Cornelius Coleman, a retired employee of the H.C. Price Company, died on Thursday, June 13, 2019. He was 82.
He was born on April 10, 1937, in Tunica, Mississippi. He was the youngest of three children born to Coleman and Cornelia Mhoon.
Coleman attended the Tunica School District and worked on the family’s sharecropping farm. Caring for livestock and harvesting cotton, he learned how to drive at a young age with the farm tractor. He left the home in his teens and joined a traveling circus. Later he would travel to Philadelphia to join his older brother.
He met and married Cynthia Bailey in 1958. Their marriage lasted 61 years and two daughters were born to their union.
Coleman worked in many blue-collar positions and then landed a job with H.C. Price, a pipe coating company, in 1961. Except for occasional layoffs and work stoppages, he worked for the company for more than 45 years as a heavy-duty equipment operator, including as a fork lift driver.
Coleman retired in the mid-1990s to spend more time with his family and friends. He remained a lifelong member of the Laborers’ Local 57, participating in many fund-raisers and marches for issues affecting the Black working class.
He was a member of the usher board of Holy Cross Baptist Church for many years until poor vision limited his driving ability. His family said his pride and self-determination made it difficult for him to ask for help or even complain when he was not feeling well.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by: his daughters, Denise Connelly (John) and Karen Coleman; grandchildren, Cameron and Kyla; sisters, Leatha McMichaels and Bernice Coleman; and other relatives and friends.
Services were held June 21 at Holy Cross Baptist Church, 1900 N. 61st. He is buried in Merion Memorial Park, Bala Cynwyd.
Wood Funeral Home handled the arrangements.