Joseph G. Coleman, 89, formerly of Wyndmoor, a retired marketing executive and a baritone who sang with several area opera companies, died Sept. 24 of complications of pneumonia at Ann’s Choice, a retirement community in Warminster.
Mr. Coleman retired in 1988 as market research director at TV Guide magazine. Earlier he had worked with A.J. Wood, a market research firm in Philadelphia.
But it was as a singer and musician that he was best known in the Philadelphia area. He sang character roles with the Rittenhouse Opera Company, the Delaware Valley Opera Company and Amici Opera, and sang baritone for many years in the choir of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church in Chestnut Hill.
Mr. Coleman also teamed up with his wife, the former Doris Snyder, and another couple to create The Double Couple, a quartet that entertained audiences from Maine to Florida.
Born in Sligo, Pa., Mr. Coleman moved with his family to Verona, Pa., where he graduated from Verona High School. He entered the Navy in World War II and was sent to Hawaii to perform as a clarinetist and saxophonist in a band that entertained troops returning from combat in the Pacific.
After his discharge in 1945, he entered Oberlin College on the GI Bill and received a bachelor’s degree in music. In those years he played in many dance bands while developing his skill as a clarinetist.
He received a master’s degree in music from the University of Illinois and had also studied for a time at what is now the University of North Texas.
Mr. Coleman and his wife lived in Wyndmoor for 50 years before moving to Ann’s Choice. During that time, he served for several years as an assistant scoutmaster for Wyndmoor’s Boy Scout Troop 177.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Jerry; a daughter, Lisa; a sister and two granddaughters. A son, Lee, preceded him in death.
A memorial gathering was held Sept. 25 at the Craft/Givnish Funeral Home in Abington, with interment in Hillside Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Delaware Valley Opera Company, 1731 Chandler St., Philadelphia, PA 19111, or to the Ann’s Choice Scholar’s Fund, 30000 Ann’s Choice Way, Warminster, PA 18974. – WF