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Obituary: John Lamar Coleman, 80, Dublin, Ga.

John Lamar Coleman, 80, of Dublin, Ga., died Friday, Aug. 5, 2022 while surrounded by his family.

He was the first of five children and a Class of 1960 graduate of Dublin High School. He was a former employee of JP Stevens and Warner Robins Air Force Base. He retired from the Veterans Administration Hospital in Dublin, Ga., as supervisor of maintenance. He always said the government had been good to a poor South Georgia boy.

JOHN LAMAR COLEMAN

Uncle Sam drafted him in 1964. After basic training at Fort Stewart, Ga., he received Military Police training at Fort Riley, Kan., and then served in Vietnam where he forged lifelong friendships in the Army Infantry’s Big Red One Division.

In 1966 he was honorably discharged from active duty and served in the Army Reserves for two years. After returning from Vietnam, he entered into marriage with Gloria Belle, fathering three children.

His hobbies included riding the unpaved back roads of Georgia, fishing on the Oconee River with pals, and endless driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway in search of old steam engine trains and hit-or-miss tractors—all under the moniker of “Wild Goose Enterprises.” During these adventures, he could be identified by his signature red suspenders and camouflage fedora.

But his favorite hobby by far was Amateur Radio radio. He received his Amateur Radio license in 1974 and remained active until the very end in several “nets” each day of the week under his call sign of WA4FRI. He seldom missed checking in on the Georgia Training Net, a slower-speed gathering of hams using Morse code.

He loved to attend hamfests and Field Days until his health began to decline. He was proud he could still send and copy Morse Code. John’s greatest accomplishment as a ham was establishing the Sunday night Peach State Intertie Christian VHF Net with his wife Gloria, KK4GSX. They hosted the net for 11 years, missing only eight net sessions in that time.

He was preceded in death by parents, Byron Coleman and Marie Estes Coleman; his grandparents, James Lamar and Omie Coleman, and Cornwell and Winnie Estes; and two brothers, Tennyson Coleman and Thomas Coleman.

Survivors who will continue and expand the legend include his wife of 56 years, Gloria Belle Coleman; two daughters, Wende C (Gene) Tolbert and Gena C (Travis) Spivey, both of Dublin, Ga.; one son, Christopher (Tamara) Coleman of Long Beach, Calif.; four grandchildren, Jessica T (Thomas) Tanner of Algona, Iowa, Nicole Tolbert and Samantha Spivey, both of Dublin, Ga, and Alexander Coleman of Long Beach, Calif.; one sister, Jean Coleman; one brother, William (Lane) Coleman; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, as well as ham radio and Army buddies.

The funeral is 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, in the Chapel of Townsend Brothers Funeral Home in Dublin, Ga., with the Rev. David Pohto and the Rev. Phil West officiating. Burial is in Dublin Memorial Gardens.

Visitation is 1-2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, at the funeral home.

Pallbearers are Jason Coleman, Allen Coleman, Ashley Miller Sr., Lamar Mercer, Larry Wimberly, and Jeff Hall. Honorary pallbearers are John Hamilton, Mack Bentley, Sam Rawlins and Ronald King.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Lamar Coleman, please visit our floral store.

The Townsend Brothers Funeral Home in Dublin, Ga., is in charge of arrangements.

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