Billy Coleman

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  • "The passing of Mr. Billy has saddened me greatly. He was a..."
    - William schumpert
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Service Information
Ramey Funeral Home
202 North Rudolph St.
Saluda, SC
29138
(864)-445-2366
Obituary

Billy Coleman LEXINGTON - Billy Cohen Coleman, 103, husband of the late Lula Snyder Coleman, passed away on Monday, March 4, 2019, at the Carroll Campbell Place in Lexington, South Carolina. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Friday, March 8, 2019, at St. Paul United Methodist Church, Saluda, SC, with Reverend Dr. Tom H. Norrell and Pastor Susan Maddox officiating, followed by a burial at Travis Park Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., on Thursday, March 7, 2019, at the Ramey Funeral Home, Saluda, SC. Billy was born on January 3, 1916, to the late Ben Tillman Coleman and Annie Etheredge Coleman."Mr. Billy," as many affectionately called him, was a lifelong resident of Saluda County, where he was born and raised, served as a lawyer for seventy years, andraised four daughters with Lula,who was the love of his life and his wife of 63 years. Billy grew up on a cattle farm where he began working at a young agebutchering cows and pigs, and riding with his daddy on a horse and buggy to sell meat in Saludastarting when he was eight years old. Because his daddy was blind, Billy would act as his "eyes," and he learned to describe the world in vivid detail. And the slow, quiet life of that time left him hungry for fellowship and eager to tell his stories to family and friends. With this upbringing, Billy developed three qualities that only grew more pronounced over the course of his long life: an ability to tell interesting stories in remarkable detail; a strong work ethic; and a love for the company of family and friends. Billy graduated from Saluda High School and worked his way through college and law school at the University of South Carolina, starting his law practice in Saluda at the age of 22.He was elected to the South Carolina Senate at the age of 25, but he resigned to serve in the U.S. Navy during World War II where he was in charge of twenty-seven landing boats during several invasions, including D-Day at Normandy. After the war, Billy returned to Saluda where he continued his law practice and endeared himself to the community through his extensivepro bono work, frequently making house calls to the ill, elderly, or incapacitated, and often helping young couples who were just starting out and then never sending them a bill. Having grown up very modestly himself, he felt a bond with the working poor, and he never was impressed by or interested in material possessions. He served the Saluda community in a variety of roles, including Saluda County attorney (1950-85), bookkeeper for the Saluda County Stockyard auctions (1945-1984); and Saluda County Veterans Affairs officer (1946-1980). He was also a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church (past trustee and steward), Saluda Lion's Club (past president), American Legion Post 65 (past commander), the Gamecock Club, and the Hearts Club (founding member), which had a standing Tuesday night heartsgame for more than sixty years. Billy will be missed by many, especially those in his family. In addition to his late wife, Lula, whom he loved dearly, he had a special bond with each of his four daughters, who visited him and (before she passed) their mama every weekend for more than twenty yearseach daughter visiting one weekend a month. Along with his abundant stories, his family will miss his kindness, his humor, his strength, and his frequent reminders that he loved each of them and wanted them to come back to visit as soon as they could.Billy is predeceased by his daughter, Nancy Ann Coleman Wooten of Orangeburg, who passed away in December of 2018,his brother, Thomas Cothran Coleman and his nephew, Thomas Ronald Coleman. He is survived by three daughters and four sons-in-law, Claire and Raymond Hesse of Aiken; Caren and Joseph Larate of McCormick; Julia and Marshall Johnson of Lexington; and Pat Wooten of Orangeburg; nine grandchildren, Benjamin Coleman Hesse (DeLoris) of Athens, Ga.; Paul Joseph Larate (Michelle) of Duluth, Ga.; Carrie Hesse Atkins (Lucas) of Simpsonville; William "Billy" Coleman Larate (Cassie) of Madison, Ga.; Nancy Johnson Brown (Ed) of Kailua, Hawaii; Caren Elizabeth "Eliza" Hesse Johnson (Dan) of Charlotte; Patrick Coleman Wooten (Tara) of Charleston; Lauren Julia Johnson of Charleston; and Julia Wooten Principe (Ryan) of Columbia; fifteen great-grandchildren; two nephews, Buddy Coleman and Ben Coleman and a sister-in-law, Dot Coleman. The family wishes to express sincere gratitude to all of Mr. Coleman's caregivers, especially Linda Pam. Memorials may be made to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of S.C., online or at 4151 Spruill Avenue, Suite 250, North Charleston, S.C. 29405 (please place "Coleman for the Cure" in the memo line); or to St. Paul United Methodist Church, 102 East Butler Avenue, Saluda, S.C. 29138. Online condolences may be expressed at www.rameyfuneralhome.com.
Published in The State on Mar. 6, 2019
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