Joan Elizabeth Coleman
Birth Date: July 22, 1937
Death Date: August 23, 2015
Joan Elizabeth Coleman went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, August 23, 2015, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 78 years old. She was born to Walter and Maggie Lee Coleman in Shreveport, Louisiana. She accepted Christ at an early age under the leadership of Rev. R. L. Martin at Union springs Baptist Church. When her family moved to San Francisco, CA they joined Third Baptist Church under the pastorage of Rev. Fredrick Douglas Haynes Sr. There she sang in the youth and young adult choirs and participated in Baptist Training Union (B.T.U.). While living in Los Angeles Joan attended Crenshaw Christian Center under Rev. Dr. Fred Price.
Education and academic achievement was always important to Joan. In San Francisco, she attended John Muir Elementary, Everett Junior High and George Washington High School. At the University of CA Berkeley, she did her under graduate work then went on to earn her Masters in social work. While there she became a soror of Alpha Kappa Alpha.
Her career choices always reflected Joan’s dedication to improving the quality of life. She was a fearless and tireless advocate. For her work she earned many commendations and awards. Some of the places she worked were Contra Cost county Dept. of Social Services; Mt. Zion Hospital of S.F.; M.L.K. Hospital of Los Angeles and CA State Dept. of Social Services.
For a while she worked in higher education focusing on increasing opportunities for black students, particularly in math and science. U.C. Irvine; CA State at Fullerton; Ford Foundation at Maryland and State Univ. at New York were some institutions where labored. “Giving back”, was very important to Joan. The National Black Social Workers is an organization dedicated to shaping and implementing public policy to enhance black lives. Joan was a founding member of the NABSW. She was also involved with Vertical Leap, a group that emphasizes Christian entrepreneurship, where she was training to become a trainer. Joan recently became involved with the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce.
When she moved to Sacramento she united with the Cavalry Christian Center under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Phillip Goudeaux Sr. Growing the Word was a major goal for Joan. The Church’s warm Christian fellowship nurtured and supported her in her spiritual walk. She participated with the Eagle Saints, the Bridge Foundation, grant writing and traveling with her church family.
Joan was preceded in death by her father and mother, her sister, Lorraine Lumpkin, and her brother, Thomas Coleman. She leaves to mourn her memory, her sister Jean Jordan of Cincinnati, Ohio, a gran-niece Brittany Friend of San Francisco and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.