Penrith Turner Coleman
Published 12:21 pm Friday, February 10, 2017
Penrith Turner Coleman died Feb. 7, 2017, surrounded by her family, after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease and dementia.
A proud native of Demopolis and a longtime resident of Mobile, she was born on August 23, 1945, the daughter of David Sinclair Turner and Gwyndolyn Collins.
Penny graduated from Mary Baldwin University, received a master’s degree from Columbia University and was retired from Mobile County Public Schools. She was always an avid supporter of public education and served as a teacher at Murphy High School and later in the homebound and migrant worker programs.
Penny and John Coleman lived for 47 years on Washington Square, where Penny was known as a gracious hostess and thoughtful neighbor, always welcoming newcomers with a proper afternoon tea or dinner party. She was active in historic preservation efforts throughout the state, served as president of the Mobile Historic Development Commission and on the board of the Museum of Mobile. She organized efforts to send disadvantaged neighborhood children to camp each summer through All Saints Episcopal Church.
Penny is survived by husband, John Wilbanks Coleman; daughters, Elizabeth Coleman Gillis (Justin) of Memphis and Laura Wilbanks Coleman of Honolulu; grandson, Grey Gillis; mother, Gwyn Collins Turner of Demopolis; brothers, Joseph Collins Penrith Turner (Martha) and David Penrith Turner (Barbara) of Demopolis; as well as nieces and a nephew.
Burial at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church Cemetery in Gallion will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Penny’s memory to the Barton Academy Foundation, P.O. Box 571, Mobile, AL 36601 or BartonAcademy.org.