Former Tennessean Donald Francis Coleman, 85, died early in the morning on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, at home in Bryan, Texas, after a six-year battle with cancer. His elder son, the Rev. Wade Francis Coleman, was at his bedside. Younger son Lance Christopher Coleman arrived later.
While the ailment robbed him of many of his physical abilities, his spirit, mind, wit and sense of humor remained strong, as did his faith in his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Donald Coleman was born on Tuesday, March 31, 1936, in New York City to Edith and Francis Coleman. He graduated from Bayside High School and immediately went to work for Combustion Engineering in New York City. Early in his time with the company, he was transferred to Chattanooga where, on a blind date, he met the woman who would become his wife and the love of his life, Anna Mae Reed, a secretary with the then-Provident Insurance Company. The couple married in September 1958 and moved to Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee.
In 1967, they adopted their son Wade Coleman, and in 1969, they adopted their son Lance Coleman (director of Blount County Emergency Management Agency and former reporter/editor of Blount Today and former reporter for the Knoxville News Sentinel). In 1987, Mr. Coleman retired from Combustion and took a job with the Tennessee Valley Authority. After retirement from TVA in the 1990s, he worked with Filter Specialists in Soddy-Daisy, retiring again in the early 2000s to enjoy time at home with his family and indulge in his passion for trains and railroad history.
Donald was known and respected by many following his years with Combustion, TVA and Filter Specialists. Donald loved the Lord and shared that love with others by the respectful way he conducted himself. Donald personified the saying, “Love is respect in work clothes.” Donald loved people, regardless of their color, creed or station in life.
Donald was preceded in death by his wife, Anna Mae Coleman; father, Francis Coleman; mother, Edith Firth Coleman Swann. He is survived by his sons, Wade Francis Coleman (Marian) and Lance Christopher Coleman; sister, Joyce Ford (Duane); granddaughter, Charis Elizabeth Coleman; grandsons Joshua Wade Coleman (Sarah), Christopher Coleman, Micah Coleman and Noah Coleman; nephew, Jon Cardi; and nieces Sonya Cardi Young and Serena Corby; and cousins Sylvia Zappia and William T. Firth.
A celebration of life service was held Monday, July 12, 2021, at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Bryan. To view the service on YouTube, click here or visit Westminster Presbyterian Church’s website.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church or the Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, Texas.
Funeral arrangement under the care of Callaway-Jones Funeral Home & Crematory.