Cover photo for Michael Coleman's Obituary
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1949 Michael 2017

Michael Coleman

November 3, 1949 — April 4, 2017

Obituary Image

Dr. Michael Robert Coleman, age 67 of Boulder City, NV passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Born on November 3, 1949 to Kathleen Frances Hannan and Lawrence William Coleman in Wenatchee, WA at St. Anthony’s Hospital he was the first born of five children. In 1953, the family moved to Spokane, WA where Mike attended Gonzaga Preparatory school where he was active in cross country, football, track and leadership graduating in 1968. It was upon moving to Spokane that he met the love of his life, his next door neighbor Frances Elaine Leigh. The two families practically grew up together.

After graduation from Gonzaga Prep he enlisted in the Marines in the Evergreen State Platoon 3041. He was soon sent to Vietnam, where Michael was injured and became a double arm amputee. It was evident that during Michael’s recovery, he possessed amazing strength and perseverance and a truly unique positive perspective on life. It was clear from here Mike and Fran were a team and that she would help guide him throughout their wonderful journey. Michael and Fran married on August 22, 1970 at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Spokane, WA.  Mike enrolled in Gonzaga University on the GI bill and Fran began her studies at Eastern University in nursing studies to help care for Mike; soon after Colleen and Aaron were born.

Michael graduated from Gonzaga University with a Bachelors of Business Administration in 1974 and his Masters of Business Administration in 1975, receiving the Epsilon Beta Service Award on the occasion of his graduation as well as MBA. Michael received his Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Gonzaga University in 1995. After graduation, he joined IBM where promotion followed promotion; he led by example and retired as a senior executive. He took part in a national advertising campaign for IBM highlighting the accomplishments of disabled workers and was a recipient of the Vietnam Veterans’ Business and Industry Achievement Award.

Michael was charitable through life helping individuals, families and organizations where he and Fran inspired many along the way. Mike and Fran always had an open home where all were welcome. Michael had a contagious laugh and amazing sense of humor. He enjoyed traveling with Fran, family and friends, touching people's lives, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland A’s and with the birth of his three grandkids he enjoyed passing along his learning’s while laughing and actively playing with them.

Michael lived a fulfilling life with an unparalleled sense of strength and positivity. In Mike’s own words, “There’s a lot that makes up a person, but it has to do with the spirit, your mind and soul”.

Michael is survived by his: Step father Ray Gimlen of Harrison, ID; daughter Colleen Nishikawa and husband Gary of Henderson, NV; son Aaron Coleman and wife Jenny of Manhattan Beach, CA; brother Patrick Coleman and Lori Jones of Spokane, WA; brother Timothy Coleman of Portland, OR; and sister Cathy Ann Nielson of Medical Lake, WA; sister in law Pam Jones and husband Randy of Highlands Ranch, CO, sister in law Laura Leigh and wife Debra Serna of Flagstaff, AZ; and the joys of his life his grandchildren, grandson Sean Nishikawa and granddaughters Ashley Coleman and Kennedy Coleman. He leaves behind many uncles, cousins nieces and nephews as well as many dear friends made through his journeys.

He is preceded in death by his wife Fran of over 40 years and his mother Kay.

Funeral services are scheduled for 11AM April 22, 2017 at Boulder City Cemetery, 501 Adams Boulder City, NV with a reception following at his home. All are welcome to celebrate Michael’s amazing and inspirational life. In lieu of flowers donations can be sent Gonzaga University in Michael’s name.   Family and friends can sign an online memorial guestbook at

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