Dorothy Coleman was born on January 31, 1927 in Bealton, Virginia, the Daughter of the late Gilbert and Georgianna Thomas. After the family moved to Jeffersonton, Virginia, she attended Culpepper County public schools and the Rising Zion Baptist Church. In 1937 the family moved to Washington, DC, where she continued her schooling and was baptized into the Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church.
While in DC, Dorothy worked for the US Department of the Treasury. During World War II, she worked for the Pentagon and the Department of the Navy. After the war, she moved to the Bronx, New York, where, in 1948, she married James Coleman Sr. The 60 years marriage was blessed with three children: The late Sharon Green, James Coleman Jr. and Kerry Coleman. Dorothy was a loving and devoted Wife and Mother.
In 1956, she and James bought their first home in St. Albans, Queens, New York. In 1961, after James’ job moved from Manhattan, New York, to Newark, New Jersey, they purchased a two-family house in Roselle, New Jersey.
She and James rented the upper apartment and were gracious and generous landlords. They hosted innumerable family gatherings at this address. Every Independence Day, relatives from New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and Maryland would flock to Roselle to enjoy the festivities and each other’s company.
Dorothy was a faithful member of Second Baptist Church where she served on the choir, the Pastor’s Aid Committee and was President of the Missionary Circle.
She attended the Ellie May School of Beauty in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and obtained her beautician’s license from the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling. An accomplished business woman, she co-founded a company called “Tween Togs” and her skills as a seamstress were often in demand.
Dorothy had many hobbies and interests including home decor, sewing, fishing, bowling, playing horseshoes and cards, and listening to rhythm and blues, jazz and gospel.
She possessed a bright sense of humor and a keen, curious and fearless intellect. Given the opportunity to learn to operate a personal computer, Dorothy took to it immediately. She became proficient at searching the Internet, composing documents and sending and receiving email.
After selling their house in Roselle, James and Dorothy briefly moved to Washington, DC, before returning to New Jersey to reside with their devoted Son and Daughter-in-Law, Kerry and Jocelyn Coleman. Her focus became caring for her Husband James as his health declined.
Dorothy departed this life on February 20, 2022. She was preceded in death by her Husband of 60 years James Coleman Sr. and her Daughter Sharon Green. She leaves to cherish her memory two Sons James Coleman Jr. of Charlotte, NC, and Kerry Coleman (Jocelyn) of Linden, NJ; four Granddaughters Tenisha, Tracey and Latrisha Coleman and Candace Thomas Jenkins (Shawn); five Great-granddaughters; two Great-grandsons; two Goddaughter Carolyn Lomax and Kimberly Beard (Bruce), a Godson Derrick Walker; a host of Nieces and Nephews including Pearline and Faith Humbles; Evelyn Coleman; Jacqueline Robinson; Audrey Bailey, Ronald Thomas (Audrey), Rozelle Miles, Anthony Thomas, Janice Bradford, Consuella Booth; Margaree and Gary Green; Barbara, Roslyn, Rochelle and Sheree Frazier, Patricia Nicholson (Jerry), Camellia Davis, Devida Long (Gary); Japheth Moore; Henry and Richard Haley (Bernice), Mary Ann Walcott, many Great Nieces and Nephews, her beloved church family including Edward and Vanessa Reefer, and innumerable friends.
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