James J. Coman
1942 - 2018
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James J. Coman

September 9, 1942 - August 30, 2018

Raleigh

James Joseph Coman, retired North Carolina Senior Deputy Attorney General, 75, died Thursday, August 30, 2018 in Raleigh, NC after a period of declining health. Jim was born on September 9, 1942 in Rahway, NJ to the late Lawrence Edward and Catherine Monahan Coman. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Trisha L. Coman; his daughters Kara Granger Hoy and her husband Jeremy; Kimberly Coman Hunter and her husband Chad, all of Raleigh; granddaughters Morgann Marie Granger and Meredith Naomi Hoy also of Raleigh. In addition, he is survived by two brothers, Edward M. Coman and his wife Leslie of Raleigh and Francis X. Coman and his wife Terry of Charlotte and numerous nephews and nieces. Jim received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Government from St. Anselm's College, Manchester, New Hampshire in 1964. From St. Anselm's, he subsequently received an outstanding alumnus award in 2007. After a tour of duty in the United States Army during the Vietnam War, Jim attended law school at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C. where he received his Juris Doctorate degree in 1971. Jim was so proud that his two brothers, Ed and Frank, followed in his footsteps and also graduated from Wake Forest School of Law. Upon graduation from law school Jim moved to Greensboro, N.C. and worked for Jefferson Pilot followed by a move to Statesville, N.C. where he served as the Police Attorney for the Statesville Police Department. Shortly thereafter, Jim moved back to Greensboro and was the first appointee from the City of Greensboro to serve as their Police Attorney. After six years as the Greensboro Police Attorney, Jim joined the District Attorney's Office for the 18th Prosecutorial District in Guilford County. He served there until 1985 when then Attorney General, Lacy Thornburg, brought him to Raleigh and made him the head of the Special Prosecutions Office. Shortly thereafter he was promoted to Senior Deputy Attorney General over the Criminal Division and served in that capacity for 8 years. In 1993 Jim became the Director of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation where he served until 1999 and returned to the Department of Justice as the Senior Deputy Attorney General over the Criminal Division. During that time Jim was involved in many high profile cases across the state, and most recently known for his role in the infamous "Duke Lacrosse Case" which, with his insistence, found the young men innocent of the charges against them. During his long and distinguished career, Jim received many awards. He was honored by three different governors with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine; Governor Martin and Governor Hunt for his work on behalf of victims of crime and from Governor McCrory for his service of over 30 years to the State of North Carolina and by the North Carolina State Bar Association with the Peter Gilchrist, III award for a prosecutor who exemplifies the highest ideals of the profession. Upon retirement from the Attorney General's Office as Senior Deputy Attorney General in 2014, Jim spent a large portion of his retirement sharing with former colleagues and friends many lively, and sometimes colorful, stories from his years pursuing justice in the courts of North Carolina. When not doing battle with a recalcitrant lawn or his devoted Labrador Retriever, Webster, Jim could be found cheering on his beloved Demon Deacons. Jim also found time to devote himself to various projects at North Raleigh Presbyterian Church, where among things; he proudly served on the pastor nominating committee. A service of witness to resurrection will be officiated by Rev. Lisa Hebacker and held at White Memorial Presbyterian Church on Thursday September 6, 2018 at 2:00 PM. Visitation with the family will follow the service. Memorials may be made in Jim's memory to: North Raleigh Presbyterian Church 11905 Strickland Road Raleigh, NC 27613. Brown-Wynne Funeral Home on Millbrook Rd. is proudly serving the Coman family. Online condolences may be made at www.Brownwynneeastmill brook.com


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Published in The News and Observer on Sep. 2, 2018.
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MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
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5 entries
September 5, 2018
What has perhaps not yet been said is that Jim Coman was a strong supporter of victims of crime. He advocated for necessary changes and stronger rights. Where victims were once unheard, powerless, judged, uninformed and misunderstood, Jim really listened to them to fully grasp what they had experienced. When Jim Coman was prosecuting a felony case, regardless of the outcome victims started to feel represented and understood. He was an early supporter of the formation of the N.C. Victim Assistance Network During a felony trial when the day came for closing arguments, the halls of the Guilford County Courthouse were unusually quiet. Anyone who could spare the time would end up in his courtroom. He would lay out the facts of the case with such detail , eloquence and passion that you could see the story unfold before you. It was magic. He was engaging and dramatic while managing to avoid the colorful language that was second nature to him. He shined under pressure. He was highly prepared and full of talent and personality Victims felt heard and represented by the best And he truly cared. The world is a better place because of Jim Coman. It was a privilege to be his friend. Cathy DowdaCathydowda@yahoo.com
Cathy Dowda
September 4, 2018
I had the privilege of working with Jim in the Greensboro City attorney's office. Jim, while maintaining the highest integrity, was the delight of every meeting with his humor each Monday morning. Later, I was involved with Jim in a matter that required courage and honor and of course, he easily took on the challenge. As you already know, your father and husband was one of the most honorable men in North Carolina. His passing is a lost to our State not to mention the great loss to your family.

I smile to think of him joking with God and telling him what is the right thing to do. I was so lucky to have known
him.
Linda Miles
September 4, 2018
Kimberly, I am so very sorry for your loss. I know that you adored your dad. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the rest of your family during this very difficult time.
Sandy Carrington
September 3, 2018
Dianna Wood
September 3, 2018
Dianna Wood
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