- April 27, 1918 - July 7, 2015
of Loring's Passing
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LORING WILKINS COLEMAN of Harvard, Massachusetts died peacefully in his sleep, on July 7, 2015 at the age of 97. He was born on April 27, 1918 in Boston, MA, the son of the late Loring Wilkins Coleman and the late Christine Snelling. He is survived by his four children: Linzee Coleman-Bagge of Bozrah, CT, Susan Jewell of Northborough, MA, Peter Coleman of Buckfield, ME, and Andrew Coleman of Harvard, MA, seven grandchildren and eight great grand children. He was predeceased by his wife of 70 years, Katinka Podmaniczky and a younger brother, Linzee Coleman.
Loring grew up in Chicago, IL but also spent much of his youth at Tanglewood, his grandmother's residence and farm in Concord, MA. His primary education was at Chicago Latin School and Fessenden School and secondary studies at Middlesex School in Concord, MA. From an early age Loring showed talent as an artist, drawing in the margins of his school books and producing whimsical works to the delight of his mother. At Middlesex, Loring was first able to develop his natural talent under the mentoring of Russell Kettell, who later introduced him to H. Dudley Murphy. Loring studied oil painting with Murphy and his associate, John Enser. Murphy in turn, introduced Loring to his fourth teacher: Charles Curtis Allen. Under Allen, Loring's paintings matured, he began selling his work, and started what would become a life long pursuit: teaching.
While living and teaching painting in Boston, Loring met his future wife, Katinka Podmaniczky at a church outing. They were married in Boston on December 6, 1941, the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Shortly thereafter Loring was drafted into the army and stationed at Fort Lee in Petersburg, VA for the balance of the war. He attended Officer Candidate School and attained the rank of Captain, in command of over 200 men in the Training Aids Division. Katinka joined Loring in Petersburg and their family began with the birth of their first child in 1943.
Following the war, now with two children, Loring and Katinka moved to Decatur, GA, where he worked for the Development Office of Emory University. In 1948, the family returned to New England, settling in Sudbury, MA. After a year off devoted entirely to painting, Loring began teaching art at Middlesex School and later in the Sudbury Public Schools. He succeeded his teacher, Russ Kettle, as Chairman of the Art Department at Middlesex, until retiring in 1974. During those years, with a family now of four children, Loring also taught painting in a variety of venues. And he continued his career in the Army as a reservist, retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Loring was an avid hunter, especially of waterfowl. He was a collector of firearms since his boyhood and an active member of the Society of Massachusetts Arms Collectors. On April 19th each spring, he would march, musket in hand, with the Sudbury Minuteman Company to the Old North Bridge in Concord. As a young man he loved riding motorcycles. While in his later years he greatly enjoyed mountain climbing with Katinka in the Austrian Alps. With her, he also shared a love of classical music and opera.
During his years in Sudbury, Loring was a member of St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church and later of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Southborough, MA following his relocation to Harvard, MA in 1968.
While raising his family, teaching, serving in the Army and pursuing his many other interests, it was his painting that was always the focus of Loring's life. During his long career as an artist he transitioned from painting in oil to watercolor and never went back. He was an Academician of the National Academy of Design and a member of the American Watercolor Society, the Allied Artists of America, the Guild of Boston Artists, the New England Watercolor Society, the Concord Art Association and the Salmagundi Club.
In February, 2009, due to failing eyesight, Loring painted his last watercolor at the age of 90. Soon thereafter, he began to write an autobiography to chronicle his life and work, which was edited by his close friend Hugh Fortmiller. Published in 2011, Loring W. Coleman Living and Painting in a Changing New England is full of history, humor, and fine reproductions of his work.
As a family, we will greatly miss our father and grandfather, but we have been blessed by his love, generosity, and caring nature during his long life. Five o'clock in the afternoon will never be the same again.
Arrangements have been made with Badger Funeral Homes in Littleton, MA. There will be no visiting hours. A funeral service has been scheduled for 2:00 PM on Sunday, July 19, 2015 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Southborough, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Concord Art Association in Concord, MA. There will be a memorial service at Middlesex School in September.