Charlene Walz Coleman, age 84, a resident of Chillicothe, Missouri, died peacefully at her home on Thursday, January 8, 2015.
Charlene was the daughter of Herbert and Caroline Walz, born July 3, 1930, in Utica, Missouri. She was the third of five children, and a graduate of Utica High School. Charlene was married to Billy S. Coleman on May 28, 1948. Bill and Charlene Coleman were life-long residents of Livingston County and were dedicated to the service of others in their church and community. Charlene was especially passionate about education and mentoring youth in Chillicothe.
Charlene made a profound impact on young people throughout her lifetime, holding a number of teaching positions in the community. These include teaching at Green Grove Schoolhouse for several years around 1950; teaching physical education at the State Training School for Girls in the 1960s, long-time substitute teaching at Chillicothe Junior / Senior High School; Sunday School teaching at Chillicothe United Methodist Church for more than 50 years; and volunteering with the Girl Scouts for more than 30 years with involvement at the local, regional, state and national levels. Her avid support of young women in the community prompted Charlene to lead the efforts to establish the landmark Girl Scout Little House near Simpson Park more than 60 years ago, procuring the land and donations for the project. Bill and Charlene also founded the Summer Playground Association to provide summer sports and recreation activities for Chillicothe youth in the early 1960s.
Charlene was named the first Outstanding Young Woman of Chillicothe in 1965. Dedicated to civic activities, she served as a Livingston County Commissioner for 12 years from 1984-1996, the first female associate commissioner elected in the county. In 1987 she was selected as the Lady Ambassador for the Chillicothe Sesquicentennial Celebration, presiding over the 10-day schedule of activities that honored the 150th anniversary of Chillicothe and Livingston County. She said of her selection as ambassador that it was “The greatest honor anyone could bestow on me. I love this town. I love this county.”
Charlene was a member of PEO Chapter JW, Tria Sorosis, VFW Post 25, Chillicothe Jaycees and Chillicothe United Methodist Church. She received the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce for her many contributions to the community.
Survivors include her four children (and spouses), Cathy Coleman (Ralph Metzner), Gehrig Coleman, Paula Coleman Hubbard (Kevin McShane), and Rob Coleman (Daleeena Lynch). She is survived by seven grandchildren: Eli Jacobson and Sophia Metzner (children of Cathy); Kirk and Shawna Hubbard (children of Paula); and Devinne, Robbie, and KC Coleman (children of Rob).
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill, and her eldest sister Madeline who was the County Clerk for many years. During Charlene’s tenure as Republican County Commissioner, her sister had her Democratic County Clerk Office next door.
In lieu of flowers, contributions are invited to the Chillicothe United Methodist Church and to Camp Ki-LI-Ro-Co. On line condolences may be left at www.heritage-becausewecare.com
Her funeral is at 2:00 Friday, January 16, at the United Methodist Church. Visitation is from 4:00-8:00 PM Thursday, January 15 at Heritage Funeral Home.
Arrangements are under the direction of Heritage Funeral Home, Chillicothe, MO