-- Joe Holley - The Washington Post Monday, February 9, 2009
Real Estate Executive Developed Properties
Harvey R. Coleman, 81, a retired real estate executive, developer and investor, died
Feb. 3 at Gilchrist Hospice Center in Baltimore of complications of Alzheimer's disease.
He was a former Bethesda resident.
Mr. Coleman started out in television after World War II, when he joined the staff of
WTTG-TV, the DuMont Television Network's flagship station in the District. He first
worked as an engineer and a cameraman for DuMont, the world's first commercial TV
network, and later worked as a producer and director. He also worked as an account
executive for the station's advertising operation.
In the mid-1950s, Mr. Coleman got involved in real estate. He began with a Washington
area commercial and residential builder, Thomas H. Ryon Co., and then developed a
number of large-scale commercial, office and multifamily projects in 20 states and the
Washington area. His projects included Bethesda's first high-rise, the Montgomery
For eight years prior to his retirement, he was a partner and officer for First Equities
Corp., a large real estate development and investment firm based in Atlanta. He retired
Harvey Ryon Coleman was born in the District, graduated from Western High School
in 1944 and attended George Washington University, where he was a member of the
Kappa Alpha fraternity.
During World War II, he served as a radio officer in the Merchant Marine and during the
Korean War served in the Army, primarily with the Signal Corps detachment at the White
House during the Truman and Eisenhower administrations.
Mr. Coleman was a former member of Congressional Country Club, Kenwood Country
Club and Valley Country Club in Timonium. He also was a member of the Georgetown
Big Brothers Club and was a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club.
In Cambridge, Md., where he lived from 1988 to 1999, he was a member of the
Cambridge Yacht Club and the Cambridge Country Club.
His marriage to Dorothy F. Coleman ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife of 36 years, Charmie M. Coleman of Timonium; two children
from his first marriage, Lauren C. Swanson of Coon Rapids, Minn., and Thomas R.
Coleman of Bensalem, Pa.; two stepdaughters from his second marriage, Bonita W.
Hale of Glen Arm, Md., and Charmie W. Flora of Towson; three sisters, Julie W. Wood
and Martha W. Tappan, both of Bethesda, and Linda W. White of Fort Mill, S.C.; five
grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.