James William Coleman, 92, of Baker City died May 31, 2019 at his home. A private family interment will be held on Saturday, June 15, 2019 and a Celebration of Life service will be held at the United Methodist Church on Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 2:00 PM. Pastor Lisa Payton of the church will officiate.
Jim was born October 21, 1926 in Conrad, Montana, the 6th of 7 children, to Charles Frances and Rosa Ienath (Sausen) Coleman. He grew up on the family farm next to the Marias River attending the Riverside School.
Jim served his country in the Korean War with the 24th Infantry Division. He served in Korea on the front lines defending the 38th parallel from March of 1951 until December of 1951. He earned the Bronze Star Medal and was wounded three times, receiving a Purple Heart and two Oak Leaf Clusters.
After his honorable discharge from the service he returned home to Montana where he lived and worked until 1954 when he and his best friend, Bob Croucher, decided to restore a bus and see the United States. They were on their return trip to Montana when the bus broke down in Huntington, Oregon. Jim and Bob went to work for Fred Couzens in Rye Valley. This is where he met and married Faye Frisco in 1955. They spent the first year of their marriage in Ketchikan, Alaska before moving back to Oregon, finally residing in Baker City. Jim worked as an equipment operator at Oregon Portland Cement until his retirement in 1980. Faye preceded Jim in death in 1986. He met and married Beverly Short in 1989. They spent most of their time traveling to Yuma, Arizona in the winter with the rest of the year living in Baker.
Jim loved the outdoors of Baker County, spending most summer days camping and fishing with family. He, his son-in-law and grandson enjoyed their numerous elk and deer hunting adventures. Jim was famous for his Water-Witching expertise and his talent of turning a simple piece of wood into a work of art with his carving talent. He also spent many hours restoring a 1941 Chevrolet pick-up and a 1949 Willy’s Jeep.
Jim is survived by his wife, Beverly Coleman of Baker City, Oregon; sister, Mary Davis of Long Creek, Oregon; daughter, Rose Guyer (Don) of Baker City, Oregon; step-children, Becky Mink (Harvey Cannon) of Sunriver, Oregon; Kelly Short of Salem, Oregon; and Jim Short (Denise) of Holly, Michigan. He is also survived by two grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, four step grandchildren, and six step great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions in memory of Jim can be made to the V.F.W. through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St. Baker City, OR 97814.
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