Deacon Wilbert Coleman
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82, of Canton, Ohio, was called from labor to reward early Tuesday morning on March 27, 2012. He was born Jan. 2, 1930 in Power, W.Va., to James and Addie Coleman. The family later moved to Jacobsburg, Ohio, where he trained as a weightlifter and played football as fullback at St. Clairsville High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in early 1951 during the Korean Conflict. He trained as a boxer during these years, while he served with Company B of the 86th Recon Battalion, until he was honorably discharged in late 1952, having completed 10 months of service on foreign soil. He moved to Canton in 1952, the first of his brothers and sisters, and found a boarding room in the home of the late Mrs. Bessie Weber. He then found employment with the Timken Company shortly after, and he remained there until retirement in 1986. During this time he also served on the Board of the Madison Area Candlelight District. Deacon Coleman was united in holy matrimony on Oct. 21, 1977 to the late Janet Lucas, who preceded his departure in May, 1978. Deacon Coleman's great love was for Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Canton, Ohio. His philanthropy funded many major capital improvements in and around the church. He was well known city-wide for his decades of selfless service to Mt. Olive, where he worked tirelessly in many roles, such as Sunday School Superintendent, and he served on the Deacon Board well over 50 years, receiving his ordination in the early 50's. He served with his hands, as well, as Church Maintenance. He was also President of the Stark County Deacon's Prayer Band. Deacon Coleman was beloved by many and well known as one of the area's most powerful prayer warriors. Many thought him to be among the greatest soul-stirring, eloquent, and captivating speakers ever heard. He traveled nationwide to attend National Baptist Conventions and Ohio Eastern and Western Pennsylvania State Baptist Conventions, companioned by lifelong friends, Deacon and Mrs. Brewton. He also received accolades and awards as Speaker of the Evening of the Toastmasters' Club.
Deacon Coleman was preceded in death by his parents; late wife; brothers, Leon, Reginald (Rich), Collander (Joe), Nathaniel, and Woodrow; and sisters, Minnie, Ophelia, Lois and Cynthia. He leaves to cherish his precious memory, sister, Frances of Cleveland, Ohio; and scores of nieces and nephews, who reside in the counties of Cuyahoga and Stark, Ohio; Prince William, Va.; Bexar, Texas; and Erie, N.Y. He is also survived by close friend, Katherine Penn, other relatives, and friends. He will be sorely missed by all who love him.
A Home Going Celebration will be held at Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, 1403 13th St., S.E., Canton, OH 44707 at 12 noon on Saturday, April 7, 2012. Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. until time of service. Friends, visitors, and condolences will be received at the church.
Rhoden Memorial Home
Rhoden Memorial Home, Inc.
729 Cherry Avenue NE
Canton, OH 44702
Published in The Repository from Mar. 28 to Apr. 4, 2012