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Coleman, George Henry "Hank"




Passed away April 30, 2012 at Jubilee Manor, Nelson, B.C. at the age of 85, with his wife by his side.    

Hank Coleman was born in Invermere, B.C. 1926 and attended school in Windermere and Cranbrook before leaving for eastern Canada to join the World War II effort. He found employment in Halifax becoming involved in the building of RCAF Aircraft, principally Lancaster Bombers.

After the Second World War Hank reconnected with his Father, whom had served in both the First and Second World Wars, and they worked together on a project at Yellowknife, building a Tent Accommodation Camp for the expected visitors to the North Country looking for work or recreation after the War.

 After his Artic Tour of work, Hank returned to Nelson in the Kootenays, working at the McAllister Mine, and then Bennett’s Electric Ltd, where he gained his electrical experience. Hank opened his own business in 1954 as Coleman Electric Ltd. He was to become a Class A Industrial Electrician. Some notable projects Hank contracted were; the wiring of Kootenay Lake District Hospital in Nelson, Celgar Mill in Castlegar, Pacific Logging Sawmill in Slocan and the Grand Forks Hospital. Later Hank was often called upon to help with volunteer projects and the Nelson Power-plant, for his electrical expertise.

Hank was a member of the Nelson Rod & Gun Club, the Chamber of Commerce, the Nelson Pilots Association, B.C. Aviation Council, Nelson Rotary Club, the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and the B.C. Social Credit Party. As a dedicated member of these organizations he was also a leader, and often took his turn as President on a number of them. Hank served on the Nelson City Council as an Alderman and as the Chairman of the Regional District of Central Kootenay. He was twice a Candidate for the Social Credit Party for the position of MLA, but was not elected.

Hank enjoyed a busy, active life with his work and interests of fishing & hunting and boating on Kootenay Lake and the Pacific Ocean. He enjoyed the flying of his many aircraft, a Taylorcraft, and a Super Cub on floats for fishing trips to mountain lakes with friends and kids. Then a Cessna 172 and a 250 Comanche, and lastly the twin engine Cessna 337R  Skymaster  which Hank was to pilot and enjoy on trips with family and friends, flying all over North America, and to Mexico and the Caribbean. A wonderful dream for Hank, that he had made come true.

Hank will be lovingly remembered and missed by his wife Irene, and their family; Gary and Heather Burns, Gordon and Maureen Burns, and Bruce Burns. Grandchildren; Sarah (Gene) Sache, Mack (Deidre) Burns, Janice Burns, Angus Burns, Coleman ‘Cole’ Burns, Kayla Burns and Great Grandson Winston Sache. Also; his Sister Isabel (Richard) Wassick, sister-in-law Beryl Coleman and many nieces, nephews and good friends.

Predeceased by his parents; Violet and G.C.H. “Bert” Coleman, brother Barrie and sister in law Helen Coleman and brother Eric “Chips” Coleman, brother-in-law Victor E Martin and nephew Murray Coleman.

Hank spent the past many years at Jubilee Manor due to comprising health issues where he continued to make friends and enjoy life, and participated in many activities. When he was able to, Hank liked being outdoors and was always doing something related to the seasons, like snow shoveling in the winter then raking and sweeping in the spring and summer months. Hank enjoyed being busy and always doing something useful. That was important to Hank.

Hank’s family wish to express their sincere  gratitude to Dr. Trevor Janz, and all the staff members at Jubilee Manor for the loving care and kindnesses shown to Hank during his residency there.

Cremation has taken place. Services were held on Saturday May 5th, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. at the Thompson Funeral Home Chapel, with Reverend Ann Wood officiating. Interment followed in the Nelson Memorial Park, concluded with a fly-over coordinated by members of the Nelson Pilots Association.    

A Celebration of Hank’s Life was held at the Nelson and District Rod and Gun Club, where family and friends enjoyed an afternoon luncheon and refreshments. A Tribute to Hank’s Life was given by Gary Burns, and a number of friends shared their stories describing how knowing Hank had significantly touched their lives for the better. The family wishes to thank the Nelson Rod & Gun Club organizers, Wally Kampen and Richard Green and Members of the Club who participated in the catering of this memorable occasion.

Many Thanks to Thompson Funeral Service Ltd. for their assistance in making the three stop journey for Hank’s farewell, go so smoothly

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