Ethel G. Coleman, educator

She had taught at Cherry Hill Elementary

January 22, 2014|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Ethel G. Coleman, a retired city public school teacher, died Jan. 14 of heart failure at the Hillcrest Convalescence Center in Durham, N.C. The former Ashburton resident was 98.

The daughter of William Henry Gillis, a farmer, and Barbara Goins Gillis, a laundress, Ethel Gillis was born in Concord, N.C.

She was a graduate of Concord public schools and in 1956 earned a bachelor's degree from what is now Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, N.C.

Mrs. Coleman taught school in North Carolina before moving to Baltimore in 1959, when she and her husband settled into a home in the city's Ashburton neighborhood.

She taught at Cherry Hill Elementary School from 1961 until retiring in 1976.

In 1941, she married the Rev. Clinton R. Coleman Sr., who was pastor of the Pennsylvania Avenue African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

In 1972, he was consecrated a bishop in Mobile, Ala., where he presided over the West Tennessee, South Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia-South Georgia, Virginia, Michigan and Trinidad-Tobago conferences of the AME Zion Church.

Mrs. Coleman joined her husband in his church work and served as his missionary supervisor. He died in 1996.

After leaving Ashburton, Mrs. Coleman lived in the Arlington Park Condominiums in Northwest Baltimore before moving to Durham in 2007.

An excellent seamstress, Mrs. Coleman also enjoyed cooking.

"She liked collecting hats and was known for her elegant hats," said a son, Clinton R. Coleman Jr. of Baltimore, who is spokesman for Morgan State University.

Mrs. Coleman will lie in repose from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday at Pennsylvania Avenue AME Zion Church, 1128 Pennsylvania Ave., which will be followed by interment at Arbutus Memorial Park, 1101 Sulphur Springs Road.

In addition to her son, Mrs. Coleman is survived by another son, the Rev. Gordon Ray Coleman of Durham; two daughters, Frances Marie Walford of Baltimore and Barbara Ellen Smith of East Hartford, Conn.; eight grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.

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