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Kenneth Frank Coleman

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Kenneth Frank Coleman Obituary
Kenneth Frank Coleman

Ken Coleman, age 63, passed away peacefully at his home on September 2, 2016 after an 18 month battle with colon cancer. An architect, artist, construction company owner, husband, father, son, brother, uncle, mentor, and friend, Ken leaves behind loved ones, a neighborhood and a city, all better off because of him.

Ken was born August 10, 1953 in Seattle, Washington, middle child to Julian Franklin Coleman (deceased) and Margaret Squillace Coleman. He attended Roosevelt High School (class of 1971) and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in architecture in 1978.

After graduation he moved to California where he began a career in construction, working on projects in Monterey, San Francisco and Irvine. It was while acting as contractor on a Fairmont Hotel in San Jose in 1986 that he met his beloved future wife Sharon, the project architect. Ken liked to brag that their relationship was the first use of "partnering" in construction.

Ken and Sharon were married in 1989 and made their way back to Seattle shortly thereafter, eventually settling in the Mt. Baker neighborhood. An entrepreneur at heart, Ken founded Compass Construction in 1998, specializing in urban, mixed-use projects throughout the city. He sold his company to his business partners at the end of 2014, and planned to spend his retirement focusing on his work as an artist and giving back to the community. But sadly, cancer cut short the fulfillment of those dreams.

Ken thoroughly enjoyed his work as a builder and loved to collaborate on design and detailing to achieve beautiful and comforting spaces. His passion was never more evident than in the design of his home, the neighboring town homes and his last project, the Atrium apartments, all in Seattle's Mt. Baker neighborhood.

Ken felt a strong connection to his community and served on numerous neighborhood boards. He was instrumental in the creation of Mt. Baker Viewpoint Park because he wanted everyone to experience the amazing view of the city that he and Sharon enjoyed from their home.

Ken played as hard as he worked. He made a killer Old Fashioned, claiming that the secret was in muddling brandied cherries and adding a few more to the cocktail before serving. Ken and Sharon traveled extensively and loved to hike, bike and occasionally swing dance together.

Ken will be missed by many friends, family and colleagues, especially his wife, Sharon, who agrees with her family members who once said that she was the luckiest person alive to have found Ken. In addition to his wife, Ken is survived by his daughter, Cathleen Coleman, his mother Margaret Coleman, sister, Chris Bimson, brother, Kevin Coleman and nine nieces and nephews.

Ken's family thanks the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance whose dedicated and compassionate caregivers provided treatment over the course of his illness.

Ken will be sorely missed but forever in our hearts.

A memorial celebration will be held on Monday October 3, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. at the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Lakewood Seward Park Neighborhood Assoc., 4916 S. Angeline St, Seattle, WA 98118, designating Mt. Baker Viewpoint Park as the beneficiary.
Published in The Seattle Times from Sept. 8 to Sept. 11, 2016
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