Rosa Theresa Coleman (née Stewart) died peacefully at Langley Gardens in Langley, British Columbia on July 17 2013, treasured and loved by family and friends. Born in Mossleigh, Alberta, in 1919, she was the daughter of William Francis Stewart (d1966) and Mary Agnes Rosamond Stewart (née) Webster (d1921). Her death was predeceased by that of her loving husband, Donald William Patrick Coleman in 1981 and by her three older sisters: Margaret Gordon, Elizabeth Andrews, and Agnes Barefoot. She leaves behind a cherished extensive family including her six children: William, Stanley (Dianne), Richard (Michele), Patrick (Myrna), Rose Anne (Barry), and Edward (Laurie). A loving grandmother, she will be held deep in the hearts of her 22 grandchildren and her four great grandchildren.
Rosa was a born teacher. After completing her Senior Matriculation at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Nelson, B.C. in 1938 and a year working in a doughnut shop to earn the necessary money, she attended Normal School in Victoria, B.C. and began her teaching career at Taghum near Nelson in 1940. Over the subsequent six years, working by correspondence and attending summer school, Rosa obtained her B.A. degree in Mathematics and English at the University of British Columbia. After her children had all started school, she resumed her teaching career in Penticton, B.C. where the family had moved in February 1957. She spent almost all of her subsequent career teaching English at Princess Margaret School, where she will be remembered with great affection by hundreds of students as well as colleagues. After retirement, she continued her love of teaching for over 20 years by working with many men and women, usually recent immigrants, and helped them learn English. A voracious reader, she was an active member of the University Women’s Club and also enjoyed playing bridge up to the last year of her life.
Rosa was a devout Roman Catholic who drew great strength from her faith; she was a lifelong member of the Catholic Women’s League.
A memorial mass celebrating her life will be held in St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church in Penticton on August 6 at 11:00 AM. Following the service, there will be a burial in the grave already shared by her late husband and her late father. The site overlooks beautiful Okanagan Lake, a view she always cherished. A tea service will follow at St. Ann’s after the burial ceremony.