BREVARD — Nov. 13, 2021, Dr. Clara Ruth Coleman, 80, passed away doing exactly what she wanted to do in the location she wanted to do it: watching birds in Mozambique, Africa.
Clara was born in Canton and graduated from Pisgah High School. She attended Randolph Macon Women’s College for her undergraduate degree and earned both her master’s degree and her doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Clara was a gifted educator and spent all of her professional career guiding young minds and correcting comma splices. She spent decades teaching English at Brevard College in Brevard and was also Dean of the Students during her tenure. She served as English Department chair and was repeatedly recognized for her excellence in teaching.
Upon retirement, Clara travelled extensively world-wide watching and recording various species of birds. She had adventures on all seven continents, and she particularly loved traveling with Birding EcoTours.
With the expertise of the guides she considered her friends, she compiled an extensive database complete with tens of thousands of birds she saw with their complete scientific categorizations.
Clara is survived by her brother and sister-in-law Robert Daniel, III and Catherine Coleman, daughter and son-in-law Janet and Jim Evans, her four grandchildren: Anthony, Meredith, Mackenzie, and Coleman, three feline children, and one feline grandchild. We will all miss her greatly.
What we remember most about Clara is her endless sense of humor, her compassion, empathy and generosity, her love of life and how she always saw the beauty in nature. Conversations with her were always full of eye-opening concepts, recounts of amazing travels, and side-splitting laughter. She made everyone feel welcome and valued.
Clara will be remembered at Wells Funeral Home in Canton at a graveside service at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. There will be a gathering at Wells Funeral Home beginning at 10 a.m. and then a caravan to the gravesite. If inclement weather occurs, the service will be held in the chapel at Wells Funeral Home.
Clara will rest in her family plot among her parents, Robert Daniel Coleman, Jr. and Sarah Ruth Kirkpatrick Coleman, and her two daughters, Deborah Clarissa and Theresa Maria who preceded her in death.
In lieu of flowers, please support organizations such as National Audubon Society (audubon.org) and 4Ocean (4ocean.com) both of which support a clean earth for wildlife, a passion close to Clara’s heart.
The care of Mrs. Coleman has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Homes of Canton and an online memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at www.wellsfuneralhome.com.