American Veteran 04

Betty Mae Coleman

January 25, 1924 ~ December 3, 2021 (age 97)

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Betty May Coleman (nee Keller), age 97, passed away on Friday, December 3, 2021. Per Betty’s request the funeral service and viewing will be for family only. Our mother Betty was born 1-25-1924 in Madison, South Dakota and moved to the Alliance Ohio area when she was 13 years old. She would tell those close to her of farm life with her brothers Bobby and Francis, and her sister Phyliss during the years of the great depression. One story she would often retell was how she lost her meager childhood savings while standing in line during a run on the bank in the 1930’s. After arriving in Alliance as a young girl, one of the first things Betty learned the hard way was not to wade in the Mahoning River due to the leeches! She worked downtown for the Ohio Bell Telephone Company as a switchboard operator before graduating from Alliance High School in 1942. Betty was sometimes amused by the need to explain to the younger generation the function of a switchboard operator.  After graduation she enlisted in the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) during World War II. Betty served on the Bainbridge Island Radio Station, Washington in the Puget Sound area specializing in communications. Her responsibilities included receiving and decoding enemy messages intercepted from Japanese naval vessels, often including submarines. Mom would recall that the war would take on a human side when occasionally she would intercept a signal that included brief messages sent home by homesick sailors. After the war Betty returned home to her job at the phone company and briefly attended Mt. Union College. She married her only husband, Cecil H. Coleman, in 1947 and raised a family of three sons. Our parents celebrated 44 years of marriage before our father Cecil’s early death in 1991. She maintained her independence until the last few years of her life when her sons had to take away the car keys. (Sorry, Mom!) Betty enjoyed her volunteer work at the Christ United Methodist Church in Alliance especially working with children for many years at the daycare center. She was also active in the Adopt-a-Reader program. Betty outlived her brothers Bobby and Frank and sister Phyliss as well as her parents, Reinhard and Gertrude Affolter formerly of Alliance. She leaves behind sons John Coleman of Alliance, Robert Coleman (Judy) of Uniontown, OH, and Craig Coleman, also of Alliance in addition to her niece Mary Ann Strothman (Bill) of Missoula, Montana. Betty also leaves behind three grandchildren, Kelley Zeiszler (Lee) of Silverlake OH, Todd Coleman of Uniontown OH, and Eric Coleman of Parma Heights, OH. Mom also leaves behind her six great grandchildren, Karleigh, Billie, Brady, Olivia, April, and Daphne.

The family wishes to express gratitude and appreciation to the nurses and staff of the Oakhill Manor nursing home for their love, care, and patience during Betty’s stay there. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Christ United Methodist Church, 470 E. Broadway St, Alliance, OH 44601. Betty will be laid to rest in Highland Memorial Park, Beloit, OH. Online condolences may be left for the family at

                                                                Stier-Israel Funeral Home           330-875-1414



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