George Melchiades Coleman First Brazil Peace Corps Director Passed Away
Passed away peacefully on December 10, 2017. Longtime residents of McLean VA, George and his wife Peggie moved to Good Shepherd Village in Endwell NY in 2016. Born in 1926 in Washington, DC to George and Annie Coleman, he was one of four children (siblings Thomas, Catherine, and Robert). After World War II service in the US Navy, George married Margaret Bakeman (Peggie), graduated from George Washington University and embarked on a career in international development including serving as Peace Corps Director in Brazil, working at the US Agency for International Development, and consulting in public health, family planning, and youth development (including programs for street children). While at USAID, he fit in a Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University and a posting to the OECD in Paris France, Peggie’s birthplace. Not one to “retire”, George later became a certified family therapist, using his linguistic fluency to work with diverse families, and studied sculpture. Over his career, George traveled to 88 countries and became fluent in several languages. He was an unequivocal advocate for civil rights and led by his own example. George loved words, entertaining with puns and delighting in crossword puzzles. Following his mother, a pianist for the silent movies, and his father, a gifted jazz drummer, George was an accomplished pianist who generously shared his music with others. His sculptures fill our homes. George gave far more than he took, and turned strangers into friends wherever he went. He is survived by brother Robert F Coleman of Centreville, VA; wife Peggie of Endwell NY; four children, Heather Struck (Kent) of Vestal NY, Leslie Adkins (Alden) of Santa Rosa CA, Tito (Eric) Coleman (Marie Lichtenberg) of Laurel MD, and Sean Coleman (Caroline MacCormac) of Dublin Ireland; nine grandchildren, Gabriel Struck, Jesse Struck, Miranda Struck Blechman, Erin Adkins, Christopher Jorge Adkins, Zoe Adkins, Sara Coleman Hernandez, Alison Coleman, and Jonah Coleman; and five great grandchildren, Annie and Lucy Struck, Nora Blechman, William Struck, and Adrian Ventimiglia. The family will celebrate his life on May 6, 2018 in Endwell NY and suggests donations to . May we all leave our piece of the world a better place, in his remembrance.
Published in The Washington Post on Feb. 1, 2018
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