Published in The New York Times on Sept. 21, 2014
Robert J. Coleman, beloved husband and proud father of five children and fourteen grandchildren, died peacefully at home on September 14, 2014 following complications from cancer. He was born in New York City on September 24, 1935 and raised by his parents, William and Gertrude, in Irvington, NY. His father was a Partner at Adler Coleman and Company of New York.
A competitive college racquets player and social science major, he earned his undergraduate degree from Fordham University in 1956. After serving his country as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army, he worked as a General Partner with Carlisle and Jacqueline and then with Allen and Company as a Vice President. In 1985, he founded his own firm, West Corner Corporation, where his keen insight and adept business entrepreneurship enabled him to specialize in private equity and real estate.
In addition to his business career of over thirty-five years, he was passionate about 19th and 20th century American paintings and furniture, he served on the Board of Trustees for the New York Historical Society, and he was deeply proud of his Irish heritage. He loved his homes in both Grafton, VT and on Fishers Island, NY where his gardens and architectural restorations there provided a welcome outlet for his creativity. Most importantly, his faith and family were his foundation. He loved and doted on each of his grandchildren and they affectionately referred to him as “Poppy”.
Predeceased by both his brothers William and Peter, he is survived by his wife of 54 years, Suzanne Stepan Coleman of Chicago, Illinois and New York City, his children Robert J. Coleman of Charlottesville, VA, Suzanne Coleman Bancroft of Mill Neck, NY, James P. Coleman of Bedford, NY, Jennifer Coleman Creel of New York City, Kevin C. Coleman of New York City, a sister, Carol Coleman Buckner Manning of Palm Beach, FL and fourteen grandchildren.
Private burial services have been held, and a memorial service will take place at the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola on Thursday, October 9th at 11:00 am.