Thelma Coleman

Thelma Coleman

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Thelma Ann Coleman of Easley, South Carolina, passed away on Thursday, February 4, 2021 from complications of COVID-19.

The only daughter of Robert and Mary Ellen Paffenroth (Lehn), Thelma was born at home in Port Jervis, NY. on July 11, 1938.

She graduated from Port Jervis High School where she was a member of the Cheerleading Squad, Girl’s Glee Club, Latin Club, a writer on the Junior Newspaper, Treasurer of Homeroom 9 and Sophomore Vice-President and Class Secretary.

She subsequently earned her nursing degree from Vassar Brothers Hospital School of Nursing in 1959 and went on to a distinguished-decades long career providing expert and loving care in various communities. Her positions included Director of Nursing at Doctor’s Sunnyside Hospital in Port Jervis, NY; Director of the intensive care and critical care units and Manager of Pediatrics at Horton-Memorial Hospital in Middletown, NY; and a member of the IV Team at Basset Medical Center in Cooperstown, NY. Despite raising a family and pursuing a challenging career, she found time to “break the glass ceiling” and become the first town Councilwoman in the Town of Deerpark, NY.

A woman of diverse interests and vocations, Thelma was a gifted artist and award-winning quilter, rode a motorcycle in her younger days, and had a concealed weapons permit. She loved football, birds and their songs, animals including her Bengal cat Tajh and a 4 pm martini. Strikingly tall and always impeccably dressed, her presence lit up a room and her smile warmed everyone’s heart. Her light was bright and she will be sorely missed by all whose lives she touched.

Predeceased by her husband Theodore Coleman in 2008 and her brother Robert in 2020, she is survived by her brother Alvin Paffenroth; her daughter Karen Ann Keane and husband Michael; her son Richard Reiser Jr. and partner Bill Kimmig; her son Roger Reiser; and stepson Theodore “Teddy” Coleman. In addition she leaves grandchildren Colin Keane; Eamon Keane and wife Sara Starr; Dylan Keane; and Maura Dishart and husband Urban Dishart.

A celebration of her well lived life will be planned for a later date.

Messages of remembrance, sympathy and condolence should be directed to:
104 F Park Crossing Drive Easley SC 29640

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to the Warrior Canine Connection or Soldier’s Angels.
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The Standard Cremation & Funeral Center is serving the Coleman family and a message of condolence may be sent by visiting
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Urb & Laura Dishart

Posted at 07:19am
Thelma was a great lady and it was a joy to know her. She was the life of the party at our son's wedding to her granddaughter, Maura. Our sincere sympathies go out to Karen, the Keanes, and all of Thelma's family. We hope you find comfort in wonderful memories of an amazing woman and a life well-lived.

Alice Bagby

Posted at 03:16pm
Thelma will be remembered as a strong, stately, beautiful woman. I am so happy I got to know her and to enjoy her straight forward honesty, her terrific sense of humor, and her deep love of her family. She was my friend even though we did not know each other long, we knew each other well. Two old nurses from a time when nursing was truly about the patients first. Rest in peace Thelma.

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