On July 17, Kathleen McFeely Coleman passed away in Gunnison after 76 years of a life filled with a love of the outdoors, exploration, and her family and friends. Born March 28, 1943 in Evanston, Ill., to James and Leona McFeely, Kathy grew up in Berkeley, Calif., with brothers Jim, Stephen, and Michael and sisters Ann and Pat.
In 1965 she married Hajime Amano, with whom she shares three children: Yumiko of Kofu, Japan, James of San Francisco, and Hugh of Chicago. Living in Japan for nearly a decade, Kathy’s embrace of the local culture enriched her life, and she shared that love with others when the family moved to Gunnison in 1974. This included teaching origami, preparing elaborate sukiyaki dinners for friends and neighbors, and cooking Japanese cuisine at The Epicurean on Gunnison’s Main Street, (in the space now housing The Firebrand) weekly.
A newly single mother, she worked at the Western State College Foundation, raising her three children to go on to be successful in their respective fields. In 1989, with Yumiko and James in college and beyond, she and Hugh moved to Denver, where she worked for The Japan-America Society.
On a short trip back to Gunnison in 1991, Kathy met Frank Coleman at a mutual friend’s gathering, and they were married in 1996. They lived in Alexandria, Va., until returning to the Gunnison area in 1999, where she would live out her life, reveling in the natural surroundings, keeping beautiful gardens and bird sanctuaries, and actively enjoying the outdoors.
Kathy is survived by her husband Frank and his daughter Sarah, her three children and son-in-law Isao Kobayashi, her five siblings, nephews and nieces, and her friends in Gunnison and across the globe. The family would like to give special recognition to the amazing support given by the local community of friends and medical professionals in the Gunnison area.
Friends are invited to join the family and share memories at a celebration of Kathy’s life to be held at the home of Butch Clark, 519 E. Georgia in Gunnison, on Saturday, July 27 from 1-3 p.m. Refreshments will be provided.
The family suggests sending memorial contributions to Gunnison Valley Hospice or Living Journeys.