Wayne Jackson Coleman passed away on January 8, 2021.
Wayne was born in Eastman, Georgia on April 13, 1937 to Braudus (BJ) and Verma Coleman, but spent most of his formative years in Reidsville, Georgia.
In eighth grade, Wayne was recruited for the high-school one-act play at Reidsville High. It was there he met a cute, bossy tenth-grader named Annette. They would go on to marry and spend the next 60 years together.
He studied journalism, history and French at Mercer University and the University of Georgia. He began his career on a newspaper in Anderson, SC, but eventually found success in furniture sales at Rich’s and Mangurians. In the mid 1970’s, Wayne partnered with two friends to form Omni Manufacturing (Basic America Medical today), a firm that designed and manufactured furniture for nursing homes.
Wayne and Annette were deeply involved in Clairmont Baptist Church and Dunwoody Baptist Church (both in Atlanta), and First Presbyterian Church of Highlands (North Carolina). He was a popular Sunday School teacher in each congregation and had a knack for weaving historical context into a compelling story. He was never afraid to challenge traditional thinking. He sang in choirs in each church and was a sought-after soloist.
The theme of performance never left his journey. Over the years he acted in plays at Dunwoody Baptist Church, Stage Door Players, Highlands Playhouse, Aurora Theatre, Actor’s Express, Highlands Performing Arts Center, and others. Favorite roles included Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof (which he played twice).
Wayne and Annette spent most of their adult year in Atlanta, but retired to Highlands, NC in 1997. In retirement, Wayne remained active in the Highlands Men’s Chorale, a local writer’s group, and the architecture committee at First Presbyterian.
Wayne loved to argue, politics in particular, and was quite adept at taking a contrary position to most anyone in the room.
He always wore red socks.
Wayne is survived by three generations of boisterous and opinionated family members in Atlanta, Georgia; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Denver, Colorado.
Bryant-Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Coleman family. Online condolences can be made at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com
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