Guilford County Commissioner Carolyn Coleman served on the Board of Commissioners for nearly 20 years, so the first meeting after her sudden demise will feel strange. 

Though Coleman won’t be at the meeting on Thursday, Feb. 3, she will be a primary subject of discussion since the board plans to pass a resolution honoring the life and contributions of the commissioner who, among other things, made history by being the county’s first female African-American chair of the board.

The first item for the board after hearing speakers from the floor that night will be to “Receive resolution honoring the life and legacy of Commissioner Carolyn Q. Coleman.” 

Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Skip Alston will read the resolution.  Normally, in these situations, a framed copy would be given to family members, however, the February 3 meeting will be virtual due to the pandemic. 

Alston, who served with Coleman for almost all of her two decades on the board, is one of many county officials who expressed great respect for the deceased commissioner.  He said this week that she was a mentor to him and he called her passing a tremendous loss to the people of the county and those who knew Coleman. 

Though the two had their political battles on the board over the years – for instance, regarding payday loan practices – on most issues they saw eye to eye and worked together toward the same result.  That was especially true for matters of racial equity and issues that involved the less fortunate in the county.

Coleman passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 26.  Alston, who gave a speech that afternoon at a large event celebrating the announcement that Boom Supersonic was building a $500 million jet factory at Piedmont Triad International Airport, was in the hospital room with Coleman when she died.