
Bethel Baptist Church
2012 Gillison Branch Rd. ~ Pineland, SC 29934
Interment ~ Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery
Please sign our guestbook at www.campbellandsonsfuneralhome.com
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