Born New Year’s Eve, 1942 in Washington D.C., Roxane Yourd Coleman was courageous, curious, and independent. She loved gardening and swimming, was a voracious reader and lifelong learner, a dedicated football fan of Michigan (“Go Blue!”) and the Eagles, and an unparalleled lover of sweets. She was also a beloved wife, sister, and mother. Roxane passed away on December 4, 2023, after a short illness.
Roxane’s life was defined by her adventurous spirit and firm belief in helping others; these led her to serve in the Peace Corps in Tunisia in 1965, and later to her devoted work at the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, primarily in the church’s Guatemala Companion Parish Ministry. Through these experiences she learned Arabic and Spanish and loved sharing the beauty of these cultures through textiles she collected and the many, many photos she took.
A graduate of Carlton College, Roxane met her husband of 55 years, Jack David Bo Coleman, in graduate school at Harvard University in 1966. Married in 1968, they spent several years living in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland and later in Shishmaref, Alaska for Jack’s work. Both were rugged and remote outposts that tested her adventurous no-nonsense attitude; they had to cut ice blocks to melt for a weekly “bath in a bucket” during the Alaska years. She made the best of each though, learning about the native cultures, and volunteering in the communities.
Following the birth of their daughter Elizabeth in 1977, Roxane and Jack settled in Philadelphia, where daughter Hannah was born in 1982. Roxane reunited with her eldest daughter, Susan, in 2002, after having given her up for adoption in 1966. She was thrilled to learn she was a grandmother and enjoyed that role, visiting Susan and her sons, Alessandro and Aidan, in Minnesota.
Roxane spent her career teaching elementary school. She most recently taught at Abington Friends School, from which she retired after over 20 years of service. In retirement she enjoyed spending time puttering about in the garden, reading mysteries, watching British shows on PBS, visiting art museums in New York and Philadelphia, and reconnecting with extended family.
Roxane was diagnosed with dementia a few years ago and declined swiftly. Her daughters are grateful for the tremendous help of Cindy Hamilton, and the staff at Cathedral Village, who provided care for Roxane for the last few years.
She is survived by her husband Jack Coleman; her daughters Susan Boen, Elizabeth Coleman, and Hannah Coleman; her grandsons Alessandro Bendini and Aidan Koehn; her brother Charles Yourd; and her beloved cat, “Kitty.” A Celebration of Life event will be planned for January 2024.