Ora Alice Coleman 1914 - 2013 Las Vegas, NV
Ora Alice Coleman was born November 2, 1914 in Linwood, KS, to James and Alice Wilson. Her siblings were Charlie Wilson, Harry Wilson, Goldie Schlink, and Helen Lewis. Her parents and all her siblings preceded her in death. She departed this life on March 21, 2013, at My Home Care in Las Vegas, NV. She attended school in Linwood and graduated from Linwood Rural High School in 1932.
When she was a very young child, Ora worked in the potato fields, as many children did at that time, picking up potatoes behind the potato plow. Beginning at age 8, Ora began styling women’s hair and continued all through high school, earning 25 cents for each hair-do. Shortly after graduating from high school Ora began working as a telephone operator in Linwood, then in Goodland, and later in Girard, KS, for the Central Kansas Telephone Company. She was an Operator and Chief Operator from 1933 to 1941, when she resigned to get married.
On November 2, 1941 she married Donald Watson Coleman of Linwood at the Mission Hills Baptist Church in Mission Hills, KS. He preceded her in death on August 30, 1983. They moved to California in 1941 and Ora worked in the Burbank area at various jobs. Don was a Chevrolet mechanic and did a tour of duty in the army during this time, discharged in 1943. In 1945 they moved to a Ranch near Madera, CA, in the San Joaquin Valley where they had an orange grove, planted some cotton, and had an egg production business. In retirement they lived in Fresno, CA, from 1965 to 1978 and moved to Las Vegas in 1978 in order to have a drier climate for Don’s respiratory ailments. Ora and Don did lots of travel to national parks, to the Bahamas, to Florida, to Tennessee, and to visit relatives in California and Kansas. After Don’s death, Ora continued to make her home in Las Vegas but made many visits to relatives in Kansas and Georgia. Ora had one extended visit to Kansas to care for her sister Goldie. Nevada was her home, however, and she never considered moving back to Kansas except to join Don at Mt. Sydney.
Ora received a bible from the Baptist Church in Linwood in 1923 and was baptized in the Christian Church in Junction City, KS, in 1932.
Ora was an excellent seamstress and enjoyed knitting and crocheting. She purchased her Singer sewing machine in 1943 and over the years made many of her own and Don’s clothing. They were square dancers and Ora made their outfits. Her knitting and crocheting graced her own home and were gifts to many others. In recent years, she made many beautiful afghans that are cherished by those who received them. Ora had a passion for her outdoor and indoor plants, especially her roses and African violets.
She is survived by her nephews and nieces James (Jim) Wilson and wife Corene of Athens, GA, and Harvey (Joe) and wife Carol of Linwood, KS; George Raymond (Buddy) Lawrence and wife Leda of Overbrook, KS; Sandra (Sandy) Patchen and husband Michael of Lawrence, KS; Sharon (Kay) Barngrover and husband Rick of Hoyt, KS; John Lewis of Grantville, KS; Doris Pitre and husband Joe of Eunice, LA; Lillian Bergeson and husband Roy of Arroyo Grande, CA; Werner Silkey and wife Shirley of Eldorado Hills, CA; Myra Norman of Laguna Niguel, CA; Joyce Demaranville of Linwood, KS; . Phyllis Silkey of Topeka, KS. She is also survived by three generations of grandnephews and grandnieces from both the Coleman and the Wilson families. Ora touched the hearts of many and will be sadly missed. Somewhere Green Grape Pie should be mentioned as part of our memory of Ora.
The family is extremely grateful for her caregiver, Shirley Snyder, of My Home Care. Ora’s residency with Shirley at My Home Care over the past year has made Ora’s waning days most comfortable.
A graveside service and burial of ashes will 11:00 a.m., Saturday, April 6 at Mt. Sydney Cemetery in Linwood. Alden Harrington Funeral Home in Bonner Springs, KS, will handle the arrangements.
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