Obituary for William Coleman Jr.
William M. Coleman Jr., known to friends and family as "Bill" or the "Hoss" peacefully transitioned in the wee hours of May 31, 2017, with his devoted wife Margaret by his side. Bill was born May 1,1934 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to the late William Sr. and Evelyn Pearl Coleman. Migrating to Atlantic City at an early age,Bill attended the local public schools and graduated from Atlantic City High School in 1952.
Before graduating, Bill established his love of boxing and in 1950 began a professional career in the sport. In Philadelphia, he became a Golden Glove and Diamond Belt Champion. In New Jersey he held the Welterweight Champion Belt from 1953-1954.
Bill embarked on a career in the Laborers International Union #415 in 1953. He began as a Laborer, specializing in masonry, brickwork, demolition and concrete construction,all while establishing lifelong connections with major construction companies. At the urging and support of his father, Hoss was elected to Recording Secretary of Local #415 in 1960. In addition he was appointed to the Local's Welfare and Pension Funds, a position he held for thirty two years. In 1977, he was established as chairman of these funds.
In June 1962, Bill Coleman became Business Agent of Local #415, a position, he held through nine elections. During his tenure, Bill was able to establish the Shop Stewards Education Committee, enhancing the education around labor laws and benefits for the members ,while at the same time, attending and graduating with honors from the Rutgers University, Union Leadership Academy. Bill graduated from the George Meany Labor Studies Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. He also attended ACC and US Department of Labor Training Center. Bill was the first agent elected as President of the South Jersey District Council of Laborers, a position he held until his retirement . He also served on several councils and committees including New Jersey Laborers Training Funds, New Jersey State negotiations committee, Atlantic Cape May Central Labor Council, The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and many other committees. Many awards, certifications and honors were given to him for his dedication to the Labor movement. He proudly held the Danny Thomas award. He lastly organized the Atlantic Cape May Chapter of A. Philip Randolph Institute, which he diligently worked until illness precluded. Bill's labor movement experience spanned over three decades resulting in his retirement in 1989.
While spending most of his career on Union activities, he did not neglect his community or faith. Bill was a longtime member of the St Paul AME Church in Pleasantville, where he was active on the Trustee Board and the Mens Club. He was the Affirmative Action Officer in the City of Pleasantville for many years. He was an active lifetime member of the Pleasantville branch NAACP, the Pleasantville branch of AARP and the Democratic Club.
Bill loved to travel the country and leaves many memories of his many trips. He especially loved Hawaii. Bill was a connoisseur of music, particularly jazz and gospel. He could tell you who was singing after just a few notes.
Bill enjoyed his family most of all. His wife Margaret dedicated her life to caring and loving him and vice versa. He loved being around family, telling corny jokes and making everyone laugh. Hoss, had the ability to mesmerize all he met, with his charismatic smile, his keen sense of humor, the wink of his eye and that trademark toothpick.
Bill was predeceased by his parents William and Evelyn Coleman, his son, Bill Coleman, his favorite aunt Ethel Covington and his special mother in law Anna DeShields.
William M. Coleman Jr leaves to cherish his memory , his loving wife Margaret Coleman, who never left his side, his children Runningras, Michele OBannon(Tony), Karl Coleman(Robin), Remon Coleman(Sharnica) stepchildren: Grace Holley, Kevin Crump, Nadine Hood(Bill) Karen Lovelace(Pete), Marlene Crump(his bestie), special grandson Mike Foster Jr, special great grandson Quincy Baker and special godson Troy Hall. Affectionately called "P-Pop" and "Bill Bill", he leaves 26 grands and 30 great grands and 1 great great grand!