The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Vivian M. Coleman


WAKEFIELD, Mich. — Vivian M. Coleman, of Bessemer, died Sunday, April 14, 2013, in Wakefield.

She was born in Ironwood, daughter of the William N. and Amanda (Utter) Coleman. Some years later the family moved to Bessemer.

Vivian graduated from the A.D. Johnston High School in Bessemer. She took numerous classes at Gogebic Community College and an accounting class from LaSalle University. She received her senior accountant’s degree from the Ford Motor Company.

Her first place of employment was the Bessemer Auto Company as its bookkeeper, then as its accountant, and later as one of the partners. The partnership was dissolved in 1962.

Then, with her sister and brother-in-law, Elsie and Al Beauchamp, she built and operated a summer resort in Lake Geneva, Wis., until 1972. During the winter months she was the ski shop manager and buyer for Big Powderhorn Mountain in Bessemer, resigning in 1993.

In 1993, she ran for the Bessemer City Council, was the top vote getter, and became the mayor for the next two years. She ran again and once again was the top vote getter, but was denied the chair as mayor by three male council members. Two years later she ran again, and again was the top vote getter and became the mayor once more.

Vivian was the president of the Bessemer Business and Professional Club for 27 years. She wrote the History of Bessemer in 1984, a document that tells the tale of the hardship and sacrifice of the generations now gone. Her purpose in life was how to help senior people and the upcoming younger generation.

For Vivian, each day began with this thought: “Help me to be a better person today than I was yesterday.”

In addition to her parents, Vivian was preceded in death by three brothers, Wiljo, Wilfred and Walfred; and two sisters, Elsie Beauchamp and Sylvia Salminen.

She is survived by two nieces, Sandra (Dan) Korthuis, of White Bear Lake, Minn., and Carol Salminen, of Washburn, Wis .; and other relatives and many friends.

At Vivian’s request, cremation has taken place at the Range Crematory in Hurley.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, April 26, 2013, at 11 a.m. at Sharon Lutheran Church in Bessemer. The Rev. Francis J. Strong will officiate.

The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until the time of the service at the church.

Arrangements are by Range Funeral Service and Crematory, Ketola-Burla Funeral Home.


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