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Aubrey Coleman Jr.

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Aubrey Coleman Jr. Obituary
COLEMAN, Jr., Aubrey AUBREY LEE COLEMAN, JR. Aubrey L. Coleman, Jr., 71, passed away peacefully at home on May 23, 2014, after a 27 month fight with pancreatic cancer. He was surrounded by his family, including his beloved wife of 50 years, Ann Guillory Coleman. He is survived by his wife; his four daughters -Leslie (Tim) Renjilian, Ali (Charles) Banks, Katherine (Will) Spencer, and Eliza Coleman; his sister, Dr. Rebecca (Phil) Coleman Curtis, of NYC; his five granddaughters -Sadie, Ginny and Bess Renjilian, and Mini and Augusta Banks; his three grandsons -Charlie Banks, William and Jack Spencer; and his two nephews -Zack and Nat Curtis. His family and friends were the focus and joy of his life. Though his law colleagues and clients are vocal about their admiration for the work ethic and integrity he brought to his professional activities, his career was not the center of his life. He often said, "I work to live, I do not live to work." His family and friends, to whom he was ever-available for honest, straight-shooting advice and steadfast support, will remember him as a man who always kept his word, lived life fully, and loved exceedingly well. He was known by all as a righteous man -reliably faithful, trustworthy and true. Equally enjoyed by all was Aubrey's rye sense of humor and love of dancing. "If you don't have fun at a party, it's your fault," he said and believed. Aubrey absolutely loved rock 'n roll music and dancing until the band left. His work colleagues, dating back to the start of his career in the 1970s, will confirm that Aubrey and Ann were the last ones on the dance floor at many a firm Christmas party. His greatest joy came from spending time and traveling with Ann, his four daughters (with whom he was very close), and their families. He particularly enjoyed coaching and cheering for his daughters in their various athletic endeavors, and carried that enthusiasm over to his grandchildren's pursuits as well. His love of children and his fundamentally tender nature were also evident in the caring way in which he and Ann hosted children from third world countries in their home as the children received medical treatment in the United States. Aubrey was born in Little Rock, AR, to Aubrey and Ivo Jones Coleman in the war years. His father was part of the Greatest Generation, having endured the Depression and fighting in WWII in France and Germany. While his father was in the Army, his mother worked at Camp Robinson, AR, and Aubrey consequently spent many hours with his maternal grandmother, Leslie Jones (after whom his eldest daughter is named), in England, AR. After the war, as his father received promotions with Swift & Co., the family lived in New Orleans, LA; Ft. Smith, AR; Mobile, AL; and Memphis, TN. To this day, many of Aubrey's closest friends are his classmates from East High in Memphis, where he never missed a class reunion. Aubrey and Ann were married in 1963 in a double wedding with Ann's older sister, Jane, and Jane's late husband, Dr. Jim Kilgo. Aubrey graduated from Tulane University in 1964 Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. degree. He was vice president of SAE fraternity, and stayed in regular contact with several of his fraternity brothers until his passing. After Tulane, Aubrey graduated from Vanderbilt Law School where he was Managing Editor of the Law Review and selected Order of the Coif. He attended college and law school on academic scholarships. He passed the Tennessee Bar exam in 1967 and returned to Memphis where he practiced with Burch, Porter and Johnson until he entered the Army in January 1968. During the Vietnam War, Aubrey was in the Transportation Corps stationed at Oakland Army Base, CA, whose mission was processing troops departing for and returning from Vietnam. He joined Smith Currie & Hancock in Atlanta, GA, in January 1970, became a Senior Partner and retired in December 2012. During his distinguished career as a construction attorney, he tried cases in Georgia and twelve other states. In 2004, Atlanta Magazine named him one of the top 100 lawyers in Georgia, and in an April 25, 2014, Wall Street Journal supplement, he was named Lawyer of the Year for construction law in Georgia. Aubrey was a life long Republican. Raised by Baptist parents, he married into a Methodist family, and worshipped as a Presbyterian for most of his adult life. A memorial service will be held at North Avenue Presbyterian Church on May 28 at 1 pm with Dr. Scott Weimer and Rev. Craig Goodrich officiating. A reception will follow at the church. A private burial will take place at Arlington Cemetery, Atlanta. In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorials be sent to Compassion International http://www.compassion.com/donate.htm.


Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on May 27, 2014
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