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Obituary: Thomas Reed Coleman

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Thomas Reed Coleman, age 56, peacefully ended the race the Lord Jesus Christ set before him at his late father’s McCaskill, Ark., home on Sept. 29, 2023.

Tom was born in Houston, Texas, on Jan. 29, 1967, as the youngest of four children. He lived in Northern India from 1971 to 1983 with his missionary parents, learning to speak the Hindi language and making life-long friends. He returned to Arkansas where he graduated from Nashville High School in 1984, and went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science (with a minor in History) from Henderson State University in 1988. That same year he joined the United States Navy as a Naval Intelligence Officer. During his 10 years in the Navy, he served aboard the USS NIMITZ during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield; at the Office of Naval Intelligence in Washington, D.C.; and searching for POW/MIAs at Joint Task Force – Full Accounting in Hawaii.

Upon leaving active duty, Tom joined the Naval Reserves while completing his Master of Arts Degree in Political Management from Regent University in 2000. He was working multiple political campaigns in the Virginia area when the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks occurred. Because his job in the Naval Reserves was with a unit that had been created to defend the nation from such an attack, Tom was immediately called in that day and eventually returned to the Defense Department as a civilian. Shortly after, Tom was moved to NORAD and the newly formed US Northern Command in Colorado.  Tom was a talented and competent military strategist who quickly became an expert at whatever task he was given. He was well-known and consulted regularly by the military leadership in both the United States and Canada. While in Colorado, he was awarded the highest honor that the Canadian military can bestow on a civilian.  At the time of his passing, he was continuing his work defending the homeland as the NORAD/US NORTHCOM J2 Strategist, while also taking care of his late father in McCaskill.

He met his wife of 28 years, Danielle, while working at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.  Because they both grew up overseas and had traveled extensively as children, they had an instant connection that turned into a lifelong love. They were soul mates and team mates in all they did – especially enjoying the Indian and Thai dishes they made together. Before leaving Virginia for Colorado, they welcomed the joy of their lives, their son, Nathanial.

Tom was a gifted teacher of God’s Word and had a heart for teaching others the Way of the Lord as he had come to understand it after extensive research and study. The loss of his godly wisdom and insight, great love and care for his family, sense of duty to the higher good, shoulders that carried immense responsibilities, knowledge, experience, expertise, skillful decision-making abilities, working with wood to build well whatever was needed, humor, genuine kindness and generosity is immeasurable to those who had the privilege of knowing him.

 He is preceded in death by his father and mother, Verlin “Buddy” Coleman, Sr., and Juilia “Judy” Coleman, and his brother Lane Coleman.  He is survived by his wife, Danielle, and son, Nathanial, of McCaskill, Ark.

He is also survived by his brother, Verlin Coleman, Jr. (Sandy) of Lamar, Ark.; sister, Beckie Loe (Robert) of McCaskill, Ark.; Lane’s widow, Teri Loghry (Scott) of Tontitown, Ark., his three aunts: Jeanette Myrick of McCaskill, Ark.; Shirley Trevillion (RJ) of McCaskill, Ark.; Barbara Phillips (Victor) of McCaskill, Ark.; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Family and friends are welcome to join us in bidding farewell to Tom’s earthly body at the Living Rock Church, 1328 Mine St, Nashville, Ark., on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023.  Visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m. followed by the funeral at 2:00 p.m. There will be a graveside ceremony at Merrell Cemetery in Belton, Ark.

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