Mr. Erwin Milton Coleman, 97 of Florence, died Monday evening at his home.
Visitation will be Friday, January 19, 2018, 12 PM to 1:30 PM at Elkins Funeral Home. A graveside service will be at 2 PM at Sheffield Oakwood Cemetery. Following the graveside service the family will receive friends at Temple B’Nai Israel, 201 East Hawthorne Street, Florence, Alabama 35630.
Erwin was born in Brooklyn, NY May 30; 1920; the son of Meyer and Rebecca Sebulsky.
He attended the University of Mississippi on a band scholarship, majoring in Chemical Engineering. Upon graduation in 1941 he received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S Infantry. That same year he reported to the Signal Corps School at Fort Monmouth, N.J. In Mid 1944; he was ordered overseas and assigned to signal construction work in Normandy, France, where he took part in the final campaigns in that area of the European Theater of Operations.
During his service in the armed forces he earned his Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Southern California.
While living in Memphis, he met June, his wife of 58 years. They both had family in Florence and would carpool together. They settled in Florence and raised their family here. He maintained active reserve status from 1946 to his retirement as LT Col US Army 1980.
The years in Florence were filled with friends, family and work as the owner of The Brother and Sister Shop, a children’s clothing specialty shop in downtown Florence and Huntsville and “The Place” in South Gate Mall for over 20 years. He served as the president of downtown Florence unlimited in its early years. Former President, board member, course leader, and curriculum chairman of institute for learning in retirement at UNA. He worked for Northwest Community Collage for 8 years running federal programs until he retired
He kept busy volunteering with the Red Cross and the Food Stamp Office and was an active member of Temple B’Nai Israel.
Travel was his favorite past time and visited many destinations over the years.
He is survived by his children, Joel Coleman and wife, Salli, of Louisville, Ky., Michele Coleman Olive, of Atlanta, and Stephanie Coleman (John Goode), of Florence; grandchildren, Evan, Matthew, and Eliza Coleman; nieces, Nancy Nelson, of Dallas, Texas, and Kathy Weinberg and husband, Rob, of Ithaca, N.Y.
Mr. Coleman expressly requested that his daughter, Stephanie be recognized for her faithful and constant service to her mother and him as their caregiver. “She has devoted years to our care which enabled us to live comfortably in our home. She has been my loving support since June’s death”
Honorary pallbearers will be Marty Abroms, Bill Abroms, Dick Peshkin, Robert Adler, Howard Zeff, Ken Wolf, George Petty, John Sworm, Ron Helgemo, Stanley Goldstein, and Adolf Abroms.
In lieu of flowers, please consider memorials to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, Grand Central Station, P.O. Box 4777, NY, NY 10163-4777 or Michael J. Fox.org. Michele, Temple B’Nai Israel 201 East Hawthorne Street Florence Alabama 35630, or The Florence Lauderdale Public Library.