Elzey-Patterson-Rodak Funeral Home

120 West Mill Street, Ossian, IN


Gerald "Jerry" Gordon Coleman

March 31, 1937December 24, 2019

Gerald "Jerry" G. Coleman, 82, of rural Ossian, passed away peacefully on his beloved farm following a brief illness, on Tuesday, December 24, 2019. He was born March 31, 1937 in Fort Wayne, son of the late Clarence and Ruth Coleman. Jerry was a graduate of North Side High School, served in the U.S. Naval Reserves "Sea Bees," and worked at International Harvester (Navistar) as a Design Engineer, retiring after 43 years. He then worked 10 years for Elzey-Patterson-Rodak Funeral Home. He was an active member of St. Mark Lutheran Church serving as Sunday school teacher, church council member, pageant director, and was the church representative helping support the Wernle Youth and Family Treatment Center. He also enjoyed getting together with the Navistar retiree's HERO group every month. He loved his family, gardening, golfing with Ron and his grandsons, mowing his lawn, and annual family fishing vacations in Minnesota. Surviving are his wife of 61 years, Wilma J. (Grotrian) Coleman of Ossian; daughters, Beth (Curt Wessel) Coleman of Ellison Bay, WI; and Mary (Kurt) Knott of Lima, OH; and grandsons, Adam and Spencer Knott. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers, Richard Coleman, Donald Coleman, and Ronald Coleman; and sister, Cynthia Zehendner. His funeral service will be held Monday, December 30, 2019 at 11:00 AM at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 16933 Thiele Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46777 with visitation one hour prior. Visitation will also be held Sunday, December 29, 2019 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Elzey-Patterson-Rodak Funeral Home, 120 West Mill Street, Ossian, Indiana 46777. Contributions in Jerry's memory may be made to Wernle Youth & Family Treatment Center or Visiting Nurse Hospice. He will be deeply missed, and fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.elzey-patterson-rodak.com for the Coleman family.


  • Wernle Youth & Family Treatment Center
  • Visiting Nurse Hospice


  • Visitation Sunday, December 29, 2019
  • Visitation Sunday, December 29, 2019
  • Visitation Monday, December 30, 2019
  • Funeral Service Monday, December 30, 2019


Gerald "Jerry" Gordon Coleman

have a memory or condolence to add?

Greg Sutter

December 30, 2019

I had the pleasure of working with Jerry at IH/Navistar as one of the "Youngsters" back in the early 1990's. He was always willing to help anyone and always had a great attitude. My condolences to the family.

Debbie & Gary Jones

December 29, 2019

We send our love and prayers to you (Beth) and your family at the passing of your father. We were blessed to have recently met him when they were in Door County. He was so proud of you. It was a delight to share a moment of life with him.

Lord, hold Beth and her family in your comforting arms. Grant them peace and hope as they trust all things to You. Grant them the strength and the courage to face each day knowing they are never alone - You are always with them. Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of Jerry and the life he shared with so many. Amen.

In sympathy and prayer,
Gary and Debbie Jones

Edwin Rahn

December 29, 2019

I worked with Jerry at the funeral home. Always a pleasant & great guy to work with.

Robert & Julie Hockemeyer

December 29, 2019

Jerry was one of those guys that if you ever met...you would never forget...

I got to really know Jerry when he was our basketball coach at Flatrock back many years in grade school.....the story goes like this.....he was young enough to scrimmage with us in practice....maybe because we only had 9 players...so he would make the 10th player....anyway that night of practice....I was a guard and he was a guard on the other team.......we had a fast break going....was looking for the easy lay up ( I was the one out front) ...couldn't loose him so I done the best I could.....any way.....Jerry says watch this......I look over and what does he do but flip his false teeth out and rolls them in his mouth..........I stopped and thought he was hurt....freaked me out.......he flips them back into the correct position and says .......that slowed you down....and laughed his butt off....we never did get the lay up....but it sure gave me the strange feeling about the coach.....never forgot that face or his smile....end of story.

Anyway....there's one thing for sure......that surprise will not work on God, because he already knows about the teeth....over the years as time passed and I grew up I left him know that I thought that was a dirty trick.....can still see him laughing at me...saying I had to do something to slow you down....don't ever know if he pulled that stunt on any one else......but I never left him live that one down.

He will be missed by many.....including me......I guess that's why God gave us a memory.....to enjoy all those things for the rest of our life....even when some of these people already went home

Your sympathy to you and the family in your loss....you will be in our prayers

P.S. Don't you find it comforting that he went home just shortly after Christmas
He had the best Christmas present of any of us

Blessings from The Hockemeyers

Bob and Julie

Gail Nartker

December 29, 2019

I was saddened to learn of Jerry's passing. I am sure he will be greatly missed. My memories of Jerry are when he and my late husband, Dick Nartker, enjoyed each other's company on their travels to play cards each month. Occasionally, we saw Jerry at 9 Mile with his family. Dick had commented that he really enjoyed spending time with him. Each time I saw Jerry, he seemed to be a happy person and enjoyed being with family and friends. My deepest sympathy to his family. May the happy times you shared with Jerry help heal you.

Michelle Bowman

December 29, 2019

We spent many New Year’s Eves with Jerry, Wilma, Beth & Mary when I was young & my dad & mom (Don & Judy Milholland) still got together with them most New Years Eves after we kids grew up. He was a special & kind man. Prayers of comfort for Wilma, the girls & their family.

Barb Gibson

December 28, 2019

I worked with Jerry for years and recently have shared lunch with them at Hero's. A wonderful man, he will be missed. Love to his family. Barb

Betty Gatke

December 28, 2019

Jerry was a "core" member of the Caregiver Group at Rock Steady Boxing. He helped anyone who needed help during their boxing
exercise program as he accompanied his lovely wife. For a long time
he was the only male "member", and helped "advise" the female team
on issues of cars, anything mechanic, and gardening. He was such a
wonderful asset to our group. This "Special Group" helped each other together survive a "mission"that most could not be totally understood by those not living in that position. Jerry was our "big brother". He loved and enjoyed our times together. We already miss him. But we'll see him again under "perfect" circumstances!

Kevin Springer

December 28, 2019

Jerry was always full of jokes, and liked to make people laugh, he was an honest man, a man full of life.
He lived life to its fullest and loved his life, his friends, and especially his family.
He will be missed by many, but his legacy will always live on.

Pastor Frank Kauzlarich

December 28, 2019

Dear Friends in Christ,
Please know the community of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Juddville, Door County, Wisconsin has and continues to hold you in our prayers at the death your beloved Jerry. We give thanks for Jerry's life and New Life in Christ.

May you know the peace of our Lord this day and always,
Pastor Frank Kauzlarich and the community of St. Paul Lutheran Church