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Samuel Harrison Coleman, Sr.

March 25, 1928 July 27, 2020
Samuel Harrison Coleman, Sr.
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Obituary for Samuel Harrison Coleman, Sr.

Samuel, affectionately known as “Coleman” or “Sam” passed away from Covid-19 related complications at 92 on Monday, July 27, 2020. He was born on March 25, 1928, to Beulah Loney Easter (Harrison) Coleman and Larken Coleman in the family home at 31 Holyoke Street in the Back Bay section of Boston, MA., the third of four children. In 1946, Sam graduated from Mechanic Arts H.S., now known as the John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Science where he ran cross country track and played football. A gifted athlete, Sam received an athletic scholarship to attend Bluefield State, a historically black college in West Virginia, but had different plans. He secretly enlisted in the Merchant Marines with the help of his older brother Larken, spent the next several years traveling the world and was eventually drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. After completing his basic training, Sam was appointed to the cadre that was responsible for training new recruits. He served two years in the U.S. Army then returned to the Merchant Marines where he developed and honed his skills as a boiler engineer. Upon completing his military service, Sam returned to New York where his avid love for jazz and dancing drew him to the sights and sounds of the city. He was known to have visited the Savoy, the Cotton Club and many other notable places. In 1952, Sam began his career with the City of New York City as a boiler engineer at Bellevue Hospital. After passing a city exam he was appointed to the position of power engineer with the Board of Education where he worked in various schools in Brooklyn and Manhattan for almost 43 years until his retirement in 1995. In 1961, the Coleman family resettled from the Bronx to Hollis, Queens, where all of Sam’s six children were raised. While still a young father, Sam began studying the art of Judo and would often return home after a long day of work where his children would beg him to practice his skills by flipping each of them, as they screamed with delight. Sam was active in the community and held the position of secretary with the Marian Park Association that served the needs of the neighborhood homeowners. In his down time, he could always be found sitting in the living room reading his beloved New York Times or watching sports on TV. Sam also enjoyed jogging and photography, and his photos have documented many family occasions and memories throughout the years. After retirement, Sam spent his time doing the things he enjoyed most in life: reading, listening to jazz, traveling, photography and spending time with family. In 2005 he moved to California to live near his younger brother John Hoover Coleman. The pair were often mistaken for twins and volunteered together at the American Cancer Society, traveling to speaking engagements with support groups around the Inland Empire area where they shared their experiences of overcoming prostate cancer. About this time, Sam joined a soul line dancing group that entertained residents at local street fairs and festivals in the area around Riverside, CA. His energy and enthusiasm were boundless. After a brief illness, Sam moved to Riverview, FL to be closer to family. He was preceded in death by his oldest brother Larken Andrew Coleman of Newark, NJ and older sister Amy Easter Watkins of San Antonio, TX, and is survived by his brother John Hoover Coleman of Redlands, CA, his former wife Helen R. Coleman of Riverview, FL with whom he reared six children, his daughters Debra L. Coleman, Valerie Coleman, Nancy Coleman Miller (Sid), Diane M. Coleman (Courtney Mattison) and Camille A. Coleman, his son Samuel H. Coleman Jr. (Nakia), his former wife Carolyn Coleman, his stepdaughters Caryn Selby and Robyn Anderson, fifteen grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and extended family. To honor Sam’s commitment to education and civil rights, the family has designated two organizations for memorial gifts. Donations in his memory can be made to UNCF or to the National Urban League. There will be a Zoom Virtual Celebration of Life Service on Thursday, August 6, 2020, at 6:30 P.M. EST. The Coleman Family is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Samuel Coleman Sr. Virtual Celebration of Life Service
Time: Aug 6, 2020 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
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Meeting ID: 837 3890 6078
Passcode: 759541
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Previous Events

Virtual Celebration of Life Service

Thursday

6

Aug

6:30 PM 8/6/2020 6:30:00 PM
ZOOM

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The Coleman Family is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. Topic: Samuel Coleman Sr. Virtual Celebration of Life Service Time: Aug 6, 2020 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83738906078?pwd=QlZKSVgzUUNicEtvdFJuL0YzbUlMZz09 Meeting ID: 837 3890 6078 Passcode: 759541 One tap mobile +13126266799,,83738906078#,,,,,,0#,,759541# US (Chicago) +16468769923,,83738906078#,,,,,,0#,,759541# US (New York) Dial by your location +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) +1 646 876 9923 US (New York) +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown) +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston) +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose) +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) Meeting ID: 837 3890 6078 Passcode: 759541 Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcO832yZnE

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United States

Memorial Contribution

National Urban League

Partnerships & Advancement
80 Pine Street, 9th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10005

UNCF

Attn: Denise Scott - Direct Response Programs
1805 7th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
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