Funeral services for William Cowles “Bill” Coleman Jr. of Kemp, Texas, were held Friday at Mabank First United Methodist Church with Rev. Eston Williams officiating. Burial followed in the Donelton Cemetery east of Lone Oak, Texas. Services were under the direction of Eubanks Cedar Creek Funeral Home.
Mr. Coleman passed away surrounded by family on Oct. 23, 2018, after a long and heroic battle with cancer. Bill was born Feb. 24, 1927, in Vernon, Texas. His father, William Cowles “Doc” Coleman Sr., was a physician and farmer. His mother, Willie Elizabeth King Coleman was a Registered Nurse. After graduation from Vernon High School, Bill attended Texas Tech University before joining the Army in 1945, and was stationed in Japan.
After his discharge from the military, Bill returned to Texas and went into the farming and ranching business, then moved to Dallas to work for Chance-Vaught.
Bill bought a farm in South Dakota, which he operated from 1952 until 1956. He then returned to Texas and settled in Irving to work for Chance-Vaught and pursued a B.A. degree in Business Administration from North Texas State College (now University of North Texas). Upon completion of his degree, he became a real estate agent, then a broker, and partnered with another broker to form C&S Real Estate, which he operated for several years.
On Nov. 24, 1969, Bill married the love of his life, Sammy Earlene (Phillips) Strasner, and they have remained inseparable for almost 50 years.
In 1970, he became a right-of-way appraiser for the Texas Highway Department. They purchased a small home on Cedar Creek Lake in 1972 and eventually moved to the lake full time. Bill retired from the Texas Highway Department in 1990, but continued to work as a private appraiser until age 85.
During this time, Bill and Sammy were active in their community. They belonged to the Aley Methodist Church. They were members of the Gun Barrel City Volunteer Fire Department and active in the Avanti Theatre Society. They were charter members of Cedar Creek Country Club, and moved to their home there in the mid-90s. Bill was a long-time member of the Cedar Creek Water Board.
Bill was also a 32nd Degree Master Mason. He was a member of Highland Park Lodge No.1150 in Dallas and Cedar Creek Lake Lodge No.1431 in Gun Barrel City and was recently honored for 40 years of service.
Bill lived his life to the fullest and was loved by hundreds of friends and family throughout his life. He and Sammy loved to travel and visited over 25 countries. They took more than a dozen cruises and never tired of seeing new places and making new friends.
He was predeceased by his parents; his sister, Patty Kincheloe; brother, Dr. David Coleman; and grandson, Chris Radcliff.
Bill is survived by his loving wife, Sammy; brother, Dr. Rogers Coleman of Granbury, Texas; son, W. Kevin Coleman, P.G. and wife, Gaila Ries, P.G. of Cedar Hill, Texas; daughters, Dianne Handley and husband, Fletcher Dal of El Reno, Toni Radcliff and husband, David of El Reno and Melanie Kim Wade and husband, Dennis of Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico; seven grandchildren, Air Force Msgt Paul G. Coleman, currently serving at Fort Bragg, N.C.; Rebecca Tamez and husband, Mike of Corpus Christi, Texas; Ashton Handley and wife, Jennifer of El Reno; Kerrie Main and husband, Alejandro of Mabank; Timothy Radcliff and wife, Tracey of Edmond; Katie Brunson and husband, Hal of Ruidoso, N.M.; and Alex Handley of Oklahoma City; great-grandchildren, Nicholas, Maddox and Nixon Radcliff, Richard and Jeffrey Robbins, Samatha Kmetz, Maia Coleman, Mateo Main, Sophia Tamez and Pamela Moore; and three great-great-grandchildren, Peyton and Remington Moore and Memphis Robbins. Bill is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers and sisters-in-law and many dear friends.
He was a masterful and enthusiastic Joker player, and a favorite partner of one lucky family member at every holiday get-together.
Though not graceful, he loved to line dance to “Elvira” and managed to do so effortlessly at his 90th birthday party in 2016.
He was an inspiration to all who knew him and will be greatly missed.
The family suggests memorials to the American Cancer Society.