Walter Jackson Coleman ’58

Walter Jackson Coleman ’58, of Atlantic Beach, Fla., whose commanding presence, eloquence, and vision contributed to his success as an outstanding business and community leader and educator, died June 18 after battling lung cancer. Throughout his life, Walter was an exemplary leader, serving his church, community, and country in so many valuable roles. The Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce auditorium, named for him, is a fitting tribute for the outstanding community leader. An unprecedented two-time president of the chamber of commerce, he was also active in economic development serving on the board of the Central Florida Economic Development Council. He was appointed to the Workforce Development Board. He was accorded the highest honor of the Kappa Alpha Order, the Knight Commander’s Accolade, for his service as alumnus and faculty advisor at Florida Southern College (FSC), in addition to his outstanding achievements and service to numerous areas of business and economics. Walter was an associate professor, with an M.B.A. in management, as well as an M.B.A. with computer science emphasis, and was at FSC since 1988. His 35 years of applied business experience ranged from entrepreneurial activities as the CEO of his own organizations, to the strategic environment of the board of directors of a New York Stock Exchange listed company. He taught strategic management and computer science concepts, as well as human resources management, having served at one time as the regional director of personnel for the 12th largest company in the Fortune 500 index. He taught entrepreneurship, served as an international business consultant for the U.S. Agency for International Development in former Eastern Bloc countries such as Ukraine. Walter was a national Toastmasters International finalist and was elected “Teacher of the Year” by his students, and received the national Methodist General Board of Education Outstanding Teaching Award. Walter was also a Marine veteran, having served in the Korean War, and was an avid outdoorsman, nationally ranked in skeet shooting and a competition handgun champion. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Jean Buck Coleman, 1711 Beach Ave., Atlantic Beach, FL 32233-5838; children, Caren Coleman, Cathy Trussell, Jackson Coleman, Cyndy Jelinek, and Buck Coleman; grandchildren, Kristen and Otto Jelinek, Amanda and Caroline Trussell, and Ryder Coleman; sisters, Martha Coleman and Marylee Heaton.