William Bryan Coleman, Jr., of Cary, NC, died peacefully at home on September 24, after a hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born on February 25, 1951, in Lumberton, NC, to the late William B. and Jacqueline M. Coleman.
Bill attended Red Springs, NC schools, where he was active in sports, including baseball, basketball and football. Upon graduation from high school, Bill attended Wake Forest University where he played baseball with the Deacs for 2 years. He then went on to graduate with a B. A. in History and Public Policy. He then earned a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration from N. C. State University. Bill was also a graduate of the Municipal and County Administrative course from the School of Government at UNC-Chapel Hill.
During Bill's public service career, he served as Pittsboro Town Manager, Chatham County Manager, and Southern Pines Town Manager. Bill was hired as Assistant Town Manager for Cary, NC in 1988. In 1994, he became Cary Town Manager and served in that role until his retirement from public service in 2008 at the age of 57. Bill began a new career when he accepted a position as consultant in SAS's local government section. His expertise on governmental affairs helped to devise and implement software solutions for government operations. Bill said that he has enjoyed every job he has ever had...especially the people he has come in contact with over the years.
Bill received several awards for his work in community service, including Citizen of the Year presented by the Cary Chamber of Commerce and the Luther B. Hodges Rotary Ethics Award given by the Cary-Kildaire Rotary Club. He was also recognized by NC State University as Outstanding Administrative Alumnus. In 2009, Cary dedicated the William B. Coleman Field at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in honor of Bill's 30 years of public service and his love of the game of baseball. In addition to this honor, the Town Council conferred upon Bill the Order of the Longleaf Pine, the highest honor bestowed upon a civilian of North Carolina.
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Bill's survivors include his son, Ben Coleman of Cary, his step-daughters Stephanie Sorrell of Weaverville, NC, Nicole Sorrell of Cary, sisters Tana Melton (Dennis) of Denver, NC; Deborah Dansereau (JD) of Williamston, NC; Patricia Kircheis (Ted) of Hickory, NC; and Jana Adams (Alan) of Lenoir, NC. Bill also leaves behind an aunt, Helen Theodore of The Villages, Fl and an uncle, Hampton Coleman of Williamsburg, VA, along with nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Bill will be missed by his family and friends. His courage, sense of humor, love of life, generosity, and willingness to share his talents and gifts with those he met along the way will always be remembered. In addition to his love of family and friends, Bill loved baseball and traveling to major league games all over the country. He loved meeting new people and getting to know them. It was once said that, to have a friend you must be a friend, and Bill had many friends. Bill was grateful for every day, and his faith carried him through.
Visitation will be held in the sanctuary of Greenwood Forest Baptist Church, 110 SE Maynard Road, Cary, NC on September 28 from 6-8 pm. The celebration of Bill's life will be held on Monday, September 29, at 1 pm. at GFBC, with Reverend Ben Boswell officiating.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Hope Uronis and the staff at Duke University Medical Center for their excellent care of Bill over the last two years, and Kathy Malarky and the team at Transitions Life Care who are so good at what they do every day. Thanks to our family, friends and co-workers who have offered love and support throughout.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Transitions Life Care, 205 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27615, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network -- www.pancan.org, or GFBC Memorial Fund.
City of Oaks Cremation Service is serving the family.