Rogers Funeral Home and Cremation Services
is located at 380 Cambridge Street,
Cambridge, MA 02141
Please call us at 617-876-8964
or contact us here

Rogers and Hutchins Funeral Home
and Cremation Services
is located at 292 Massachusetts Avenue,
Arlington, MA 02474
Please call us at 781-641-0292
or contact us here

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Deborah Woodman Coleman

1955 - 2022

Age - 66


Deborah Coleman (born Deborah Ruth Woodman) died in Cambridge, MA, on August 23, 2022, attended by her loving sister Jane.

Born in New Delhi, India, to foreign service parents, Deborah adapted with zest to life in different corners of the globe. She graduated from Kearsarge Regional High School, Sutton, NH.

A popular Massachusetts state employee, she had a special talent for making and keeping friends. She faced challenges with a warrior’s spirit and in her final days taught all those around her lessons of love and strength and courage.

A loyal fan of Boston sports teams, she spent her last moments with the sound of a Bruins game in the background. They truly saw her home.

Deborah leaves behind her devoted husband of thirty years, Walter Coleman, her three sisters Jane Woodman Cohen, Betsy Woodman, and Lee Woodman, her sister-in-law Diane Coleman, her long-term friend Cindy Siegel, her family of friends at the John F. Kennedy Apartments, Cambridge, especially manager Sandi Corneau, and her nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.

Cambridge Alliance/PACE and the Cambridge Hospital gave her sensitive and tender care. The family is also grateful to Jewish Family Services for their wonderful support over the years.

A wake was held on Monday, August 29, 2022, from 4 to 7 pm at the Rogers Funeral Home, 380 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02141.

A memorial service will be held at the John F. Kennedy Apartments, 55 Essex St., Cambridge, MA 02139-2617 on November 5, 2022, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to any of the following in Deborah’s memory:

Epilepsy Foundation:

Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation:

Cambridge Health Alliance/PACE:


To show appreciation of employees of John F. Kennedy Apartments, please send a check made out to JFK Activity Fund to Sandi Corneau, Property Manager, John F. Kennedy Apartments, 55 Essex St., Cambridge, MA 02139-2617.


# Evelyn Berde 2022-08-27 09:14
I will always remember the wonderful stories that Debbie's sister, Jane, shared with me and others throughout our lives. Such a bright light in this world.
# Philip Coonley 2022-08-28 18:01
Debbie Woodman Coleman was 11 when she became my sister-in-law. She was to me always kind, amusingly frank, and loyal. An early memory is a letter from Deb to her sister Betsy and me when we were living in Zambia. She wrote us: "I have groaned a lot since you last saw me." Deb surprised me and most with her memory of names, places, and dates. And many of the detailed memories she shared were grateful appreciations of a small present or other attention she had received years ago. Deb was exceptionally able to connect with complete strangers. One year she was visiting with us and commuting to work from the same neighborhood train station I used. Within a few weeks, each morning she spoke with and knew by name nearly 100% of her fellow commuters. I thought I was a friendly extrovert, yet after years knew fewer than half. Debbie brought out the best in many.
# Jane Cohen 2022-08-30 21:45
Phil and Evelyn hit the nail on the head with their comments. Thank you, both, very much.
There are many, many stories of Debbie meeting and coming to know complete strangers. For example, once on a bus trip of 2 hours, she knew all the riders on the bus. Once at a baseball game, she connected with the people in front of, behind, and beside us. She treated each and every person as though she’d known them forever.
Deb showed incredible strength throughout her life and throughout her horrible illness. We learned a huge amount from her about courage and love.
Deb had a huge heart. She loved helping people. Her memory was amazing. Her outspokenness hysterical. Deb, I will miss you terribly. Thank you for being a loving sister and for enriching the lives of everyone who loved you. We love you, dear Debbie. Janie.
# Erin Collings 2023-04-21 14:18
I am saddened to hear of Debbie's passing. I work at Brigham House where she and Wally lived for years. I have fond memories of her helping the residents, her and Wally both in their Bruins attire for the games, her many stories and always talking about her family. May she rest in eternal peace. Heartfelt condolences to Wally and extended family.
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