Catherine Ellis Coleman
March 31, 1932 – October 9, 2021
Catherine Ellis Coleman, 89, of Chesterfield died Saturday, October 9, 2021. After a long and joyful life, her last few years were a struggle with issues stemming from her osteoporosis and other health concerns. Catherine passed away peacefully in her sleep in her room at Lucy Corr.
Catherine leaves behind her son, James “Jimmy” Lauck (Stephanie); daughters Tanya Likens and Vanessa Jenkins (David); grandchildren Tamara Nunnally, Trish Cerulli (Andrew), Lauren Mitchell (Knole), Joshua “Josh” Collier (Christian), and Brandon Likens; great-grandchildren, Lucas Nunnally, Leah and Amelia “Amy” Cerulli, and Adley and Knole “Trace” Mitchell; brother W. Frank Ellis; and nieces, nephews and friends.
She was preceded in death by her brothers, J. Earl Ellis in March of 2000 and Marion “Ray” Ellis in September of 2021.
Born in Richmond on March 31, 1932, Catherine lived on her Elkhardt Road farm for most of her life. As a talented seamstress from a young age, she spent countless hours in her sewing shop “Catherine’s Creations” designing and making beautiful garments for her clients, friends, family, and herself. Almost all of her outfits were handmade with ornate patterns, ruffles, and embroidery. Catherine had a wonderful career working until retirement as a beloved Chesterfield County school bus driver; she enjoyed driving and could back a bus through obstacle cones at the local ‘school bus roadeo’ with ease! A whiz with numbers and math, Catherine helped people with their taxes and even did the accounting for the local skating rink for a long time, which led to a family hobby of roller skating.
Catherine also appreciated all of God’s creations in nature; she loved gardening, watching and singing along with the birds, drawing flowers and animals, and anything about butterflies. Sitting on the swing in her garden and visiting Sunday Park with her grandchildren were some of her favorite pastimes. Spending time with her family, and seeing it grow was her most favorite thing in the world; her face lit up with pride and joy anytime her grandkids and great grands were around.
Catherine’s cremains will be honored and kept with her children while they take time to mourn, remember, and collect memories and pictures from those who knew and loved her. A celebration of life service will be planned for the early springtime of 2022. If you have memories, stories, or pictures to share, please request to join the Facebook group “Remembering Catherine Coleman”. More information about the details of the future service will be shared there, and the family hopes you will be able to join to celebrate her and the beauty of her life.
My grandma was a good woman. She loved her kids, grandkids,and great grandkids.
My Mama, as I called her was an amazing woman. Her talents God gave her were outstanding. When I was a little girl my Mama made beautiful ceramics. Her painting was out of this world. She drew a mural of a Japanese village on my wall in my room. On our stairwell she drew a mural of two squirrels playing in a pine tree jumping from branch to branch. This was when my Mama was single. It was just my Mama my brother and myself. As children we thought we lived the good life, but as children we only see a child’s life. Our Mama was a great Mother when I was young. I had the best baby hood toddler an young girl till I was 8. My memories as a little girl are the happiest any child could have till I was 8. I will miss my Mama but knowing without a doubt she is in Heaven and no more pain for her which makes a smile come on my face. I will see her again this I know for sure. Bye Mama for now or what I should say is see ya later. Oh I forgot her voice was beautiful and whistle was just as beautiful. Oh when she would come into my and my brothers room she would wake us up to a song which I sing to my grandson now myself he loves it to. So when I miss her I will go and play and run and skip down memory lane with my Mama holding hands and singing and whistling. I wish all who read this knew her when we were young she the greatest. I love you Mama.
Reading these memories brings back how her talents & interests blessed our lives. With her gift of sewing that was her therapy & what she could do all day & continued even into nursing care, I remember my favorite leopard print (she loved animal prints, especially leopard) outfit she made me as a child that had textured inserts everyone loved the feel of. But her best work would have to be my wedding gown that we designed together & she spent countless hours hand stitching appliqués & pearls beads on. I remember sleeping at the window of the bus she drove to school that we got up very early for her to do. She wanted to drive a car in a powder puff race, but our granny was concerned for her safety & as a result didn’t allow it but she found her fun with the school bus rodeos instead. Most of her kids & even grandkids all enjoyed the love of dancing & skating, improving our balance as a result & she even continued that love of dance into taking my SilverSneakers classes that I started taking with her in my 40’s & her in her early 80’s. She also inspired the love of chickens, birds, nature, butterflies (my name actually means butterfly which she didn’t even realize until after she named me), but as a result has been a connection in four generations sharing butterflies. As we have collected & shared them with one another. Another memory that has been passed down through the generations that she actually shared with our granny is entering things in the County Fair & attending to see what we won. Starting with the beautiful quilts our granny made & was probably what inspired our mom’s love of sewing. Mom loved nature because she loved God & His creation, especially her family. This love has been passed to her future generations that follow as we hope to share our love of God & His creation with the generations that follow. She will be missed but like our granny, she has left a legacy to remember her.