Charles Ray Coleman
Charles Ray Coleman was born November 1st, 1936 at the family farm near Weleetka, Oklahoma and went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on June 28th, 2022 at the age of 85. Charles was the youngest of eight children born to Ray John and Arline (Robison) Coleman.
Much of Charles’ early education was spent in Indian Boarding Schools due to the hardship of the Great Depression. First, he attended Euchee Boarding School in Sapulpa; then, later he attended Jones Academy in Hartshorn, Oklahoma. When Charles was thirteen and attending Jones Academy, his father died from illness. This unfortunate event affected Charles very deeply since he and his father were very close.
After graduating from Haskell Institute, Charles attended Bacone College. Upon graduating Bacone in 1957, he enlisted in the Army Security Agency at Fort Devens in Massachusetts. His duties included electronic intelligence and intercepting Morse Code. After Fort Devens, Coleman was stationed in Korea where he was involved in interception of foreign electronic communications and development of innovative warfare techniques of intelligence gathering.
In 1963, as the US military buildup began in Southeast Asia, Coleman’s intelligence unit was utilizing new techniques to monitor enemy troop and supply movements, so that aerial bombardment targets could be accurately pinpointed during Operation Rolling Thunder, a successful military campaign against the Communist Forces from 1965 to 1968.
Afterward, Coleman temporarily returned to the US for stateside duty as a 2nd Lieutenant; then accepted an assignment to Malta at the NATO Mediterranean Naval Command Post to once again gather intelligence. For recreation though, he took up the sport of polo. His polo team was led by the British war hero General John Frost, whose exploits were immortalized in the book and movie A Bridge Too Far. Coleman used a beautiful horse owned by Lord Mountbatten, and also had the honor of playing against Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh when he visited.
In 1968, Coleman was once again assigned stateside duty in Arlington, Virginia where he worked on research and development of future warfare technology. Coleman stated, “One day they called us all together at the National Security Agency at Fort Mead and had us look into a microscope, there we saw the MOSFET an acronym for Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor, in other words the microchip. We realized then that radio transmissions would be revolutionized.”
In 1973, Mr Coleman retired from the military as a Captain and went back to college at Central State University (Now, University of Central Oklahoma) where he graduated with degrees in Social Studies and Psychology, minoring in Physical Education. While studying at Central State, Coleman also played middle linebacker on the varsity football team, and they respectfully nicknamed him “Grandpa.”
Afterwards, Coleman taught and coached in the Arcadia Public Schools. He later returned to Oklahoma to serve as Dean of Students at Bacone College under the Presidency of Doug Holloman. He later pursued a doctorate in comparative cultures at the University of California at Irvine.
Mr Coleman spent many years teaching with the Los Angeles Unified School District heading a Program that brought students from diverse backgrounds to teach respect, understanding, and openmindedness towards each other.
After Mr. Coleman retired from the LA School District in 1997, he moved back to the family farm outside Weleetka only to become highly involved in Tribal Affairs.
Charles served many years on the Muscogee Creek Nation Health Board. He was also elected as Warrior to the Thlopthlocco Tribal Town Business Committee where he served 10 years. Subsequently, Charles Coleman served as Thlopthlocco’s Tribal Historic Preservation Officer which culminated his military, tribal and cultural skills, intelligence and awareness. Charles Coleman was truly a man that never retired from learning or teaching.
Charles was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, three sisters, one daughter, Marsha Severns and his dear friend and wife, Donna. He is survived by one sister, Dorothy Burden of Weleetka; one daughter, Brenda Severns and Fiance, Scott of West Covina, Calif omia, and two sons, Melvin Delgato, and wife Levi; and Carlos Flamenco, all of Weleetka; and three grandchildren. Also, 5 greatnephews and 3 great -nieces and many other wonderful relatives and friends whom he dearly loved.
A Wake Service was held Friday, July, 1st, 2022 at the Alabama Indian Church, Weleetka, OK. Also, a Funeral Service celebrating the life of Charles Coleman was held Saturday, July 2nd, 2022 at the First Baptist Church, Weleetka, OK. Interment followed at the Hillcrest Cemetery, Weleetka, OK.