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My Brother from another Mother

March 19, 2015

When work took mre to Chicago in 1979, I was able to spend a lot of time with Ellen, Tim, and all the kids.  Over time Tim and I grew close and it was during that time in the 80s, when  our relationship and memories were formed.  We initiated the ANNUAL TURKEY BOWL, on the front lawn of their home in Arlington Heights, we worried through his cancer scare, and Ellen and I cried at his bedside when we found out . We struggled with the decision to move to seattle.  He honored me by being my best man at my wedding in 1984.   We would have long conversations on the phone disecting each others life/business plans and I always came away from those knowing I was talking to a man among men.  Tim was completely generous with everything he had, intellectually with his ideas, personally with his time,  emotionally with his love.   His imense  intellect was grounded in real common sense perspectives and values.  His sense of humor was a joy and he had the personality to carry it off through his famous story telling.  He was a devoted christian, and all this, was under the layer of  what was the love and committment he had for his wife and sons.  I grew to love him as a brother, and will have a hole in my heart for the rest of my life. 

My Dad's Voice

March 9, 2015

My Dad always was in the stands at my high school basketball games.  He would come straight from work wearing his suit, even when I was on the JV and my games started earlier than Pete's.  

He was always on the refs, making sure we got a fair shake in the game.  He had such a piercing voice, I could hear everything he said even when out on the court.  
Well, occasionally we would watch game film.  In this game, there was a forward for the opposing team just camped out in the key.  After a few times down the court, my dad had enough.  He yelled out, "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10!!!!!!!!,  10 seconds in the key ref OPEN YOUR EYES".  This came across on the game film LOUD!!  My coach, while instructing us on the game film, made a quick pause and said, "and here's where you here Mr. Coleman yelling at the refs", and went right back to instructing.  I never heard the end of it. 

I think his voice is what I will miss most.  

Mountain of a Man.

March 8, 2015

"In the early 1980s I moved to Chicago.  As this was my first time away from home, it was wonderful to have the Coleman family close by in Arlington Heights.  I spent a few holidays there, and watched the 4 boys from time to time.  This is where my memories of Uncle Tim were forged.  

Uncle Tim was a mountain of a man.  I remember marveling at how smart he was, and how capable he was.  I did not know exactly what he did at United Airlines, but I knew he was damned good at it.  He drank a lot of coffee.  He was the king of his castle.  He could tell a captivating story.  He could hold court like few others.  I felt he did everything for his family, for Aunt Ellen and for his boys.  It seemed to me, as an observer, that whatever Pat, Pete, Matt and Tim needed in life, Uncle Tim was going to move heaven and earth to make it happen.  At least that is how it felt to me.  I am sure that is how it felt to them.  Actions always tell the truth.

69 seems so young.  There will be so many grandkids missed, so many family gathering unattended, only a memory looming ever so large.  I had not talked to Uncle Tim in many years.  I had heard he and Aunt Ellen were in Florida, or Las Vegas, or wherever he could continue to work and provide.  I regret that I never reached out to say Hello, just to hear what this remarkable man would say to another man this many years down the road.  And, now I never can.  If Uncle Tim could hear me, I would say “Thank you for being a powerful example of what a strong and true man can be.  Your impact was felt.  You influenced my life.”  That is what I remember of my Uncle Tim."

Memories of Uncle Tim

March 7, 2015

My Uncle Tim passed away at a young age…a huge loss to our family. So, I wanted to reflect on his life and all the gifts of memory he gave me.

I first remember Uncle Tim as Tim, Aunt Ellen’s boyfriend/fiancé.  He was hanging around my grandparents’ house on Ranleigh Way.  In those days,  I’d  go to Oakland  Raider games with my Dad and sometimes I’d see Uncle Tim sitting with my Grandfather and Great Uncle Ted  having a great time, laughing and rooting on the Raiders. 

Then there was the wedding day at St Leo’s and the reception at Piedmont Park. It was a beautiful day and I can remember the two newlyweds walking along the paths of this beautiful park taking pictures. It was my first wedding and the grandeur of the day has stayed with me ever since.

Grandpa Tolon would talk about Uncle Tim in a proud way.  I remember Grandpa telling me how impressed he was that Uncle Tim not only received his Masters but he traveled back and forth from California to Denver to do so.  Impressive!

I would see the Colemans on trips to Oakland during my youth.  Uncle Tim always got along well with my Mom and Dad which I appreciated seeing. 

He was so proud of all his boys academically and athletically.  He sure watched a lot of games and from my perspective loved every minute of it.

Now, I see Uncle Tim’s temperament and intellect in his boys.  Cerebral, sensitive and passionate.  His legacy will live on through them and his grandchildren.

These are the gifts of memory that Uncle Tim has given me.  Happy memories.  Thanks. Uncle Tim.

David Cradeur



March 7, 2015

One of the many fond memories I have of Tim took place while Ellen was at Seattle U and spending some weekends with us.

Tim was working for United and encouraged to take "familiarization flights"  to become familiar with different airports.  Tim chose to take many "familiarization flights" to Seattle while he was courting Ellen.  And of course we teased him about getting "familiar" with Ellen.   We knew then that they were perfect together.   

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