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José Mario Coleman Obituary
José Mario Coleman
Resident of San Francisco
José Mario Coleman, 89, of San Francisco, California, passed away April 23, 2013. José was born May 18, 1923 in Guadalajara, México, to Marina Alvarado and Joseph Michael Coleman. José was a graduate of San Diego High School. He later attended the University of California where he earned Masters degrees in history and linguistics; he was a member of Alpha Mu Gamma foreign language society, Sigma Delta Pi Spanish language honors fraternity and Delta Phi Epsilon professional foreign service fraternity. He served as a seaman in the U.S. Navy from 1940 to 1943 and as a cadet in Naval ROTC at Cal from 1943 to 1946.
José taught Spanish at Los Baños High School and at Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek. In 1961, José was a fellow in the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program; he taught in Lima, Perú at Primer Colegio Nacional de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe and at the University of San Marcos. Later, he taught at Foothill Community College and then, for nearly thirty years, at De Anza Community College in Cupertino, where he was a founding member of the Spanish Department.
José very much enjoyed travel, music, food, history and art; he also savored the simple pleasures like a good movie or watching the 49ers. All his life, José was an especially passionate student and promoter of Latin American culture and history. He was well known in the San Francisco bay area Latino community as an advocate of Chicano heritage, needs and recognition. José's efforts in the 1990s with Vivamos Mejor, an organization that provides education and community development for impoverished Mexican villages, earned him a library named in his honor, "Sala de José Coleman" in Las Trancas, Veracruz, México.
José is survived by his six children: Elisa Marina Alvarado, Mara Cristina Torres, Mario Sean Coleman, Nicola Martine Coleman-Toyama, Sara Alison Denn, and Amanda Pilar Coleman. Seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren also survive José.
Per his wish, José Mario Coleman's family will spread his ashes privately on the San Francisco Bay.

Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on July 30, 2013
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