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Posted on Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 2 p.m.

Coleman Jewett remembered by vendors and patrons at Ann Arbor Farmers Market

By Lisa Carolin


An Adirondack chair made by Coleman Jewett became a memorial to the Ann Arbor educator and craftsman on Saturday.

Lisa Carolin | For

The man known around Ann Arbor as an educator and athlete was remembered Saturday as an artist and friend by those who knew him by the Adirondack chairs that he hand-made and sold at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market.

An Adirondack chair owned by vendor Victoria Fox, sat today where Coleman Jewett set up his stall at the market for 45 years.

Vendors decorated the chair with flowers, and visitors were invited to leave notes to stick on the chair.

"Coleman made such a big impact on people," said Sarah DeWitt, manager of the Ann Arbor Farmers Market. "Our vendors feel a hole without him."


Coleman Jewett at the Farmers Market with his chairs. From files.

Courtesy of

Jewett died Wednesday at 78.

DeWitt says that Jewett was selling his Adirondack chairs as well as other hand-crafted pine furniture at the market up until last October, and that he visited several times after that bringing donuts.

"He was so smart and interesting and liked to tell jokes," said Dana Ray, who was working at one of the jewelry stalls. "I spray painted the vase and helped buy the flowers that we put next to the chair today."

"Losing Coleman is like losing your dad," said jeweler Debbie Marx who owns the Natural Quartz Crystal and Stone Jewelry stall and put up some of the flowers. "Coleman gave us jokes and encouragement."

Long time friend, vendor Jim Lounsbury, a painter and woodworker, stopped by to see the memorial to Jewett.

"Coleman was a great guy in the truest sense of the word," said Lounsbury.

The Adirondack chair made by Jewett was purchased by Fox, also known as the "fish and Santa lady," 15 years ago. She has painted it several different colors, most recently red.

"It's still like new," she said. "It's sturdy and comfortable."

Fox was pleased with the response from visitors Saturday.

"Coleman knew so many people," said Fox. "We will miss him terribly."

Funeral arrangements are being made through Nie Funeral Homes of Ann Arbor. No service date has been announced.


Joe Ferullo

Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 6:07 p.m.

If anyone has one of Colemans chairs they are willing to sell, please email me @ I am a former student of Mr. Jewett's, and friend ever since. It would mean a great deal to me to have one of his chairs as a rememberance of my lost friend. I have purchased several of his chairs through the years as gifts for others, but never bought one for myself. It would mean a whole lot to me if anyone has an extra one they are willing to part with.

Joe Ferullo

Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : noon

Nobody can help me out? =( I will pay more than the value for one. It would mean a great deal to me.


Sun, Jan 27, 2013 : 3:37 p.m.

Oh no! In another lifetime, in the late 70s, Coleman mentored me as a first-year teacher at Tappan Middle School. In subsequent decades, he still remembered my name and always had a big smile and interest in how and what I was doing when I saw him at the market. My yard and house contained his chairs and other pieces of wood work. He was a gem of a man. Condolences to his family. Journey on, Coleman!


Sun, Jan 27, 2013 : 2:44 p.m.

He was a totally awesome individual. Having known him was a true pleasure and he will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Thanks Coleman for being a part of my life and for our many visits at the Farmers and Artisan Market.


Sun, Jan 27, 2013 : 1:42 a.m.

One of the finest men to ever walk the planet. We as a community are less wealthy today as we lost a true a truly great individual.