Cover photo for Patricia  Helms Coman's Obituary
Patricia  Helms Coman Profile Photo
1925 Patricia 2023

Patricia Helms Coman

January 2, 1925 — October 13, 2023

Patricia Helms Coman born January 2 1925, died peacefully October 13, 2023 at Duke Regional Hospital. A life long resident of Durham, She was the daughter of the late Howard J. Helms and Myrtle S. Helms. After graduating Durham High school’s famous class of 1943 she went to Greensboro College. She completed studies in art, music and french graduated in 1947. In her junior year of college she met William T Coman a Durham native. He proposed three days following their first date and wed the following year after she graduated.


The first year the Coman’s were married they built the house they were to occupy for the next 59 years on Pineview Road in Durham. They raised their 3 children in this house along with many beloved pets including the famous “Bo-Bo” the Boston terrier. After her husbands death she moved to the Croasdaile retirement community.


Pat was married to William T Coman for 57 happy years until his death in 2004. She was preceded in death by her brother Howard J Helms Jr. She is survived by her daughter Patsy Coman Peay; son William Coman Jr and wife Judy; daughter Carol Allen; granddaughter Rebecca Berger and her son William and daughter Kathleen; granddaughter Sarah Cleary her daughter Mattie; granddaughter Hilary Jensen and her son Luke and daughter Claire; granddaughter Mary Scott and her son Drew and daughter Molly; granddaughter Catherine Coman; granddaughter Erin Allen and her son Noah; granddaughter Lisa Allen; and grandson Ian Allen.


Pat had a love for music and was a talented piano player. She studied piano with several noted local teachers including “E” Llewellyn, and Henry Bruinsma at Duke. Her beautiful grand piano was the center of attention in her house and even at her apartment in Croasdaile Village. She loved gardening was active in the garden club in durham while living on Pineview road. She was a talented florist making beautiful arrangements over the years. During her college years she was active in many activities including the Sedgefield equestrian drill team with “Brandy” her favorite horse. She became a highly accomplished equestrian. In later years she and her daughter Carol had a horse named Brandywine stabled at Lochill farm and showed through the Triangle Pony Club. She grew up with lively bulldogs and so did her own three children who all love pets.


Pat’s well rounded life of civic service included participation as a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, President of the Durham Council of Garden Clubs, President of the United Methodist women, President of the Stagville Associates, and President of the Durham Historic Preservation Society. She sang with the Durham Civic Choral Society for many years and with the choir at her church. She received the Bartlett Award from the Durham Historic Preservation Society in 2003


Pat and her husband Bill served as long time members of the Duke Memorial United Methodist Church. She served on multiple committees and planned many events over the years including the centennial celebration in the 1980’s. She and her husband founded the History Room for the church, and worked to have Duke Memorial listed on the National Register of Historic Places. She was a woman of great faith and was dedicated to her beliefs.


The Coman family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Home. A private graveside service will be held for the family at Maplewood Cemetery at a later date. Memorial donations can be made to the Patron’s Music Fund at Duke Memorial United Methodist Church in lieu of flowers.


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