Susan “Suzie” Geraldean Coleman died at her home in Healdsburg, California on Sept. 26 after succumbing to glioblastoma. She was 78.
Coleman lived a full life as a mother and friend who loved to travel, entertain and spend time with her kids, grandkids, friends, horse Daisy and dog Bailey.
Known for her tireless energy and feisty spirit, every day was busy and full. She loved to remodel and garden, and created stunning homes in Ross, Montana, and Scottsdale, Arizona, before retiring in Healdsburg.
Born in Los Angeles in 1939, Coleman moved to the Bay Area and she graduated from San Lorenzo High School in 1957. She attended San Jose State University where she met William Clarke. They married in 1959, and had two daughters, Michele in 1960 and Nancy in 1967. Coleman worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as an assistant in her early twenties, and was a housewife during the girls' early childhood in Mill Valley, California. At that time, she became a passionate and dedicated tennis player. In 1975, she returned to work as a recruiter. In 1978 she went to work for Wells Fargo Bank where she was an executive assistant, and later managed administration of their credit training program. At Wells Fargo, she met Lewis W. Coleman and the two were married from 1980 until 2004. She embraced her role as a stepmother to his sons, Greg and Peter, and the couple and their four kids took adventurous vacations -- safari in East Africa, sailing through the British Virgin Islands, island holiday on Tahiti and frequent trips to Lanai, Hawaii, where the couple had a home.
Coleman enjoyed nature tremendously, and was a frequent hiker, fly fisher and bird watcher. She volunteered banding hawks and rescuing marine mammals in the Marin Headlands, and joined the Board of Directors at the Audubon Canyon Ranch, where she also served as a docent. She surprised everyone when, despite being a reluctant sidestroke-only swimmer, she jumped into scuba diving when the family became certified together. She had a life filled with friends to whom she was devoted. She loved to entertain and was a natural and effortless cook. Her extraordinary ability to convene and connect people and her generosity of spirit will be dearly missed by the many she touched.
Coleman is survived by daughters, Michele Clarke of New York and Nancy Clarke Cole of San Mateo, California; stepsons, Greg Coleman of Pray, Montana and Peter Coleman of Manhattan Beach, California; seven grandchildren, Madeline Cole, Austin Cole, Peter Coleman, Simon Coleman, Brynley Coleman, Ethan Coleman and Graceyn Coleman; and her beloved dog, Bailey, and horse, Daisy.
A celebration of life will be held in late October. Donations in memory of Susan Coleman may be made to the Audubon Canyon Ranch, P.O. Box 577, Stinson Beach, California 94970 and are welcomed and appreciated.