In Loving Memory of John Allen Coleman
June 16, 2014 • 2 p.m.
Newberg Friends Church
John Allen Coleman was born November 4, 1943, eighth of the ten children of Ernest and Alzina Coleman. He grew up on the family potato farm in Hay Springs, Nebraska. His early recollections are of taking the back seat out of the family car and filling it with big 50 pound bags of potatoes. He and his mother would drive through the countryside, stopping at each farmhouse where very young Johnny would go to the door and ask, “Would you like to buy some good dry land potatoes?” So began his career in sales.
John entered Friends Academy in Haviland, Kansas as a high school freshman and was there through junior college (6 years total). It was there that he became part of the popular and widely-traveled barbershop/gospel quartet called The Kingsmen, singing bass in his deep and clear voice.
The Kingsmen Quartet was offered full scholarship to attend George Fox College and represent GFC in deputation, so he continued his education there for the next two years. At GFC he met his wife, Donna Wilhite. They were married on June 19, 1965.
John graduated from Southern Oregon College in 1966 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. He spent the next six years as teacher, vice principal, and principal in various public schools.
In 1972 John entered the real estate field as salesman and broker, eventually owning his own company, John Coleman Realtors. After 38 years in the real estate field, John became an insurance adjuster in 2011.
Throughout his life, John was involved in music. Along with a lifetime association with The Kingsmen Quartet, John sang with other groups including the New Life Quartet and Friends In A-Chord. John was also a part of Coleman Family concerts with his wife and three daughters.
Other interests of John’s were building and remodeling houses, writing biographical books, documenting family history with pictures and videos, attending gospel music concerts, scoutmaster, and church activities. John loved to travel and has been in every state except Hawaii. He enjoyed two trips to Alaska and a trip to Costa Rica.
John was optimistic, friendly and outgoing. He had a gentle kindness about him, and was full of many happy stories and light-hearted jokes. He loved meeting old friends over coffee and making new friends. He was always connecting with people, even up to his last moment.
John Coleman died on May 25, 2014. He is survived by his wife Donna; daughters Janet (and Adam) LaMotte, Donelle Drohman, and Julie Coleman; grandchildren David, Jeff, Kate, John, and Anna Drohman; sisters Elsie Cate, Rose (and Emerson) Eckert, Annie (and Scott) Wadsworth, Ruth (and Herb) Stone; brothers Jim (and Dot) Coleman, Steven (and Faith) Coleman; sisters- in-law Marellen Coleman and Hazel Coleman; and countless other relatives and friends across the nation.