Earnest "Ernie" Coleman

December 28, 1937September 8, 2019
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A visitation for Colonel Earnest “Ernie” Coleman, 81 of Ben Wheeler, will be held at Lloyd James Funeral Home from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 14, 2019. In addition a Memorial Service including Military honors will be performed at DFW National Cemetery at a date to be determined.

Col. Earnest L. Coleman was born on December 28, 1937, in Carthage, Texas. He graduated from Carthage High School in 1956 and in that same year, he married the love of his life, Ann Lowery. In 1961, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from Texas Technological College, Lubbock, Texas. He entered the United States Air Force in 1961 and graduated from pilot training at Craig AFB, Alabama, in May 1962. He attended Squadron Officer’s School, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, in January 1965. Between 1971 and 1975, Colonel Coleman completed Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Air Command and Staff College, and received a master’s degree in Personnel Management from Central Michigan University. In July 1975, he attended the National War College in Washington.

Upon graduation from pilot training, Colonel Coleman was assigned to Luke AFB, Arizona, for F-100 training, and then to the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing, England AFB, La. In September 1965, he was transferred to the 50th Tactical Fighter Wing at Hahn AB, Germany, where he flew the F-100 and then the F-4. During his assignment to Hahn, he attended the USAF Fighter Weapons School at Nellis AFB, Nevada.

From Hahn, AB, he was assigned to the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing, Holloman AFB, New Mexico. He served in Southeast Asia from December 1969 to December 1970, flying 174 combat missions in the F-4. Since 1971, Colonel Coleman has served in the Tactical Fighter Programs Division, Headquarters United States Air Force.

He was promoted to the grade of Colonel in May 1978, at which time he as promoted to Commander of the 308th Tactical Fighter Squadron, once again flying F-4’s, Homestead AFB, Florida. Assistant and later Deputy Commander of Maintenance, 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, Homestead AFB, Florida; as Chief, Aircraft Systems Management Division, Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill AFB, Utah. On July 2, 1981, he assumed command of the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing, Vice, then Wing Commander. He oversaw operations for the entire AFB, including 4 combat ready squadrons of F-111’s. In October of 1982 he suffered an ejection/accident in the F-111 which paralyzed him. He was 100% medically retired. He was in the chair for 37 years. But even this didn’t slow him down..

MACH 2 always!!!

Colonel Coleman was a command pilot with over 3,200 hours in the F-100, F-4, and F-111. His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal with twelve Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Oak Leaf Cluster.

Colonel Coleman was preceded in death by parents, Henry and Maggie Moore Coleman; son Earnest L. Coleman Jr. and great-grandson Tyler M. Newton.

He is survived by his loving bride of 63 years, Ann Lowery Coleman; daughter LeeAnn Garred and husband Andy; two sons Scott Coleman, and Todd Coleman, wife Ivy. Sister Lorene Strickland. Grand Children, William Newton, wife Lisa. Christian Newton, wife Callie. Brianna Coleman Boeke, husband Nathan. Cameron Coleman. Great Grandchild Abigail Grace Newton

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his honor to Paralyzed Veterans of America, or PVA Donation Processing Center, P.O. Box 758589, Topeka, KS 66675-8589.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Earnest "Ernie" Coleman

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Scot Lossing

September 20, 2019

Ernie is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met on this planet. He will be dearly missed but always remembered. I am truly honored to have met and known such a person.

From working with me on college papers about his service in the military to getting to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary, there are so many things I will always hold dear to my heart.

I can only aspire to be as good as a man as Ernie is.

Charmain Brown

September 18, 2019

My memory of Ernie is how he was always happy and smiling. I liked how he would tease just a bit, making fun of something going on in the news or being talked about. He was so encouraging when I was trying to fish off the dock (in Texas). There was no doubt I am a city girl, but he (and the whole family) made me feel welcomed. I was so thankful he suggested for Scott clean the fish for me.

Then there's the memory of my mom and I sharing Thanksgiving with the Colemans. Good food, great conversations, and exciting football. And now .... forever great memories.

There's another angel in heaven walking around, smiling, and giving hugs to everyone. Rest in Peace, Ernie!

Lisa Newton

September 18, 2019

Boppa was the true definition of living without limitations, and loving the same way. Those of us who were lucky enough to know him will never forget the invigorating stories of his time in the Air Force. He never failed to shine when speaking about his sacrifice to our great nation or his beautiful wife Ann, our Nana. Boppa was not only a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a great-grandfather, but a source of guidance for the entire family. I can see him now sitting beside my Tyler encouraging him to shoot in a hand of Rook. Not a day will go by with my remaining time on this Earth that I will not be missing you or meditating on the wisdom you passed along during our short time together. Abigail will continue to know and love her Bop through your spirit that stays alive within us all.

Marsha Garred

September 18, 2019

Ernie was such a wonderful man. He always made us feel so very welcome. He touched so many lives with his positive attitude. He is greatly missed. Love & hugs

Steve Galliers

September 18, 2019

Here is to a great man, husband, father, friend and soldier he will truly be missed by all of us lucky enough to have been in his life.

Christian Newton

September 18, 2019

There are many fond memories that I could share of my grandfather (Boppa). So many life lessons that he imparted on me. My favorite of these would have to be leading up to my wedding. I asked him the secret to a marriage lasted over 50 years. He told me that you must be completely honest and transparent. How you must remind your spouse of your love every day, even if it is just a small act of kindness or simply holding their hand. I have always tried to live by his example. He was the best man I have ever known. Even though my children will never meet him, they will know him.

Rest easy Bop.

Ron Hagood

September 18, 2019

We were the next door neighbors to Ernie and Ann on Lake Travis for about 15 years. We count those many times together doing projects, playing dominoes, cooking a meal together, watching the Red Raiders or Redskins on TV, talking endlessly about the good, the bad and the ugly and hugging good bye until we could do it all again as soon as possible, as among the best times. We never knew Ernie except as one who raced around in a scooter living life as nobody else could. We know him as a person who stands above, loves in ways God asks us to and uses his time to make family and friends love him and one another. The absence of Ernie here on earth saddens us but we will forever cherish all he stood for and represents, especially his and our angel, Ann. Keep dancing friend until we can join you by the grace of God. All our love to the Colemans! Sincerely, Ron and Carolyn

Rick Lossing

September 17, 2019

Ernie, you have left a very special place in our hearts forever. You truly showed all of us what it takes to be a remarkable human being and you taught all of us endless life lessons about strength, courage, friendships, and dignity. Your entire family is truly amazing because of your love and dedication to each of them. You have passed along so many great qualities of life to your children and they really portray them well. It was always so fun to watch you and Ann together because you both were always smiling and laughing. We will miss you so much!
Love you man.

Scott Coleman

September 17, 2019

One of my most cherished memories of Dad and Mom. Dad and I started a bet, winner has bragging rights for the year, by choosing who would win each NFL game for the entire season. One with the most wins, you get the idea. It later grew to a league. In 2008 the Cardinals made it to the Super Bowl!! Mom and Dad had the Super Bowl party at their house. The League players were there, Jester13, as well as their closest friends. They were alone in the kitchen, everyone else was engaged with the game or in conversation. They had no idea anyone was watching. But I was. They looked like high schoolers who had fallen in love for the first time. This has been my favorite memory !! Then to see them share, with the family at their side, their last kiss!! I love you Mom and Dad!!!

Patrick Amie

September 17, 2019

Ernie will certainly be missed by many people from many walks of life. What a wonderful man, with such a caring heart and a welcoming smile... I have never met someone so willing to help others as Ernie, always ready to make sure everyone else is having a great time! And I never heard a single complaint about being in a chair- such an inspiration to so many to see him on his snowmobile with a huge smile.
To the entire Coleman family, many prayers are headed your way in this difficult time. Take comfort in knowing that Ernie was an honorable man, who made the lives of many others much, much better. This world is a better place because of men like Ernie!