Bennie Lee Coleman, Sr., son of the late Johnnie D. Coleman and Julia Mae Coleman, was born in Tampa, Florida on April 18, 1951. He departed this life following a lengthy illness on July 22, 2019 at his residence.
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Bennie attended the Accomack County Public Schools and was a 1971 graduate of Parksley High School. He was united in holy matrimony to Juanita Jeanette Cannon for forty-seven years. This union was blessed with five children, whom he loved dearly.
At a very young age Bennie confessed his belief in Christ and joined Mt. Olive Holiness Church in Whitesville, under the leadership of Bishop Elton Brown. He worshiped there until the church closed its doors. He then joined the congregation at St. Joseph Holiness Church, now under the leadership of Bishop Elton Brown. He became a faithful member under the leadership of Pastor Marlene Brown, after the passing of Bishop Brown. Bennie renewed his faith in Christ, was saved, baptized, and filled with the Holy Ghost.
Bennie was an on-time man, he was never late for anything. If you wanted to go anywhere, he was your man. His children would often be upset, because he would always arrive a half hour early to all worship services, waiting for someone to open the door. Whenever there was a Coleman family get-together, the family didn’t worry because they knew he would be there a day early. Out of nowhere he would often come home from work and say, “Juanita pack your bags, we’re going on a road trip.” Bennie was a great man and a blessing to all who came in contact with him. If you needed help, he was there for you. He would give you his last dollar and Juanita’s too, if you needed it. He will forever be remembered by all he touched with his unique skills and jovial personality.
During his lifetime, he was very active in church, where he served faithfully as a choir member, finance committee, and a Sunday school teacher. He would also drive the church van to several engagements and played the piano on occasion. He loved to sing It’s Raining, and his favorite saying was, “I love the Lord more than my necessary food.” His love for God’s word seemed to radiate to all.
Bennie worked at the Chesapeake Plywood, Inc. in Pocomoke, Maryland from October 7, 1971 until August 21, 1986. He then gained employment at the Eastern Shore Area Agency on Aging in Onancock, Virginia. Bennie also assisted with the construction of the Comfort Inn in Onley, Virginia. After that project was complete, they hired him as a maintenance man, where he worked until his health failed in 2008.
Bennie was a loving husband, father, brother, uncle, and friend to many. He leaves to cherish his precious and loving memories: his wife, Juanita Coleman of Greenbush, VA; five children, Bennie Coleman, Jr. (Nancy) of Cache, OK, Garrick Coleman (Tanisha) of Raleigh, NC, Ronnie Coleman (Kezia) of Villa Rica, GA, Derrick Coleman (Delmarie) of Brandywine, MD, and Kendrick Coleman of Greenbush, VA; a goddaughter, who he raised as his own, Chimera Strand (Monte’) of Greenbush, VA; twelve grandchildren, Zyonne, Tytiana, Mykkaa, Kyree, Lakeem, Jaheim, Ronndasia, Lyric, Sir, Londyn, Dashani, and Draya; two sisters, Sherry Taylor of Tyrone, GA and Geraldine Roberts (Anthony) of Philadelphia, PA; three brothers, David Coleman (Carolyn) of Sicklerville, NJ, Jessie Coleman (Elouise) of Philadelphia, PA, and Henry Coleman (Mary) of Greenbush, VA; two sisters-in-law, Julia Coleman and Norma Coleman; one aunt, Mary Lee Smith (Eddie) of Hollywood, FL; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Bennie was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Rosa Mae Wilson and Willie Pearl Ballard; and two brothers, Gerald Coleman and Charlie Coleman, Sr.