John J Coleman Jr.

August 10, 1926November 29, 2018

John J. Coleman, Jr. died at peace and surrounded by his family on November 29, 2018. He is predeceased by his dear wife of 57 years, Vonceil Foster Coleman and his sisters, Ann Coleman and Maureen Coleman Bethea. He is survived by his sons John (Liz), Key (Katharine), Daniel (Brooke), and Carey (Leah). He is also survived by his grandchildren Caroline Coleman Easow (Amit), Jack Coleman, Isabel Coleman, William Coleman, and Temple Coleman, and his great-grandchildren Adelina and Emanuela Easow, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

John was born August 10, 1926 in Montreal, Canada, to John J. Coleman of New Orleans, Louisiana and Mary Leckey Coleman of County Cavan, Ireland. In 1936 his family moved from West Hartford, Connecticut to Birmingham where he attended Glen Iris Elementary and later Ramsay High School. At age eleven he started his first job as a delivery boy at a local drug store in Birmingham where he first developed the extraordinary work ethic that exemplified his life. He was a 1947 graduate of Duke University where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and received his law degree from Duke University School of Law in 1950.

After law school, John returned to Birmingham joining the law firm of White, Bradley, All & Rose (now Bradley ) where he began his distinguished 60-year legal career which included the role of managing partner. John particularly enjoyed his role as an adjunct professor and mentor at Cumberland School of Law where he taught for three decades. He was a founding member of the American Bar Association’s College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He was among the first members and chair of the Labor and Employment Section of the Alabama State Bar. He also served as vice-chairman of the Industrial Relations Committee, Business Council of Alabama.

Over the years, John enjoyed spending time with his family in the North Carolina mountains and at Sea Island, Georgia. He had a life-long love of tennis which he played as a child through age 87, much of the time with the same close knit tennis group. He took special pleasure in playing tennis with his sons. John also loved flying, and piloted both single and twin engine airplanes. He retained an intellectual curiosity for a variety of subjects, but had a special affinity for philosophy and British political and military history, which he pursued with gusto at the summer programs at Merton College, Oxford University. John was an active member of the community and volunteered his expertise in service of multiple charitable organizations. He was a member of the downtown Rotary Club, the Redstone Club (president), and the Mountain Brook Club (president). He was on the boards of the Altamont School (Chairman). He was on the board of the Birmingham Public Library Foundation and the President’s Council of the University of Alabama Birmingham. He served as counsel for the Catholic Diocese of Birmingham for many years.


  • Visitation Tuesday, December 4, 2018
  • Mass of Christian Burial Tuesday, December 4, 2018
  • Burial Tuesday, December 4, 2018

John J Coleman Jr.

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