James Robert Coleman (Jim) died peacefully at his home in Watertown, Mass., on Oct. 31, 2013, surrounded by family and friends.
Jim was born in Ottumwa, Iowa in 1933 to parents Hilda Blanch Thompson and James Harold Coleman. He served in the Army Medical Corps (1952-1955) during the Korean War as a neuropsychiatric specialist. He later attended the University of Iowa where he received an MA in English. Jim was a lifelong educator, teaching both English and Humanities in New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island. Later in life he obtained a MS in library sciences and completed his professional career in 1995 retiring from Suffolk University, Boston. Jim's passions were many: a tremendous zest for life, joy in travel and meeting new people, an admirer of women and a staunch advocate for their rights. He traveled frequently to St. Augustine to visit with his daughters, enjoying the beach and the sunshine. He was an author and at the time of his death he was working on a book about the life of Florence Nightingale, a woman for whom he had the utmost respect and admiration. Jim was an activist and used his many talents to help those less fortunate, working tirelessly during his retired years. With his wife (Judy) in 2009 he started THRIVE Gulu a not-for-profit organization that operates a center for community gathering and education in Gulu, Uganda to support the emotional healing and rehabilitation of trauma victims of the Ugandan civil war.
Jim is survived by his daughters and their spouses; Elizabeth Crawford (Donald Crawford), Allison Goldfarb (David Goldfarb), Leslie Coleman (Ben McFarlane) (St. Augustine) and Molly Muchmore (John Muchmore) (Lawrenceburg, Ind.) along with the mother of his daughters, Jo Ellen Coleman (St. Augustine); his wife, Judith Dushku, his stepchildren and their spouses, Aaron Dushku (Arlenin Perez Dushku), Ben Dushku, Nate Dushku (Amnon Lourie) and Eliza Dushku (Ulrich Fox); grandchildren, James Goldfarb (Jacksonville), Jennifer Heischman, Elizabeth Coleman (Jacksonville), James Heischman, Rachel Heischman, Kyle Gonzalez, Sofia Dushku and Jovan Dushku; great-grandchildren, Kayla McGlashan, Maxon Kyle Goldfarb and Clifton Waylon Heischman; his sister, Jacqueline (Coleman) Cooksey; niece, Teresa Simplot and nephews, Floyd David Chapin and William Brian Chapin along with many great nieces and nephews.
Jim is also survived by his extended Gulu, Uganda family who are missing their "Papa Jim."
Memorial services will be held at Story Chapel, Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Watertown, Mass., at 1 p.m. on Nov. 21, 2013. Reception to follow.
Published in St. Augustine Record on Nov. 10, 2013