Frances Josephine Coker – 28 March 1949 to 20 March 2023
Died peacefully in the early afternoon on Monday 20 March.
Loving sister of Marion, Richard and Matthew, proud mother of Chris, Jono & Helen, adoring grandmother of Veevi, Gemma, Olivia, Purvan and William, and dedicated supporter of Jenny, Michael, Quinn and Jasper.
Frances was an avid amateur orchid grower for many years. She completed an Honours BSc degree at the University of New England and worked in meteorology with CSIRO for 10 years before turning to full-time orchid growing.
Frances and Julian established Atlantis Orchids in the 1990s as a leading Australian Orchid nursery specialising in Cymbidiums, Lycastes, Masdevallias, Australian Native Dendrobiums, Odontoglossums, Miltoniopsis and a range of miscellaneous genera. At its peak – Atlantis Orchids had around 40,000 Cymbidium mericlones and seedlings at various stages from 3” pots to 15” tubs. The nursery flowered about 5,000 seedlings each year and kept the very best for propagating on as pot plant and, Frances’ particular interest, cut flower stock. Atlantis Orchids was both a retailer & wholesaler – selling primarily through shopping centres, Frances and Julian worked extraordinarily long hours, and with Frances managing the family finances brilliantly, they built an extremely comfortable and rewarding life. Many famous orchids originated in their nursery including Cymbidium Second Renaissance ‘Jenny Wren’, Lycaste Macama ‘Atlantis’, Cymbidium Jungle Odyssey ‘Tiger Stripe’, Zygopetalum Blue Lake ‘Atlantis’, Cymbidium Sarah Jean ‘Helen’ and Cymbidium Winter Fire ‘Frosty Tips’.
Frances and Julian were also the driving force behind the establishment of The Orchid Societies Council of Victoria, and both were foundation Judges on OSCOV’s judging panel. Together they were members of many Victorian Orchid clubs, and were regulars on the speakers circuit.
Always devoted to her family and friends, often placing their interests above her own. A woman of profound intellect, quiet determination and confidence, unwavering patience and constant compassion. Frances also had a passion for music, art, gardening and her animals. We will be forever grateful for her selfless devotion and will honour her by celebrating her many achievements and her way of quietly enriching all of our lives.
Frances lost her adored husband Julian a little over a year ago but is now reunited with him again in peace and happiness.
Frances’ funeral and wake will be held at 10:30am on Thursday 30 March 2023 at Potters Receptions, 321 Jumping Creek Road, Warrandyte, Victoria.