Dr. Charles Coleman
Dr. Charles Coleman

Obituary of Dr. Charles Mosby Coleman

Dr. Charles Mosby Coleman, 97, Inventor, Clinical Chemist, Devoted Husband and Father, died peacefully at sunrise on Sunday, February 19, 2023 at his son and daughter-in-law’s home in St. Petersburg, FL with his wife, Mary Catherine, and devoted family members surrounding him.

He was born October 14, 1925 in New York City to Wilgar Partlow and Patty Booker Mosby Coleman. He grew up in Darian Connecticut with his parents and sister Anne Eustace Davenport (Coleman) Eyes, and the siblings attended the progressive day school Cherry Lawn.

While he completing his formal education, he and his wife raised their family in Denver, Colorado and for a short in Morristown, New Jersey. Then to Pittsburgh, PA, where Charles took the position of Director of Clinical Chemistry at   Pittsburgh’s VA hospital.

In December of 2021 Charles and Mary Catherine went to Florida to their son’s home.

A Veteran of World War II, Dr. Coleman volunteered to serve his country in the Army and fought bravely in the Battle of the Bulge, helping to liberate Luxembourg. Preparing for to the battles, he worked in water purification for the troops in an special detail that set up clean water systems in the field. He and his troops were honored for their service, receiving medals in ceremony hosted by Luxembourg in 2005. After WWII ended, he returned to attend the University of Michigan, obtaining a B.S. in Chemistry. Dr. Coleman continued his studies at the University of Chicago, obtaining a Masters degree in Microbiology. He received his Ph.D. also in biochemistry, from the University of Colorado, doing pioneer work in the treatment of tuberculosis and synthetic vaccines.

He began his career in clinical chemistry, at the Oakland VA Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA. Dr. Coleman's problem-solving, probing mind led to him becoming a full-time inventor, and his invention of the "serum separator tube." eThrough BD, his invention was brought into routine clinical practice worldwide in the seventies and has ever since made blood collection more efficient, accurate, and life-saving by greatly increasing specificity, reducing the time (and risk) in blood draws. As an independent inventor, his company, SAFE-TEC, focused on creating a safer work environment for lab workers. He was a respected officer for many years in the American Association of Clinical Chemistry, and locally he often served as a judge for teen science competitions.

Charles met his wife Mary Catherine in Chicago.  While Charles was a grad student at the University of Chicago. At the time, Mary Catherine was a concert violinist for the Atlanta Symphony (which was on summer break, enabling her to study privately in Chicago).  They met at a dance, and it was love at first sight.  After a whirlwind romance, they married December 1, 1951. They celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary this past December 2022 in Florida.

Dr. Coleman’s beloved wife Mary Catherine survives him, as do his younger children, Anna Mosby Coleman, John Wilgar Coleman, daughter-in-law, Marie (Schools) Coleman, and Molly Coleman. Charles Mosby Coleman was predeceased by his parents, sister and her husband and his oldest children Patty and Stuart and daughter-in-law Elmira. His sister Anne (Coleman) Eyes and her husband Raymond Eyes, his eldest daughter Patty Glenn (Coleman) and her widower is Richard Selker. Deceased also are his older son, Stuart Prickett Coleman and his daughter in-law, Elmira (Azadeh) Coleman.

He was deeply loved and will be also missed by his grandchildren:  Anna Corlett and husband, Brandon; John Selker; Glenn Selker and wife Emma; Leyla Coleman, Johnny Coleman; Joshua Coleman, Sarah (Coleman) Harper and husband Bryce; Mary Catherine (Coleman) Rosello and husband Facundo Rosello, Stephen Coleman and wife Madeline; Daniel Coleman and wife Michela; 10 great-grandchildren (with 3 more born after his death).

Charles Coleman and his children enjoyed visits with their cousins, his nieces and nephews immensely and as children the cousins often visited each other on family trips to each others homes as well as his parents’ retirement home in Vermont: Coleman cousins Eyes and Horton include: Peter, Virginia (deceased), David, Ted, Elizabeth, Henry, and Margaret. Prickett nieces and nephew are: John (deceased), Josephine Anna, Elaine, and Mary.  

Dr. Coleman was brilliant scientist, a devoted loving husband, and father who taught his children and grandchildren to be critical thinkers and to contribute to society.  He fostered within them a value of education, learning and integrity.  He loved his family, art, music and philosophy.  One of his chief joys was listening to his wife play the violin.  He was a life-time member of the Episcopal Church, serving as an usher and greeter at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Mount Lebanon, PA for many years.  He was a deep thinker who loved innovation in service to a better society.  He diligently searched for truth and admired beauty.  He was kind and exceedingly generous to family, friends and strangers. He strove to use his gifts to help the wide world.

A live-streamed service honoring him took place on his 98th birthday, October 14, 2023. 

Go to https://annamosbycoleman.org/2024/02/19/october-14-2023-memorial-service-for-charles/ 

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