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Life Story: Montena Inez (Horton) Coleman, 92; Longtime Township Resident

Montena Inez (Horton) Coleman was born in Athens, Georgia, May 26, 1929. She was the youngest of five children born to the late Mary Lou and Edward Horton, Sr. Montena is the end of the Horton Dynasty!

Montena graduated from the Athens High and Industrial School in 1946. She also attended Fort Valley State College in Fort Valley, GA thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Emery Griffiths, family friends.

Montena and her husband, James W. Coleman, lived in Tampa, FL before relocating to New Brunswick, in 1952, finally settling in Somerset in 1970. Montena was predeceased by her husband of 55 years. From this union they had three children.

Montena joined the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, under the pastorate of the late Rev. C.G. Wooding, where she was a faithful member. Montena’s strong Christian faith was evident in her dedication as a devoted wife and mother.

Montena was proud of her hometown (Athens, The Classic City of the South!), and enjoyed attending Athenian reunions, as well as attending reunions in alternate years on her husband’s side of the family, Billups’ Family Reunions, held in various locations around the country. She also enjoyed frequent trips to New York to visit her sister, Mary Lou, and brother-in-law, Charles, as well as decades of good times with long-time family friends, Robert and Catherine Towns and their children.

In her early years, Montena was the neighborhood babysitter with a couple of children under her care. Subsequently she was then sought out by other families in the area for her service. Montena also served on the First Baptist Childcare Ministry.

Montena was an avid doll collector. She had the original Cabbage Patch along with well-known personalities: Michael Jackson, Urkle, Muhammad Ali and Elvis to name a few.

Montena was preceded in death by her husband, James W. Coleman (2004); brother, Edward Horton (1980) New York; sister, Mary Lou Covington (2009) New York; brother Alphonza Horton (2017) Athens; sister, Isabella Jackson (2018) Athens; and most recently by her nephew, Rodrick Covington (2022) New York.

She leaves to cherish her memory her children: Sandra (North Brunswick), Gwendolyn (Franklin Park), Derek (North Brunswick), and grandson, Ralph Brown (Atlanta), along with loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the Parker Nursing Home staff for their kind and compassionate care for our mom, and for their exemplary guidelines and protective measures taken throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Family and friends may visit from 9-11 a.m. May 15 at Gleason Funeral Home, 1360 Hamilton Street, followed by 11 a.m. funeral services.

Burial and committal service will continue at Franklin Memorial Park Cemetery in North Brunswick.

The viewing and funeral service will be streamed live on Zoom, please click HERE to view the live stream. When prompted, enter the passcode 968885.

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