KENT, Wash. — Leon Ronald Coleman (Sept. 16, 1940 – Jan. 22, 2019)
Leon was born on Sept. 16, 1940 in Great Falls as the first son and third child of Joseph and Luverne Coleman. He was raised in Great Falls and graduated from Great Falls High School in 1958.
Leon married his wife, Janet (Logan) in 1962 and they were married for 53 years. They welcomed twin boys, Scott and Steve, in 1963. Daughters Cheryl and Angela were born in 1971 and 1972, to complete the family.
Leon had a love of cars, trucks, boats — really anything with an engine. He purchased his first car at 15 and boat at 18. He followed this passion into his lifelong work of auto parts and then heavy equipment parts. He and Tom Booth purchased Motor Supply Company in 1971 and operated it until 1988. Following Motor Supply Company, Leon went to work for Long Machinery, later known as Western States, dealing in Caterpillar and other heavy equipment. He always enjoyed the customers and working with his fellow employees.
Upon his retirement from Western States in 2009, Leon began driving a school bus for Beach Transportation. Although he enjoyed the automotive and heavy equipment industries, he really enjoyed his time driving both the little elementary children and older high school students to and from their schools. He would come home daily with funny stories about the kids on the bus. They truly brought joy to his life. He also enjoyed spending time with the other bus drivers for coffee or breakfast in between routes at Ruby’s.
Leon enjoyed cooking and Sunday was his day. We will miss his Sunday morning breakfasts, which cannot be beat. Hash brown potatoes with onions, link sausages, eggs over easy, pancakes with chocolate chips or maybe French toast, and if you were lucky, homemade country sausage gravy. Sunday dinners were usually a pot of goodness. Our favorites were ham and lima beans, chili, chicken pot pie, and goulash. There were homemade biscuits, muffins and cornbread. For dessert, Leon’s favorite was apple pie, which he proudly prepared himself.
Many summers were spent camping and boating at Holland Lake before Leon and Jan built a summer home on Finley Point on beautiful Flathead Lake. They loved spending summers there, entertaining family and friends, lounging in the sun, swimming in the lake, jumping off the dock, roasting s’mores over the campfire, eating lots of great food and especially enjoying a martini or beer at Happy Hour.
Along with many loyal friends, Leon was also blessed with fantastic neighbors in Missoula and Flathead Lake who were always willing to chat and lend a helping hand. He will be missed by his sons Scott (Kathy) of Phoenix, Arizona, and Steve (Cindy) of Spokane, Washington; daughters Cheryl Anderson (Curtis) of Kent, Washington, and Angela Dutenhoffer (Myron) of Federal Way, Washington; two granddaughters: Megan and Madison Coleman; and seven grandsons: Andrew, Benjamin, and Thomas Coleman; Eric and Matthew Anderson; Samuel and Alexander Dutenhoffer. Also, his brother, Howard (Perry); sister, Donna McLaughlin (Bill); sister-in-law, Kathee Nelick (Rex), and many nieces and nephews.
Last, but not least, he will be very missed by his beloved Bichon Frise dog, Bella, who was his faithful companion and brought him lots of joy.
He is preceeded in death by his wife, Jan; parents, Joseph and Luverne Coleman; his sister, Helen Anderson; and brother-in-law, William Anderson.
Leon passed away peacefully in his sleep after suffering from congestive heart failure. He spent his final year and a half in Washington State being cared for at Emerald Care Adult Family Home near his daughters and their families. His final years will be cherished with so many wonderful memories of time spent together. The family is grateful for the care given Leon by the staff at Emerald. He was very happy and comfortable there.
A celebration of life and luncheon will be held at Linda Vista Golf Course Event Center on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019 at 12:00. Leon requested no services, so please come and enjoy some food with us as we remember and celebrate our dad.