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9101 Kern Canyon Road
Bakersfield, CA 93306
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Erik W. Coleman-Ponte


1968 - 2015 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Erik W. Coleman-Ponte Obituary
Erik W. Coleman-Ponte, age 46, passed away unexpectedly during the morning of Sunday, June 14, 2015, while at his shop in Bakersfield, CA.
He was born on August 15, 1968 in Bakersfield, CA to Imogene Coleman and Joe Ponte. Erik was raised by Bill and Deborah Seabourn from the age of 5, who regarded him more as a son than a brother. Erik attended South High School, where he graduated in 1986. During his high school years, he developed a passion for custom painting and mini-trucks. There is no doubt Erik's desire to customize cars and trucks was a direct result of being raised by Bill. The two spent many hours together racing odysseys and working on Erik's 1976 Chevy LUV. This was the first truck to be customized by Erik, which made countless heads turn. The modifications and paint on the Chevy were something to be revered during the time. Erik was also known for customizing his 1988 Mitsubishi mini-truck, which won numerous awards, and was featured multiple times in Mini-Truckin' magazine. It is safe to say Erik Coleman was the pioneer of mini-trucking in Kern County.
Erik's custom painting talent prompted him to open his own business, The Kolor Shoppe, in 1991. His paint design was ground breaking from the beginning, and his work was often imitated, but never duplicated. The trailblazing graphics and flawless finishes Erik produced led his work to be featured on numerous magazine covers and editorials. Most notable was Truckin' Magazine's "Top 10 Paint Jobs of All Time" edition. In this issue, Erik's multi-color, custom paint was featured on the most sought after cover in the history of the magazine. Not only did his paint make the coveted cover, but another truck painted by Erik was featured in the top 10 as well. The editor noted, "...the first complete split-side paint job is the obvious reason this truck was dubbed 'Side Show.' It took five months, and almost 400 hours, locked in the paint booth to produce one of our Top 10 baddest paint jobs of all time." To say Erik was creative is an understatement; his talent is something to be treasured, and he is a trend setter in the custom paint world.
In 2001, Erik's painting career was interrupted by an ATV accident at Pismo Dunes. This unfortunate event left his left arm paralyzed, which led to plaguing pain and discomfort. Despite this setback, Erik did not complain about his handicap, and he continued his passion for customizing cars through the collection of classic vehicles, particularly hearses. He thoroughly enjoyed driving these hearses around, while wearing Halloween masks, to see the many reactions it would bring. This mixed well with Erik's favorite holiday, Halloween.
In 2013, Erik founded Dustless Mobile Blasting, which is a company he established to provide a mobile alternative to sand blasting and soda blasting. The blasting method used by Erik was faster, cleaner, and greener than any other paint stripping equipment available. He was the forerunner in bringing this technology to the West Coast, which became sought after, much like his talent in custom painting. This business allowed Erik to keep a close connection to his passion for customization, and is a reflection of his ability to think outside normal standards, displaying the uniqueness of his creativity.
Despite Erik's many accomplishments in custom painting and entrepreneurship, he will most be remembered for his unique sense of humor. It was impossible to be in the same room with Erik and not be laughing at some sort of joke or prank; just being near him put a smile on your face. He had a way of bringing laughter into any situation despite the circumstances. Erik's humor stemmed from his older brother, Bobby Ponte, who he respected greatly.
Equally matched was Erik's heart. The magnitude of his compassion was clearly seen in his love for stray cats. The self-coined "Cat Savior" often put the needs of the cats he rescued before his own. Without question, this trait was inherited from Erik's sister, Deborah Seabourn. She raised Erik by putting his needs before her own, providing him a home, much in the same way Erik did for his rescued cats.
As we remember Erik and reflect upon his life, we mourn the loss of an irreplaceable soul. A soul that brought joy and fulfillment to many, and whose legacy will without a doubt live on forever.
Left to honor Erik and remember the days he shared with us are his loving wife Sandy Coleman-Ponte, who loved him more than words can express; sister Deborah Seabourn; brother-in-law Bill Seabourn; brother Bob Ponte; nephew Bobby Ponte, Jr., aka Bobby Blood; great niece Kelly Ponte; and cousins Will (Michelle) Simco, Hannah Simco, Teri Sanchez, Jason (Angie) Sanchez, Taylor and Styles Sanchez, Judi (Gary) Monson, Cooper and Bella Monson, Opal Seabourn, Leon and Cathy Seabourn, Lisa, Jay, and Brittany Wedel.
Erik was preceded in death by his beloved mother Imogene Coleman, his father Joe Ponte, Jr., his mentor Cleo Seabourn, and his cousin's Brandon Wedel and Andrew Sanchez.
The family wishes to extend its sincere appreciation and gratitude to Matt George, Jay Werner, K-Daddy, and Jimmy Ward.
A viewing will be held on Wednesday, June 24, 2015, from 4 P.M. to 8 P.M., at Hillcrest Memorial Park, which is located at 9101 Kern Canyon Road, in Bakersfield, CA 93306.
A chapel service will also be held at Hillcrest Memorial Park on Thursday, June 25, 2015, at 10 A.M., which will be officiated by Pastor Chuck Fisher. A graveside service will follow.
Published in Bakersfield Californian on June 23, 2015
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