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a Family.

Craig Coleman


Craig Coleman

08/02/2021

Craig Michael Coleman, husband to Laura Mauldin Coleman, passed from this life on August 2, 2021, after a fierce battle with a sudden illness. He was 38 years old.

Born in Athens, Georgia, on May 7, 1983, Craig is the second son of Judge John Michael Coleman and Kathryn (Emrich) Coleman. He is survived and mourned by his wife; father;mother; brother, Graham Coleman; his brother’s partner, Alexandra Varela; and by his chosen son, Logan Fry.

Craig attended the University of Georgia from 2001 through 2005, where he majored in consumer economics; Craig was also a member of the UGA Accidentals, a collegiate a cappella group. The consummate entrepreneur, when Craig was only twenty-two, he pursued an opportunity to become an owner and franchisee with Zaxby’s. Upon relocating to Volusia County, Craig took over operations for the Zaxby’s store in Orange City. Craig remained a proud part of the Zaxby’s family until his passing.

Craig and Laura met in 2014 and married on December 8, 2018. Along with Logan and Glory, an adorable but rowdy English Bulldog (Go Dawgs!), Craig and Laura built their life together in DeLand.

Craig was smart and tenacious and stubborn: He delighted in searching out new ideas and new business prospects, and he treated failures and refusals as obstacles to overcome and opportunities to improve his plans. He valued hard-work and integrity over credentials or acclaim, and his personal work ethic was simply unparalleled. But as important as his work was to him, Craig lived to enjoy his time with his family and friends: Craig sang karaoke every chance he got (always with a Maker’s Mark and diet coke with lime in his hand), and he even did it well; he regularly traveled to the HardRock Casino in Tampa (and to Las Vegas, when he could) to play blackjack, and his favorite trips were those when he could take friends along; he captained a truly terrible adult kickball team, primarily to make sure his friends got together regularly; he played Monopoly with the intensity of a Wall Street trader, and he pouted if any other board game was suggested as an alternative. Craig was an avid Georgia Bulldog fan (who wore UGA polos at least once a week), and tailgating at the Georgia / Florida game was the highlight of his every fall. He adored long brunches with many friends (and with many mimosas), told “dad jokes” like a professional, loved his dog to distraction, and had a weakness for good watches and luxurious cars. He smoked ribs and pork butt as well as any master chef, and happily stayed up all night to supply food for special events, or just for hungry friends. And he declared every Sunday night was “pizza night” (even though Laura didn’t always agree).

More than any of that, though, more than his business acumen or his work ethic or his joie de vivre, Craig loved people. His family was his heart, and he also considered his friends as family. He officiated weddings for friends because being a part of their joy made him joyful. When people came to him with ideas and plans to start businesses or improve their lives, he invested his time and his attention (and sometimes his funds) to help them succeed. He saw potential and promise in every employee who walked through the door of his Zaxby’s, and he happily followed their growth and successes even when they left his store—he even officiated a few of their weddings. His group of friends was wide and weird and wonderful and diverse: Craig saw opportunity everywhere, and each new person he met was another opportunity for a friend.

Craig’s kindness and his sincere love for other people brilliantly reflected the love of God into our world. The world is darker now for all who knew and morn him, but we take comfort in theknowledge that Craig rejoices in the presence of the Lord. “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:12

Services will be held on August 7, 2021, at the Dreka Theatherin DeLand, Florida. An hour of visitation will take place from 1-2pm, a service will be held at 2pm, and a graveside service will follow. All are welcome. Masks will be required.

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