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Wilbert F., 80, of Hackensack, NJ, passed away peacefully on October 25, after a long, gallant battle with cancer. He was born August 8, 1931 at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, NY. Wilbert graduated from Hackensack High School in 1950, attended Johnson C. Smith College in Charlotte, NC. He joined the National Guard and was a Sergeant First Class, receiving an honorable discharge in 1959.
The son of Christabel Coleman, Wilbert was reared by his Great Grandmother Ella Williams in Roanoke, Virginia while his mother went to school and became a registered nurse. His family moved to New Jersey where he met and in 1961 married the love of his life, Dorothy Jean Chapman.
In 1962 Wilbert Coleman became a Hackensack Police Officer. In 1967, he became a detective and was the first African-American narcotics detective in the city of Hackensack. Wilbert received an Associate Degree in Police Science at Rockland Community College in Suffern, NY.
In January 1972, Wilbert transferred to the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office where he remained for 22 years. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant of Detectives, supervising the Grand Jury and Fugitive units.
In 1977, Wilbert Coleman became an active member of the Improved Benevolent Of Elks of the World, Majestic Lodge #153 in Hackensack where he remained a life long member. As an Elk, Wilbert served as Chairman, Trustee Board, Lodge Financial Secretary & Treasurer. Regionally, Wilbert was a member of the Elks' Council 17, Past State President's Club, Council 12, NJ State Beauty and Talent Department and nationally, he was a member of the Grand Lodge Security, which provided security detail for dignitaries.
One of Wilbert's proudest accomplishments was serving as Executive Producer of his grandson's first feature film "Payin the Price."
His devoted wife Dorothy Jean Coleman, son Maurice Wilbert Coleman, and his daughter Chrisena Anne Coleman survive him. He is also survived by and was the proud grandfather of Jordan Coleman, Justin Coleman Hall, Khalil and Najir Barnes. He also leaves his stepmother, Daisy Miller, brother-in-law, Ernest Henry, best friend Eugene Marshall Sr., Godson Eugene Marshall Jr., Roosevelt Hall, Eric Adams, many nieces, nephews and a host of friends to mourn his loss.
He was a member of Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Hackensack and also attended Rhema Worship Center.
Viewing will be Thursday at Mt. Olive Baptist Church, 260 Central Avenue, Hackensack, NJ from 4-9 PM and funeral services will be Friday at 10 AM at the church. Internment: Hackensack Cemetery.
Flowers should be sent to Mt. Olive Baptist Church. Funeral arrangements entrusted to Brown & Brown Funeral Service, Inc., Rae Brown Lic #4020.
Published in The Record/Herald News on Oct. 26, 2011