School 09

Josephine K. Coleman

June 2, 1945 ~ January 11, 2022 (age 76)

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Josephine K. Coleman, 76, of Westport, passed away on January 11, 2022, after a short but courageous battle with cancer. Phinie, as she was called to those who knew her, was predeceased by her husband and the love of her life, Michael.

Born in Fall River, Massachusetts, Phinie was the daughter of Dr. Raymond Costa and Josephine Costa of Fall River. Phinie grew up in Fall River and spent childhood summers at her family’s home in Westport, where she would also spend her adult life.

Phinie earned her Master's Degree in education from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and worked as a teacher for many years in Fall River. She began her career at Talbot Middle School and retired from Durfee High School. Phinie also worked as a substitute teacher in Westport after retirement.

Phinie had a unique ability to connect with her students and would often be approached by former students anxious to say hello or just reconnect years after they moved on from her classroom. She genuinely cared about her kids.

While she loved the classroom, some of her fondest memories as a teacher came from her role as a chaperone for student trips to Europe. Phinie traveled throughout England, France, Germany, and Italy with her kids. She introduced many children to the Louvre in Paris, Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, among other sites. Her husband Michael was lucky to accompany her on some of the trips, with England being his favorite destination.

After retirement, Phinie spent her time at her home in Westport, where she loved to cook, walk with her dog Logan, and tend to her vegetable garden.

Phinie is survived by her son, Michael P. Coleman II, of Westport; brother, Anthony Costa of Plymouth; sister-in-law Beth Coleman of New Zealand, and many cousins throughout the country. In addition to her husband, Phinie was predeceased by her brother, Raymond Costa, of Fall River, and sister-in-law Barbara Cogswell of Michigan.

Her Funeral Mass will be held at St. John the Baptist Church, 945 Main Rd., Westport, on Saturday, February 5, 2022 at 11:00a.m.. Burial is private. Please wear a mask in church.

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