Abraham Jordan 'A.J.' Coleman III
Abraham Jordan "A.J." Coleman III died Thursday, November 8, 2012. He was born to A. J. Coleman Jr. and Sarah Bailey Coleman in
Huntsville on January 22, 1928. The family also lived in Louisville, Kentucky and Jasper before moving to Decatur in 1936. He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Sara Coleman Pearce; his brother-in-law, John O. Braswell Jr.; and son, Taylor Jordan Coleman.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Shirley Braswell Coleman; son, Brian L. Coleman and wife, Nancy H. Coleman, and grandsons, Taylor and Alec; daughter, Melissa C. Enslen and husband, Alan F. Enslen, and granddaughter, Lindsey and grandson, Wilson; his sister, Anne C. Crane and husband, Gil Crane; and sister-in-law, Jean R. Braswell, as well as many nieces and nephews.
During his early school years in Decatur, A.J. participated in Boy Scouts and was awarded the Eagle Scout badge and was later a member and president of the Order of the Arrow. He graduated from Decatur High School where he participated in various activities including varsity sports. He was
co-captain of Decatur High School's football team his senior year, and also participated in the school band. Upon graduation from high school, he served in the U.S. Army
for 18 months, the major portion of which was in Seoul, Korea, where he was a member of the 282nd Army Band. After his
discharge, he attended Auburn University where he played with the Auburn Knights Orchestra. After graduating from Auburn he enrolled in the University of Alabama School of Law where he
was graduated in 1953 and began the practice of law in Decatur.
During his years of private practice, A.J. served as a bankruptcy referee for five years and acted as City Attorney for the City of Decatur for 25 years. He served on the Alabama Board of Bar Commissioners for nine years, and was a member of the American Bar Association, the Alabama and Morgan County Bars, President of the Morgan County Bar in 1959, and was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. He also served as a Trustee on the 11th U.S. Circuit Historical
Society for many years, being named Trustee Emeritus in 2010, and was a lifetime member of the Alabama Law Institute. During his course of 56 years as a lawyer, he practiced at various times with Albert Brewer, David Cauthen, David Bibb and Jon Sedlak. At his retirement, he was senior partner in the firm of Coleman & Sedlak.
A.J. was an active member of the Decatur Kiwanis Club from 1953 until his death, having served in several offices in that club, including president in the year 1961. He was also awarded the Kiwanis Lifetime Award in 2008. As co-founder, he served as coordinator of the H.L. Ogle Educational Scholarship Fund. Recently, A.J. was named as the first member of the Shorty's Boys Hall of Fame. Along with his wife, Shirley, and Dr. Tom Salter, he organized a group for grieving parents who had lost children, which later became Compassionate Friends.
He was confirmed in First Presbyterian Church at the age of 12 and remained an active member in that church until his death having served as a deacon, elder and Sunday school teacher. He served
the denomination as a leader of retreats and lay renewal events, and participated in a denominationwide
men's program, having served as president of the Men's Council in 1967. He was a commissioner in 1967 to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, a member of the Board of Directors of the Louisville Presbyterian Seminary from 1970 to 1974, and a member of the denomination's Permanent Judicial Commission from 1978 through 1984, serving
as chairman of that group for two of those years.
After laying down his horn for 30 years, A.J. joined a group which was to become the Sophisticated Swingers, playing for various public and private events. He also enjoyed playing with the Charlie
Lyle Combo in the Huntsville area.
A,J.'s life objective was to serve justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with his God.
Funeral services will be held today, November 11, 2012, at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Dr. V. Don Haas officiating. Pallbearers will be Hon. David Bibb, Jon R. Sedlak, Hank Pearce, John Pearce, Tillman Crane and Bailey Crane.
Honorary pallbearers will be John Braswell III, Keith Braswell, Tom Caddell, Joe Moss, Dr. Malcolm Prewitt, Charles Riley and Dick Still.
Visitation will be from 1 to 3 p.m. at the church. Burial will follow in Decatur City Cemetery, Berryhill Funeral Home directing. The family suggests memorials be made to Hospice of the Valley.