December 17, 1925 ~ May 19, 2011

Born in: Fairfield, Alabama,
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Colonel William Downing Coleman (USAF Retired) died in Asheville, North Carolina May 19th, 2011. He was born to the late Jeptha Turner and Marie Agee Coleman in Fairfield, Alabama on December 17, 1925. He is survived by his beloved wife, Dr. Marguerite C.Toyne-Coleman of Asheville, NC and a brother, Dr. Jack (Florence) Coleman of Mobile, AL. Surviving in addition to his wife are his children Deborah Coleman Tatum of Summerville, SC, Denice Coleman (Mike) Fisher of Summerville, SC, and Dennis (Kendra) Coleman of Charleston, SC. His six grandchildren include Susan Tatum (Richard) Porter of Charleston, SC, Bryan (Erin) Tatum of Charleston, SC, Kristin Fisher (Chase) Webb of Birmingham, AL, Carrie Fisher of Summerville, SC, Madison and Mitchell Coleman of Charleston, SC, and one great grandson, Hunter Chase Webb of Birmingham, AL. He is also survived by two step-children, Dr. Susanne Toyne of Kingsport, TN and Ross (Irina) Toyne, JD of Miami, FL and four step grandchildren Karen and Kelly Livingston of Kingsport, TN and Nina and Kai Toyne of Miami, FL. He has three nieces, Valerie Coleman (Lionel) Williams of Daphne, AL, Phyllis Coleman (Jerre) Bryant, Theodore, AL, and Sharon Coleman (Harold) Williamson, Mobile, AL and one nephew, James (Peggy) Coleman, Houston, TX, one great niece and six great nephews. He is predeceased by his first wife, Rebecca Varn Coleman. Colonel Coleman attended Murphy High School and Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL and the Air War College. He served 27 years in the Air Force during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Among his many honors were the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Medal with seven Oak Leaf Cluster. Graveside services will be held in the Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC, September 30, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. The service will be officiated by the Reverend Timothy McKeown. Arrangements by Groce Funeral Home, 1401 Patton Ave., Asheville, NC 28806 (828) 252-3535. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent, at Colonel Coleman's request, to The Lemay Foundation which helps widows of all Air Force Retirees through financial grants of assistance. The address is 17050 Arnold Drive, Riverside, CA 92518. http://www.lemay-foundation.org/

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  1. Dear Coleman Family,
    The loss of a loved one is difficult to bear. As the days and weeks go by, may you draw closer to God in prayer and allow Him to sustain you.- Psalm 55:22

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