Virginia May Coleman, 82, passed away peacefully in her home in Monroe on April 5, 2013.
Ginger, as she was known to her friends, was born on December 18, 1930 in Salem, Oregon to Orville and Vida Bowers. With a personality as bold as her fiery red hair, Ginger followed her passion for art to the University of Oregon and Central Washington University.
Her early jobs included picking hops and teaching dance. Ginger eventually began working as the office manager at a machine shop, where she met her future husband Robert W. Coleman. The couple was married in Seattle on November 16, 1957 and lived in Seattle before moving to Lynnwood. They eventually settled in unincorporated southeast Snohomish County. They lived in the same house for 47 years as the city of Mill Creek and the surrounding area grew up around them. The couple started Coleman Machine Works at their home, eventually moving it to Mukilteo.
After her husband’s death in 2005, Ginger moved to the Monroe area, where she could again enjoy the rural country setting.
Ginger made an impression on just about everyone she met. She was the mom who brought the sheep to the kindergarten class and the goat to the soccer games. She was the voice from the stands that rang above all the others (always with a positive tone). She was the 4-H Art Sharks club leader. She drove the pickup through the field during haying season. Ginger was the smile to the child in the shopping cart that usually garnered a smile back. She sang in the kitchen and whistled in the garden and painted winter scenes on the huge front windows during the Christmas season. She was a wife, a mother and a friend.
Most of all, however, Ginger was an artist. It didn’t matter what kind of art, she tried them all. Two years in a row, she won Best in Show at the Silver Lake ceramic show. She had her own kiln and an art room at home. In fact, she eventually had three or four art rooms after her children moved out of the home. Ceramics consumed much of her early artistic time. Several family members proudly display each holiday season the nativity scenes she made for them. She also enjoyed scratch art, the Japanese embroidery called Bunka shishu, and pine needle basket weaving. Ginger also dabbled in wood carving for several years and at one point was president of the Quilceda Carvers woodcarving club. Over the past several years, her artist endeavors pushed her to watercolor painting. The highlight of her week was the Monday painting classes at the Monroe Senior Center with many friends there.
She is survived by her children, Mitzi (Pete) Tanis of Snohomish, Brett (Keiko) Coleman of Tokyo, Japan and Bob (Sue) Coleman of Bothell; grandchildren, Chance, Darby and Tye; and brother, Don Bowers of Eugene, Ore. She had many more family members and friends throughout Washington and Oregon.
A celebration of life will be held at the Monroe Senior Center at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 13. There will also be a small gathering for a graveside ceremony at 2 p.m. on April 16 at Floral Hills Cemetery.