Raymond Lee Coleman, 84, Toledo, Iowa, left us on November 8, 2023, for a heavenly family reunion. They say things come in threes, and that has been true this year for our family with the passing of our mother, Betty, and brother, Allen, and now our Dad.
Ray was the 8th of 13 children of Delbert and Edna (Ehlers) Coleman. He was born on November 14, 1938, on the farm in Richland township, Tama County. Ray treasured his memories of growing up on the farm with his many siblings surrounded by love, good food, and hard work. The lessons from the farm stayed with him and his garden never stopped growing. He loved bestowing produce in abundance on his children and on the community through the South Tama County Food Pantry where he volunteered for many years.
Ray walked to Richland #1 country school with his siblings and graduated from Chelsea High School in 1956. Upon graduation, he served in the Army and was deployed in Korea. After returning to Iowa, Ray married his high school sweetheart, Betty Kaufman, on November 8, 1958. They enjoyed 64 amazing years together, raised 7 children, and toured the world including several trips serving Habitat for Humanity. Ray worked for the United States Postal Service as a mail carrier and postmaster before “retiring” during which he drove RVs across the country, drove a school bus for South Tama, and restored several houses. The son of a teacher who instilled the value of education in her children, Ray also enjoyed the many years he served on the South Tama County School Board.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Betty; son, Allen; siblings, Howard, Mabel, Evelyn, George, Bernita, Russell, Jim, and Bettie. He is survived by his siblings, Mary, Florence, Frances, Marilyn, and Gary; children, Ann Brau, Jean Coleman, Theresa Coleman-Kaiser, Steve Coleman, Janice Coleman, and Ellen Moran, many in-laws, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Please join us for a memorial visitation on Sunday, November 12, 2023, from 10 a.m. until 12 noon, at Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home, 4200 First Avenue NE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 52402. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial to the STC Food Pantry, stcfoodpantry.org, or the Seed Savers Exchange, seedsavers.org.