Anita Louise Coleman

June 28, 1946 ~ April 21, 2020 (age 73)


Anita Louise Coleman passed away peacefully on April 21st, 2020 in the care of Hospice of Union Hospital, in her hometown of Terre Haute, Indiana after an exhausting battle with cancer.  She was surrounded with love from her son, Jason, and her sister, Charlene.  We are so proud of her fight until the end!

Anita was a remarkable mother, teacher, poet, a friend to all, and a proud grandmother.  Wow, did she love to read!  Her grandson, Jason Richard, inherited that from her.  Books, books, and more books.  Her love for reading continued until the end. 

Writing was a love of Anita’s.  She was always putting pen to paper and sharing with all who would listen.  From her readings in the back room at our local Pizza City to our local Coffee Grounds.  This lead the way for her to read at the Governor’s Mansion where we, ok, maybe I, admittedly stole napkins stamped with the Governor’s seal.  Some of her writing appeared in Chameleon and The Hopewell Review.  She was awarded a fellowship to Ropewalk Writers Conference where she was able to work closely with one of her favorite writers, Andrew Hudgins.  She was later published by Mr. Hudgins!

Anita was on the founding Board of CODA and continued her dedicated work with them for years.  She was immensely proud of what CODA stands for and was proud to be a part of their organization.

She shared the same spirit and love for teaching across many settings.  Anita taught in some of the roughest prisons in Indiana, both at the state and federal level, Gibault School for Boys, and Georgetown High School.  She spent her last 15 years of teaching in Vigo County at both McClean and West Vigo High Schools.  She did not look forward to her drive to West Vigo…AT FIRST, but she was touched by so many in the community and considered it a blessing to spend her last years as a Viking!

Anita spent time as an editor of poetry for Purdue University (PU) and an editorial assistant for both the Sycamore Review and for Dr. Wasburn, a sociology professor at Purdue.  She was also a director of grants and research at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

Anita obtained a B.A. in English in 1978 and an M.A. in English in 1984 from Indiana State University.  She continued her studies toward a master’s in creative writing at Purdue University, completing her thesis, but never finishing her last literature course – all while working and commuting.  She worked hard and was simply the best mother anyone could ask for.  Thank you, my dear mother, Anita Louise Coleman…thank you to the moon and back…

Anita was born to Charles W. Coleman and Thelma L. Coleman (Cordrey) June 28, 1946 in Terre Haute, Indiana.  She is proceeded in death by brothers Jack Webster, Jarrie Webster, Goly Coleman, and sister, Gladys Leitha.  Anita is survived by her siblings, Rocky (Sharon) Coleman, Patricia (Gary) Steward, and, “the rock”, Charlene (Steve) Wilkey.  She also leaves behind her beloved son, Jason Charles Swarens, and grandson, Jason Richard Swarens, both of whom she was incredibly proud of.

A huge thank you goes out to Charlene and Steve Wilkey for all their help and support as well as everyone who reached out and cared for my mother.

Per Anita’s wishes, there will be no funeral services.  If you’d like to do something to honor Anita Louise, please consider making a donation to CODA at

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