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Our Beginnings

C oleman Funeral Home was founded in 1960 by Helen Coleman. She worked in New York cleaning houses to send money home to her  father the late Mr. Robert Coleman Sr. and her mother the late Mrs. Virginia Williams-Coleman to continue construction on the building. As a young girl her interests in the funeral industry came from her grandfather the late Walter Williams. 

Mr. Williams had a funeral home in Garysburg called Williams Funeral Home and she would hang around the funeral home with him. Later, the late Mr. William Day went into business with Mr.Williams and renamed the funeral home Williams and Day Funeral Home, it was here that Helen found her gift and knew that this profession belonged to her.

In 1975 the late Mr. Charles M. Phillips was the N.C. State Board of Mortuary Science Executive Secretary, told Mrs. Helen Coleman-Washington that according to the state records and he knew that she was the First Woman in the state of North Carolina to be the founder of a funeral home and to build one from the foundation alone. 

Mrs. Helen Coleman-Washington is presently the owner and a Licensed Embalmer and Funeral Directress with years and years of experience.  She is a graduate of Northampton County Training School, Atlanta College of Mortuary Science,Atlanta, GA (1953), and has worked for Brown Funeral Home, Warrenton, NC, Bond Funeral Home, Emporia, VA, Cofield Funeral Home, Weldon, NC, Knox Funeral Home, Emporia, VA, Green Funeral Home, Warrenton, NC and many, many other funeral homes in the New York area during her early years. After working at several funeral parlors during her early career for an apprenticeship failed -- The late Mr. Thurston Brown, founder and owner of Brown Funeral Home, Warrenton, NC gave Helen a chance to complete her apprenticeship and signed her form for completion to receive her Embalmer and Funeral Director licenses.

In 1960 the first family Coleman Funeral Home served was the late "Mr. Charlie Graham" of Roanoke Rapids, NC the husband of the late Mother Mary Graham. The late Mr. Charlie Graham was the father of the late and former Pastor and Founder of Community Church of Christ #2 along with his wife the late Mother Mary Graham, Hwy 48, Roanoke Rapids, NC. Mrs. Helen would often tell Ellis, "You know one thing Ellis, the Graham Family trusted me, when they didn't even know me", and since that time, The Graham Family has and always will be a part of Coleman Funeral Home.


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