Mary Louise (Harris) Coleman

December 24, 1927 ~ September 10, 2020 (age 92)


Mary Louise Coleman was born on Dec. 24, 1927 in Forest, Mississippi to parents Bennie Harris and Cornelia Walden Harris. She was the second of ten children. She joined Concord Missionary Baptist Church at an early age.

She attended the Scott County Training School in the late 1940’s. She graduated from Tougaloo College in 1950 with a degree in Home Economics. Her teaching career began in Lexington, MS in 1950 followed by a job in DeKalb, MS. 

She was married to the late Paul Coleman and this union was not blessed with children. However Paul and Louise’s kind and generous nature provided for her siblings and relatives.

In 1968 Louise moved to Portland, Oregon. She became a faithful member of First AME Zion Church. She served as District President of the Women’s Home Overseas Missionary Society for over twenty years. Louise and her late sister Geneva unselfishly gave of their time to serve on committees, decorate the church for holy days and special events. She was very creative and conceived the idea for a  Colored Tea to raise funds for the work of the missionary’s ministry. Each table was lavishly decorated in the colors of one of each society.  Louise was an accomplished seamstress and a master cook. She was well known for her sweet potato pies, and other delicacies.

Louise taught Home Economics in Portland Public Schools.  She retired from the district in 1986 after 35 years of service in education.  

In 2013 Louise was confined to a wheelchair and could no longer live independently. Her youngest sibling Paul moved in and for seven years, he cared for her until she passed away peacefully in the comfort of her home on Sept. 10, 2020.

Louise was preceded in death by her parents Bennie and Cornelia; sisters Bernice Allen, Doris Eiland; Geneva Bedford; brothers  Bennie Jr., James , Willie and Bobby. She is survived by her brother Paul (Joyce, Portland, Oregon) sister Shirley McGowan (Edward, Lawrence, Mississippi) sister in-law Agnes Harris (Bobby/deceased, Portland, Oregon) Nieces: Bobby Jean Greer (Willie, Riverside, California) Wilma Jean Chaffee, Patricia Allen, Mary Jean Yancy, Cynthia Harris Johnson, Jamila Williams, Lisa Harris, Bonnie Jean Evans, Nephews: Charles Bedford, Guy Harris, Willie Ray Harris, Marcus Harris, Edward McGowan, Jr., Rico McGowan, and a host of other relatives and friends.

***Public Viewing Procedures***  

 * Masks Are Required.      

* 2 People In The Building At One Time With Social Distancing Enforced In The Building .      

* Up To 2 People In The Viewing Room At One Time.  


Due to the number of persons allowed at the Funeral Service because of COVID-19 the service will be streamed on YouTube.  The link for the service is located below with the service time.

Graveside Service will live streamed live on ZOOM at 12:00 pm.  You will be able to log in at 12:00 pm.  The ZOOM link is located below with the Graveside information


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Louise (Harris) Coleman, please visit our floral store.


Public Viewing
October 8, 2020

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Terry Family Funeral Home
2337 N. Williams Ave
Portland, OR 97227

Funeral Service
October 9, 2020

10:00 AM
New Song Community Church
2511 NE Martin Luther King Blvd
Portland, OR

Graveside Service
October 9, 2020

12:00 PM
Rose City Cemetery
5625 NE Fremont
Portland, OR 97213

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