John Ralph Coleman, 67

Engineer and volunteer who enjoyed sailing

February 08, 2007

John Ralph Coleman, a retired engineer and volunteer, died Saturday of cancer at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The longtime Timonium resident was 67.

Mr. Coleman was born in Harrisburg, Pa., and raised in Elizabethtown, Pa. He was a 1962 graduate of Drexel University in Philadelphia, where he earned a bachelor's degree in metallurgical engineering. In 1975, he earned a master's degree in environmental engineering from the Johns Hopkins University.

Before retiring in 2002, Mr. Coleman worked as a program manager on the Standard Missile program at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel. Earlier, he had been a metallurgical engineer for 25 years at Armco Steel Corp. in Baltimore.

Mr. Coleman was a longtime member of Timonium United Methodist Church, where he sang with the choir and served on various committees.

He and his wife of 44 years, the former Sandra Lutz, participated with Volunteers in Mission, an outreach arm of the Methodist General Board of Global Ministries that works with the needy and assists in disaster relief.

Their work with the organization took them to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Appalachia and the Gulf region of the United States. They also assisted with mission schools in Kentucky and New Mexico and worked with American Indian tribes in Oklahoma.

Mr. Coleman was a member of the Scottish Rite, Knights Templar, Towson Shrine Club, Boumi Temple and the Scimeter Club.

He was a member of the U.S. Power Squadron and liked sailing aboard the Rocinante, his 35-foot sailboat. He also enjoyed skiing at Stowe, Vt., and traveling.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Feb. 24 at his church, 2300 Pot Spring Road in Timonium.

Also surviving are a son, David J. Coleman of Catonsville; a daughter, Elizabeth C. Parthemore of Lynchburg, Va.; his mother, Margaret L. Coleman of Lititz, Pa.; and a brother, Robert L. Coleman of Kansas City, Mo.

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