Edward Coleman, Jr. dies
(Editor's Note--Edward W. Coleman Jr., retired railroad conductor and past president of the Grand Avenue Board of Directors and the DeQuincy Railroad Museum Board, died Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016 after a lengthy illness.)
Visitation will be held Saturday, Dec. 3, from 10-11:45 a.m. with service to begin at 12 noon at Bible Baptist Church.
Celebrating the Life of Edward W. Coleman, Jr.
EW’s Family: The beginning of this journey started on Aug. 22, 1946 in San Antonio, Texas. Edward (E.W). was born to Edward W. Coleman, Sr. and Dora Spears Coleman. On Dec. 17, 1966, he married the love of his life, Patricia Ann Ward Coleman. This year, on Dec. 17, Edward and Patricia would have celebrated 50 years of marital bliss.
Edward and Patricia Coleman created three girls: On Mar. 27, 1968 his first baby girl arrived, Tandra Renee Coleman (Short Fat Fanny); On Apr. 14, 1970, his second born arrived, Andrea DeShawn Coleman (DreTeam) and last but not least on July 28, 1977, Talisa Evette Coleman (Poodly) was born.
On Apr. 22, 2003, his first grandson was born Andrew Cole Davison. Six years later his last grandson was born Jaxson Cole Vessell.
He was the loving brother to Kathryn Ashby, Alice Faye Danclar and Seymour Pullam, Jr.
EW’s School Years: Edward started Elementary School at Grant Elementary and then later went to Dunbar Middle School and graduated from Brackenridge High School where he played football for the Brackenridge Eagles - a team that won the State Championship in December 1962. He later received a football scholarship to Trinity University being one of the first African-Americans to attend this University. He was also offered a scholarship to the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, but refused to attend due to segregation.
EW’s Church and Community Service Years: He was a very proud member of the Greater Mt. Zion Baptist Church in 1968 and was ordained as a Deacon in his church in 1988 where he later became chairman of the deacon board. He was very active with the youth of Mt. Zion as the well-being of children has always been dear to his heart. He was also integral in planning many of the Mt. Zion trips throughout the U. S. In 2014, he and his wife joined Evergreen Baptist Church and served on the Deacon Board.
From a community service perspective, E.W. also served as the President of the Grand Avenue Board of Directors as well as the President of the Railroad Museum Board for several years. He also worked along with Colonel Harry Hooker as a volunteer/mentor at Phelps Correctional Institute.
EW’s Work Years: In 1968, he was hired on the Southern Missouri Pacific Railroad in San Antonio, Texas as a Brakeman and later moved to DeQuincy. In 1969, he joined the Brotherhood of Colored Trainman (only for brakemen). In 1971, he was promoted to a Conductor and joined the United Transportation Union.
In 1973, Union-Pacific Railroad started a safety program on all service units. He was appointed by Superintendent Pat Crabtree to the manager of the entire safety program of the Louisiana Subdivision from Livonia to Houston to New Orleans. In 1979, he was transferred to Engine Service and joined the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. E.W. earned the highest test scores in that class.
While employed by Union Pacific Railroad, he established and coordinated the “Operation Red Block” and “Peer Support” programs, both aimed at supporting railroad employee and safety. He was also actively involved in “Operation Lifesaver” and became a national coordinator for the organization. During this time of service, he had the opportunity to teach school bus drivers, students, and safety organizations throughout the nation. When the Operation Lifesaver Passenger Train came on the Service Unit he was responsible for coordinating the schools and the train stops. He traveled to many states and was interviewed on CNN about train and automobile safety. Peer Support allowed him to help many employees that had been in critical train-related incidents across the system. Because of his excellent performance on these programs, E. W. was asked to lead a program that kept highway railroad grade crossings cleared from obstacles on the Louisiana Service Unit.
He twice received the award for being the safest employee on the Louisiana Service Unit. Additionally, he placed second for the Union Pacific National “John C. Kenefick Safety Award”. He was also selected in 1984 to work as a fireman on the World's Fair Passenger Train that hosted national officials during the 1984 World's Fair in New Orleans.
Edward will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by his family: Wife - Patricia Ann Ward Coleman; DeQuincy; Daughters - 1st Born - Tandra Renee Davison; Jackson/Ridgeland, Miss.; 2nd Born - Andrea DeShawn Coleman, DeQuincy; 3rd Born - Talisa Evette Coleman, Baton Rouge; Grandchildren: 1st Born - Andrew Cole Davison, Baton Rouge; 2nd Born - Jaxson Cole Vessell, Baton Rouge; Sisters - Kathryn Ashby, DeQuincy; Alice Faye Danclar, DeQuincy; Seymour Pullam, Jr., DeQuincy; and a host of loving nieces, nephews, uncles, cousins, and friends.