Robert Hayden Coleman
2 November, 1929 – 25 December, 2019
Robert Coleman, 90, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019, surrounded by family at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, following a stroke suffered several days earlier. Born in Ilwaco, Wash., Nov. 2, 1929, to Grover and Sophia (Goebel) Coleman, Robert was the youngest of six children. He spent his childhood and high school years living on the Cline Road in Randle, and graduated from Randle High School in 1948. Two years later, Robert was drafted into the Army, serving as part of a helicopter support unit during the Korean War. Upon his release from the Army in 1952, Robert moved back to Randle. Shortly after returning, Robert rekindled his romance with his former high school sweetheart, Shirley, and the two were married on Dec. 17, 1954. Anyone that knew Robert would say that he was a hard-working man. He was industrious and tenacious, and loved to work with his hands. In 1959, Robert co-founded Coleman Brothers and Hill, a logging and construction business that he ran with his brothers, Ronald and Bud, and brother-in-law, Jim Hill. As part owner, he was more than just a foreman. He was often found running equipment, climbing trees, and falling timber alongside his employees. For over three decades, Coleman Brothers and Hill was a source of industry and countless jobs in Eastern Lewis County. The company was responsible for building many roads in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, as well as constructing ‘Rainey Valley Television,’ a retransmission station that allowed for television broadcasting in the area. Robert, however, was more than a hardworking business owner. He was a family man. Robert coached little league for his sons, and was often a fixture at his children’s school sporting events- from grade school on through high school. He spent long hours working to provide for his family, but always made his children his topmost priority. After a logging accident in 1978, Robert began to spend more of his time enjoying his hobbies. He was an avid outdoorsman that enjoyed hunting and fishing. He had a secret talent for growing vegetables and spent many hours tending his garden in the summer months. Robert also loved sports- baseball in particular. He was a man seldom seen without a baseball cap, and you could always count on him blaring a game on the radio when baseball was in season. Robert was a man that lived wide open and enjoyed life to the fullest. At age 90, he was often seen riding his ATV down his driveway, his baseball cap perched firmly atop his head. He was fearless in his endeavors, and unmatched in his will to live. He was beloved by his friends and family and he will be forever missed. Robert leaves behind Shirley Coleman, his beloved wife of 65 years; four children, Bradley, Byron, Robert Jr., and Jeannie; his children’s spouses; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and his only remaining sister, Ellen Forrest, of Morton. His family will be holding a celebration of his life on Jan. 18, 2020 at 11:00 am at Brown Mortuary Service in Morton. A potluck luncheon will follow the service at the Lyle Center in Morton.
- Celebration of Life Saturday, 18 January , 2020