Emma E. Coleman, 91, earned many championships as archer

March 08, 1998|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Emma E. Coleman, a longtime Dundalk resident who became a local archery champion after taking up the sport to be with her husband, died Tuesday of heart failure at a hospital in York, Pa. She had been living in nearby Fawn Township.

Mrs. Coleman, 91, was a resident of Dundalk for nearly 60 years. She was born in Glasgow, Mo.

Mrs. Coleman shot her first bow and arrow when she was in her 30s and continued to shoot and compete until she was in her 60s. She won numerous awards and championships.

"She had no choice but to shoot," said her daughter, Joan C. Smith of Fawn Grove, Pa. "She did it basically because she didn't want to become an archery widow. She enjoyed it once she got into it, but it's not something she would have picked up herself.

"If he had gone into golf, she would have gone into golf with him, and we'd be talking about golf now instead of archery."

The former Emma Skaggs and Floyd E. Coleman were married in 1924. They got hooked on archery in the mid-1930s after seeing an exhibition at the 5th Regiment Armory in Baltimore.

"After that, it was our life," Mrs. Smith said. "Every Sunday we went to a tournament of some kind."

Mrs. Coleman was a longtime member of the Orioles Archers, a Baltimore target shooting club that met regularly at Friends School, and of the Baltimore Bowmen, a field-shooting group that met in city and county wooded areas.

Tall, angular and possessing a keen eye, she practiced at least once a week in addition to the year-round tournaments. Mr. Coleman made all of her bows and arrows in their home; the crests of her arrows were painted blue, red and yellow.

Weekly, the Colemans packed the family up in a worn Volkswagen bus and drove to fields and target ranges throughout the state.

"She just loved the woods and the color of the woods in the fall and the green in the summer," said Judith Wilson of Severn, another daughter.

Mrs. Coleman's awards included the 1942, 1943, 1946 and 1948 Women's Maryland State Archery Championships, and the 1944 and 1950 Oriole Archers club championships.

She was a member of the four-woman team from the Orioles Archers that won a national championship in 1950 in Lancaster, Pa.

She and her husband taught archery at the Dundalk YMCA from 1946 to 1948. They had moved to Dundalk in 1936. She was a homemaker in addition to her archery activities.

Mr. Coleman died in 1975.

In her later years, Mrs. Coleman enjoyed hooking rugs, and had multicolored rugs throughout her home.

No services are planned.

Besides her daughters, Mrs. Coleman is survived by four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Pub Date: 3/08/98

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