James Hugh “Jim” Coleman, age 83, of Knoxville died peacefully at home with family on Thursday, November 3, 2022. He was born September 22, 1939, in Wellsville, NY to Myles B. Coleman & Emma R. Shoenfelt Coleman. After graduation from Wellsville High School in 1957, Jim enlisted in the US Air Force and served as an electronics technician for the B-58 Hustler and other Cold War-era aircraft at several locations. He was honorably discharged in January 1964. Soon after on June 27, 1964, Jim married Judith Ann Saunders of Scio, NY. They moved to Alfred, NY, where Jim constructed a new home while pursuing studies at Alfred University. In 1968, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in ceramic engineering and pursued graduate coursework at Rutgers University. In 1969, the couple moved to Wichita Falls, TX, where Jim worked for Sprague Electric Company and was awarded many patents for electrical capacitors. Pursuing a lifelong passion for automobiles, Jim designed and built an electric car, which he drove daily during the 1970s oil crisis. Jim was also a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church where he sang in the choir and led the building committee for a school expansion.
Upon taking a process engineer role with San Fernando Electric Mfg. Co., Jim relocated to Slidell, LA in 1984. Here, he restored two antique cars with his sons, attended Bethany Lutheran Church, and sang in a local barbershop chorus group. He designed industrial test equipment for Evans Cooperage Co. in Harvey, LA from 1992-1994. In 1995, he began working for Vacuum Technology Inc. of Oak Ridge and relocated to the Knoxville area, where he retired and continued to reside. He was a member of Faith Lutheran Church of Oak Ridge and performed volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity and The Paradox Youth Center.
Jim is survived by his wife, Judy; sons, John C. Coleman of Collierville, TN, and Jeffrey M. Coleman, of Everett, WA; grandson, Christian James Coleman; sister, Sandra Wardell of Sussex, NJ; and brother, Thomas R. Coleman & wife, Jaynie, of Randolph, NJ.
The family will receive friends 11 am-12 pm Wednesday, November 9, 2022, at Faith Lutheran Church of Oak Ridge. A memorial service will be held at 12 pm with a reception to follow. Jim’s ashes will be scattered by family at a later date. Online condolences may be left at weartherfordmortuary.com.