Loretta Rose Briggs Coleman, 87, of LeRaysville passed away Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, at the Robert Packer Hospital, Sayre.
Loretta was born March 17, 1925, in Wellsboro, Pa., a daughter of Harry and Mertelle Stevens Briggs. Loretta's father passed away when she was 10, and a few years later the family moved to LeRaysville, her mother's hometown. Her mother then married Harold Brister of LeRaysville.
Loretta graduated from LeRaysville High School in 1943, finishing a half-year early to start college in a war-time program to bring teachers into the work force quickly. She graduated from Mansfield State Teachers' College in 1947, again missing her own graduation because she was already holding a teaching position.
On Aug. 27, 1952, she married Frederick Arno Coleman of LeRaysville in State College, Pa. They had a 57-year marriage.
From the mid-1940s to the late 1950s, Loretta taught math and science in the Greens Landing, LeRaysville, Hartwick, N.Y., Montrose and Northeast Bradford high schools. She left her teaching career, however, to selflessly help her family. For approximately 50 years, she cared for family members, including her father-in-law and mother-in-law, James and Mary Coleman; her disabled son, Jimmy, for more than 45 years; her own mother; and her husband and daughter; as well as other relatives, all while tending her home.
A kind and compassionate person, often described simply as "sweet," she was always concerned about others, frequently sending greeting cards and praying for those facing problems. She never wanted people to inconvenience themselves for her. A woman of Christian faith, she showed great patience and tremendous internal strength and had a practical, realistic side. She also had a great sense of humor and an inquisitive mind. She endured and survived several health problems in recent years remarkably well.
Loretta attended the Neath Welsh Congregational Church and was a member of LeRaysville Chapter 498, Order of the Eastern Star. She enjoyed flowers, shopping, eating out and reading. In recent years, she divided her time between her own home and that of her daughter.
Loretta is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Nancy and Ken Sharer of Laceyville (Stevens Township); sisters and brother-in-law, Harriett and Cart Roof of Standing Stone and Betty Mallow of the Personal Care Home of Memorial Hospital, Towanda; her stepsister and her husband, Florence (Brister) and Steve Webb of Advance, N.C.; nieces and nephews, Gene Beers, Cynthia Aeppli, Dan Webb, Diane Webb and Darlene Cary and their families; her son-in-law's relatives, the Sharers, Campbells, Newtons and their families, whom she also loved; and many friends.
She was predeceased by her husband, Frederick Arno, in 2010; son, Jimmy, in 2010; an infant daughter, Mary, in 1960; a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, William and Thelma Coleman, in 2003; a brother-in-law, Golden Mallow in 1995; and her parents.
Family and friends are invited to attend a period of visitation and time of sharing memories from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 10, at the Neath Welsh Congregational Church. A memorial service and celebration of Loretta's life will follow at 3 p.m. with Pastor Paul Blasko officiating.
A private graveside service will be held at the convenience of the family in the Rushville Cemetery with Pastor Tom Burlington officiating.
Memories, condolences and pictures may be shared by visiting our website at www.sutfinfuneralchapel.com
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to any of several local organizations: the Northeast Bradford Education Foundation, in care of Martha Young, 747 East St., LeRaysville, PA 18829; the Northeast Bradford Student Loan Fund, c/o Bob Moore, 1071 Main St., PO Box 99, LeRaysville, PA 18829; Neath Welsh Congregational Church, 9043 Rt. 467, LeRaysville, PA 18829; HOPS Ambulance, c/o James Seipler, 606 Ridge Road, Rome, PA 18837; or LeRaysville-Pike Volunteer Fire Department, c/o John Keegan, Sawmill Road, LeRaysville, PA 18829, in Loretta Coleman's memory.