William “Bill” Coleman, 64, a shuttle driver at Groome Transportation who was permanently assigned to drive one of the shuttles at the University of Richmond, died Jan. 22 from lung cancer. Coleman is remembered for his hard work and dedication to his job, Groome Transportation representative LaToya Hurt said.
“Mr. Bill openly welcomed me from the start of my career here at the University of Richmond,” Hurt said. “His warm yet professional demeanor was encouraging and motivating. In the short time that I was able to work with him, I could see that he was very knowledgeable about the in and outs of the campus. He had a great rapport with the students, faculty and staff.”
Hurt worked with Coleman for a short time before his death.
Natalia Green, UR's director of parking services, held a similar view of Coleman.
“The staff loved him, the students loved him and his drivers loved him,” Green said. “He was helpful, happy and always willing to take a minute to answer a question and provide help of any kind. He got to know the students who used the shuttles and kept in contact with some of them after they graduated.”
Coleman remained positive and in good spirits despite his declining health, Hurt said.
In 2012, Coleman moved to Virginia from New York, according to the Times-Dispatch. He married Denine D’Angelo and became the stepfather to her children. He also had several cats and a dog named Bella who were spoiled rotten, Green said.
Coleman would regularly shuttle students involved with the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, and was a consistent presence for Bonner scholars, University Chaplain Craig Rocher wrote in a Jan. 26 email informing the UR community of Coleman's passing.
Coleman loved NY pizza and would bring it back to Richmond for his friends and coworkers, Green said.
“One summer he took a vacation and went back to New York to visit,” Green said. “He came back with boxes of pizza to share with the office. And when he found out we didn’t have any way to heat up the pizza, he went out and bought a toaster oven.”
Coleman was also a great fan of music, most specifically that of Jerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead.
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UR’s flags were flown at half-staff in Coleman's memory from Jan. 28 through Jan. 30, Kocher wrote in the Jan. 26 email.
Coleman is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren.
Contact visual editor Ben Wasserstein at email@example.com.
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