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.

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