My grandfather, Carroll Coleman, died this afternoon in hospice in Naples, FL. With is wife, Joan, and two of his children, Kathleen and James him, he passed peacefully after a short decline with pneumonia.
His 94 years were a life spent overcoming much to achieve the American dream. Growing up during the Great Depression in Arkansas, he served in the US Army as an x-ray technician and worked partly on farms until he eventually found work in travelling sales. He married his sweetheart, Ruth (my grandmother), and made a career in sales, purchasing, and management with regional department stores. After losing my grandmother in June of 2001, he later relocated to Southwest Florida where he met Joan, with whom he spent many happy years.
There will surely be a more complete and accurate list of facts of his life to come. But what that brief description fails to capture was the remarkable personality and intelligence of a man who was the definition of a family patriarch. A man who treasured his family and loved to experience life. His optimism and wisdom were an inspiration. To me, he was the epitome of style, class, and intelligence. I looked up to him and any time we were together I saw everyone else doing just the same.
He had a rich life and was relatively well for almost the total of his years. He left peacefully and with loved ones nearby. I choose to think he is reunited with Ruth and at rest.
I am truly grateful for this remarkable man and all that he did for his family.