Donald G. Coleman, 73, slipped quietly into forever on November 30, 2009, at the Veteran’s Boland Hall VA Center in Union Grove. The Coleman family extends their heartfelt gratitude to the entire VA staff, who made Don's last month bearable for him and them.
Donald, or Don to his friends, was born in Moline, IL, the 26th of October 1936 to the late Geneva and Glen Coleman. The oldest of their three children, Don resided in Racine, WI, for the majority of his life. He was united in marriage on March 7, 1959, to Barbara Ann Tesolowski, also of Racine. The couple has two grown daughters, Fawn and Kelly.
Donald, a Vietnam War era U.S. Army veteran, retired with 22 years of service. He enjoyed his days as a Drill Sergeant the most, on and off the parade field. (Just ask his wife and daughters.) He also served in Northern Japan where he operated special missions. After the service, Don joined SC Johnson Wax, where he retired with 31 years of service.
In his free time, Donald enjoyed traveling with his wife Barbara to Florida and Mexico. Although his favorite, three or four times a year, trip was definitely Las Vegas. (Viva Las Vegas, Baby!) The casino staffs began to think of him as family. His game was Blackjack and he was known by many as “King of the Blackjack.”
Don is dearly remembered by his wife of 50 years, Barbara, of Racine, WI; daughter Kelly Coleman-Kohorn and husband Phil Kohorn and grand daughter Jessica Coleman of Milwaukee, WI; and daughter Fawn Volz and husband Guy Volz and grand daughters Auburn and Emily Volz of Charlotte, NC. Emily follows her grandfather's duty to country by currently serving in the U.S. Air Force; Dennis Tesolowski, brother -in-law and his wife, Cheri, of Seneca, SC, and their children Anthony, U.S. Army, returned from his third tour in Iraq, and Alekzandr and his wife, Nicole, currently of Beaumont, TX; Don's late brother's wife, Barbara of Racine, WI, and their two children, Bob and Wendy. Don leaves a sole surviving sister, Patty Laveau, and her husband, Bob of Raliegh, NC.
Donald is preceded in death by his parents and his younger brother, Ronald. While Don is on record for being a 30-year survivor of ALS, (Lou Gehrig's Disease) his diagnosis of lung and brain cancer in the last two months sapped his fighting competitive spirit. Don was a man's man, who didn't believe in taking prisoners. Whether it was motorcycles, snowmobiles or cars, Don enjoyed making them beautiful and fast, just look at his two daughters, even when confined to a wheelchair his last several years, Don never slowed down, ever. God's speed, Don, We will always love you.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday, December 8, 2009, at 11 a.m. at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, 6400 Spring St., with Reverend William Dietzler officiating. Interment with full military honors will follow at Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery. Relatives and friends may meet Monday at the funeral home from 5-7 p.m. and on Tuesday at the church from 10 a.m. until time of Mass.
Donations to the ALS Association have been suggested. Donations can be sent to: The ALS Association Wisconsin Chapter 2505 North 124th Street Suite #105 Brookfield, WI 53005
MARESH-MEREDITH & ACKLAM FUNERAL HOME
803 Main St., Racine (262) 634-7888