San Francisco Chronicle - (Sunday)
Joan Marie Coleman
Dec 11, 1939 - Apr 8, 2021
Joan Marie Coleman (Schalla) of South San Francisco, passed away peacefully February 8, 2021 at home with her immediate family present.
Joan was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 11, 1939 to Stanley and Pauline Schalla. She graduated from College of St Francis in Joliet, Illinois in 1961 with a degree in History, and began her career in Education at Westmore Elementary, Villa Park, Illinois. In 1963 she relocated to San Francisco, California and continued her teaching career. Joan married Lawrence (Larry) W Coleman in 1966 and together they raised three children Kevin, Karen and Bradley. After the children were established in school she resumed her teaching career in the South San Francisco Unified School District as a Substitute teacher. In June 1980 she was employed as a full time teacher at St. Veronica School (SVS) to establish the first Kindergarten class. During her early years at SVS Joan continued her professional development through post graduate courses in Curriculum and Administration. In the mid 1980’s she took on added responsibility as Vice-Principal and then promoted to full time Principal. In 1987 she earned a Master Degree in Education Administration from Notre Dame Belmont. During the 1990’s SVS expanded the school facility extensively to include a Science Lab / Classroom and a Computer Classroom. Joan thoroughly enjoyed her years at SVS and was blessed with supportive superiors and parents, as well as very talented and dedicated staff and teachers. While Joan maintained high expectations in terms of personal responsibility, achievement, and professionalism, she regularly employed humor in her relationships with teachers, staff and students. She was an effective coach, advisor, counselor, and expected graduates to move on in life with strong christian values, achievement of full potential, high regard for others, and good citizenship. Faculty and staff did a wonderful job supporting these objectives. Joan retired in 2003. Throughout the years the family had enjoyed travelling especially to Hawaii for fun and relaxation, the midwest and east coast for family reunions. After the children left the nest, and as retirees, Joan and Larry enjoyed many more travel adventures to Europe, Canada, Australia and Alaska, and cruises originating from San Francisco.
Joan was also a spirited shopper who loved to find special gifts for her husband, children and grandchildren plus son-in-law and two daughters-in-law. She was an expert at finding the right gifts at the right price, plus many special treats for all. She was so proud of everyone in the family – their achievement at school or work; and so dearly loved them all.
Joan is survived by her husband Larry and children: Kevin (Kimberly), Karen Carlson (Mark), Bradley (Julianna) and grandchildren: Matthew, Courtney, Abigail, Josie, Gemma, Riley and Aidan.
She was predeceased by her parents and brother Ronald.
A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Veronica Church Thursday April 29, 2021 at 11:00am followed by burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Oakland. Due to the Pandemic, a celebration of life will be scheduled at a future date.