Obituaries » James "Clay" Claiborne Coleman, Jr.

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James "Clay" Claiborne Coleman, Jr.

November 14, 1928 - January 28, 2022

Burial Date February 5, 2022

Funeral Home Thomas Poteet & Sons Funeral Home

Obituary Viewed 687 times

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James Claiborne Coleman, Jr. entered into rest Friday, January 28, 2022. Clay was born on November 14th, 1928 in Athens, Georgia, to James Claiborne Coleman and Martha Turner Coleman. After the family relocated to Augusta, Clay attended William Robinson School and graduated from Richmond Academy where he was a cadet. Outside of school, Clay spent as much time as possible at Daniel Field maintaining airplanes in exchange for flight lessons, and became a proficient General Aviation pilot. Clay graduated from Georgia Tech in 1952 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He was an active member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity where he developed lifelong friendships. He met the love of his life, Dorothy Nell Hardin (Dot), while at Georgia Tech. They were married at Good Shepherd Church on December 20, 1952. Having served in the ROTC program at Georgia Tech, Clay served two years in the United States Navy as a Lieutenant J.G. Clay and Dorothy had their first child Anne in Augusta before moving to Chattanooga, TN, where he worked for the Franklin Architectural Firm for seven years. There, they had three more children: Laura, Julia, and John. The Coleman family moved back to Augusta in 1961, where Clay worked with the Jimmy Smith Engineering Firm for several years before founding his own Mechanical Engineering Consulting Firm, specializing in the design of HVAC systems throughout Georgia. Clay and his family joined Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Augusta and soon welcomed their fifth child, James Claiborne Coleman III. Clay was on Saint Paul’s Vestry multiple times, serving two terms as Junior Warden. He was an integral part of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, with his contributions including the design and maintenance of HVAC systems for the buildings. Even after retirement, he continued to work voluntarily on the systems for many years, often leaving during worship to troubleshoot sudden issues in need of attention. Clay was a member of the Sand Hills Investment Club, the Augusta Country Club, downtown Kiwanis, and a host of other civic organizations. Clay was preceded in death by his parents, James Claiborne Coleman and Martha Turner Coleman; his wife of 62 years, Dorothy Hardin Coleman; and his son, James Claiborne Coleman III. He is survived by his children: Anne Coleman Wilson (Bob), Laura Turner Coleman, Julia Coleman Vagovic (Peter), John Hardin Coleman (Nancy), and Ivey McMillan Coleman, as well as his grandchildren: John Hardin Coleman, Jr., Dorothy Jewell Coleman, John Claiborne Wilson, and Susan Elizabeth Coleman. The family deeply appreciates the devotion and support provided by MYD Services, Inc.—especially his loving caretakers Tina Ware, Nylisia Starks and Tywanda Godwin. The service will be held on Saturday, February 5th at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church at 11am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Saint Paul’s Church Building Fund. Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Directors, 214 Davis Rd., Augusta, GA 30907 (706) 364-8484. Please sign the guestbook at