John Charles Coleman

July 25, 1936 ~ July 6, 2019 (age 82)


John Coleman

North Sydney


It is with heavy hearts we announce the peaceful passing of our beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather and uncle John Coleman, age 82, at Harbourstone Enhanced Care on Saturday, July 6, 2019.

Born in North Sydney on July 25, 1936, John was the son of the late Charles and Irene Coleman.

John Coleman is a name well known to anyone involved in sports, horseracing, or “The Wharf,” where you could find him with a cigar in his mouth and his car full of newspapers.

Dad was President of the North Sydney Minor Hockey Association for years where he coached many kids, including his own four boys. Dad was also a highly sought after referee, and spent countless hours in “The Old Barn,” inspiring his sons to follow in his coaching and refereeing footsteps.

John was passionate about horses and harness racing. He was a trainer before becoming Presiding Judge at Tartan Downs, Northside Downs and Inverness Raceway for over 25 years.

John was very proud of his induction into the Cape Breton Sports Hall of Fame, The Cape Breton Horsemen Hall of Fame and, most recently, the Northside Sports Hall of Fame.

John worked for CN Railway before moving on to Marine Atlantic, retiring as a stevedore in 2001.

John is survived by his five children, Lynn (Al) Fielding, Truro; Ted (Linda), Sydney Mines; Charles (Alice), Florence; John (Kristin), Illinois and Robert (Florence), B.C.

John will be greatly missed by his 9 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren, several nieces and nephews, especially his close nephew Fred Grant, Florida.

John was predeceased by his two sisters Renee MacTavish and Marjorie Grant.

He was also predeceased by the mother of his children Helen (Morley) Steele.

The family would like to thank the staff at LeVattes Lane, Harbourstone Enhanced Care, for all the wonderful care Dad received, as well as the many friends who visited him over the years.

At Dad’s request there will be no visitation or service. Cremation has taken place and a private family burial will be held at a later date.

Funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of the W.J. Dooley Funeral Home, North Sydney.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Charles Coleman, please visit our floral store.


Private Interment

W. J. Dooley Funeral Service Ltd.
107 Pleasant St
North Sydney, NS B2A 1L9

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