Pariss M. Coleman
May 17, 1946 – August 2, 2021
Pariss M. Coleman, May 17, 1946 – August 2, 2021
Longtime headmaster of the Toledo Public School and advocate for the children.
Pariss Michael (“Mike”) Coleman, 75 years old, died on August 2, 2021 at the University of Toledo Medical Center. He died of complications from a lung disease.
Mike came to Toledo at the age of 22 as a recent graduate from Marshall University. He was lured to Toledo by Toledo Public Schools to teach children and earn a steady income. Mike had invitations to play professional football with the Miami Dolphins and Washington Football Team, but the need to care for his family – mother, brother, and sister – brought him to Toledo at a young age.
He began working as a physical education teacher at Jesup W. Scott High School, where he also coached football and athletics. As he developed teaching skills and showed a talent for administration, he became Dean and later Assistant Headmaster of Scott. In 1974 he earned a Masters Degree in Administration and Supervision from the University of Toledo. During the 1970s, Mike also worked at the Children Studies Institute.
After working at Scott for 20 years, he became principal of the Old West End Junior High School in 1988, which he chaired until his retirement in 1998 and worked for TPS for 30 years. Continuing his passion for children, he replaced TPS as an administrator and was often asked to look after new administrators.
A member of the Rosary Cathedral since 1977, in 2010 the Rosary Cathedral Elementary School asked him to serve as principal for a year. With a wealth of administrative experience in the Old West End, Mike was a perfect fit for the school and often greeted his former students as parents of enrolled children. After serving at the Rosary Cathedral, Mike returned as Assistant Administrator for TPS. Mike volunteered as a cafeteria supervisor with his daughter Christine Coleman, who served as the assistant principal at Beverly Elementary School. Known as “Papa Coleman” by teachers and students alike, he did his best to put a smile and mostly sweet treats in the mouth of every child. Before going to Beverly every day, he made sure he had enough small bills to support students who might just need a small thing. He was named Volunteer of the Year by TPS in 2016. He continued to volunteer at Beverly through 2020.
Mike was known for his discipline, fairness, and strong sense of humor. He enjoyed the greatest respect of his colleagues, but more importantly, the lifelong respect of his students. Even during their hospitalization at UTMC, former students valued a visit.
Born in the coal-mining town of Winona, West Virginia, to William and Frances Coleman, Mike attended Nuttal High School, where he showed athletic talent and was particularly gifted with a soccer ball in his hands. High school success as a running back and wide receiver earned him a football scholarship to Marshall University, where he played for coach Charlie Snyder. Because of its extraordinary speed and small size, it was nicknamed “Flea”. Due to the spirited challenges from teammates, Mike joined Marshall’s track team where he was impressive in the sprints. Mike also promised the brotherhood of Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc. at Marshall and stayed active in the Toledo Alumni Chapter.
After living in Toledo for a year in the late 1960s, a mutual friend introduced Mike Linda Recker. Little did they know then that a simple introduction would lead to nearly 52 years of marriage. Against the backdrop of the Robert Frost poem “The Road Not Taken” they married after a year of advertising and started a family with two children, Pariss (“Mike”) and Christine. His kids followed in his footsteps, with Christine playing as an elementary school administrator and Mike playing soccer at Miami University.
Marked by their apparent love for one another, Mike and Linda served as marriage counselors to Cana in the Rosary Cathedral. Mike also served as an usher there for over 40 years.
After retiring from TPS, Mike found his voice in the Clarence Smith Community Chorus. To the surprise of his family, he was able to sing! Mike enjoyed the discipline, camaraderie and performance of the choir.
Also early in his retirement, Mike received the ultimate gift from granddaughter Kennedy. Kennedy and “Papa” were waist-fixed from the start, with him as their biggest supporter and cheerleader and she as his.
The Coleman family are deeply indebted to the many UTMC doctors, nurses, therapists, and other staff who looked after him. The family would like to Dr. Dolsey, Dr. Hamouda, Dr. Machanda, Dr. Rashid and Joe Huss express special thanks and thanks.
Mike survived his wife Linda Coleman; Children, Paris “Mike” Coleman II (Traci) and Christine Coleman; Granddaughter Kennedy Coleman; Sister Beulah Nickerson (Arthur); and godmother, Connie Huss-Boyle. Mike was preceded in death by parents William and Frances Coleman; and brother Roger Coleman.
Instead of flowers or gifts, please donate to one of the following organizations: Rosary Cathedral; Clarence Smith Community Choir; or St. Ursula Toledo LABRE program.
The tour is held Tuesday, August 10th, at the Coyle Funeral Home, 1770 S. Reynolds Road, Toledo, OH 43614, 3:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The Kappa Alpha Psi Omega Ceremony begins on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. August 11, taking place 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, 2535 Collingwood, Toledo, OH 43610, instead The funeral will be private.
Please read and sign the online guest list at www.coylefuneralhome.com
Published by The Blade on August 8, 2021.