The History of the James Coleman VFW Post No. 6802 in Richmond, MI

VFW Post Home

(Prepared by Ursula B Adamson in 1996 on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Post 6802)

In 1946, the Richmond veterans of WWII held a meeting at the “Crossroads” Restaurant in Muttonville, then located at the corner of Gratiot and M-19 (in the area now occupied by the First State Bank) to decide which Veterans Organization they should honor.  A vote was taken and the decision was to form a Veterans of Foreign Wars Post.

Mr. Paul Mabley, Attorney, was given the authority to obtain the information needed to form this new VFW post.  A ritual team of the Charles Schoor Post No. 796 of Port Huron installed the first officers in April 1946 at a meeting held in the Cook Hotel in Richmond and on April 15, 1946, the new post received its national charter from the State of Michigan with a body of 75 members.

The VFW Post 6802 elected comrade Paul Mabley as its first commander, bestowing on him the honor of “Father of the Post”.
Paul Mabley

The name “James Coleman” was chosen for the VFW Post 6802 in honor of the late “Jimmy Coleman”, son of the late Silas and Mabel Coleman, a 1940 graduate of the Richmond High School and the first soldier from Richmond lost in action during WWII. 

James L Coleman
DOB: 27 May 1922
DOD: 23 Mar 1944

Service No.3115889, GM2 US NAVY World War II

A 1940 graduate of Richmond High School, enlisted in the US Navy on September 1940.

The post was presented its colors at a banquet held at Eberhardt’s at 67020 Gratiot Ave. in Muttonville (now Brengman’s Innland) by Silas (Sy) Coleman, father of James L. Coleman, Gunner’s Mate, Second Class.
A perpetual charter was issued to the Post on August 20, 1963 for achieving the required quota of life members.

All honorably discharged veterans of WW I and II with overseas duty are eligible to join the post.

The post participates in the Buddy Poppy Sales and in the past has held a number of shows, dances, and carnivals in addition to their annual November party.


Past and Present Post Headquarters

April 1946 – April 1949

The post alternated its meetings between the Cook Hotel in Lenox and the Richmond Hotel (now Chaps) on North Main Street.

April 1949 – September 1956

Late in 1948 the post purchased the old Almstadt farm residence at 70695 North Main (M-19) on the outskirts of Richmond and in 1949 converted it into a comfortable club house, the VFW Outpost.  The post’s club house was located across from Swift’s pond.  The building was razed some time ago.

September 1956 – January 1965

A few years later the post moved its headquarters into the Don Jose building at 69209 North Forest Ave in Richmond.

January 1965 – present

In 1964 the post bought a cement block building at 34339–32 Mile Road, West of Richmond, which had previously housed the Richmond Distributor Parts Co. After some remodeling, the post occupied the building in January 1965, where it is located at this time. On September 29, 1965 the post received a building permit from Richmond Township, for adding a kitchen to its building. On April 1, 1966, the Ladies Auxiliary served its first dinner from the newly built kitchen.

Early in 1996, in time for the post's 50th Anniversary, the interior of the building was completely remodeled by its dedicated members.


Charter Members on April 15th, 1946

Almstadt, Irvin W.*
Banting, O. Fenton
Bayer, Meredith
Beebe, Charles S.
Bellhorn, Joseph F.
Bilbia, Peter M.
Brandel, Donald E.
Brodacki, John P.
Carpenter, Bruce*
Carroll, Edmund J.*
Cassidy, William A.
Chartrand, Donald G.
Covert, Robert L.*
Ernst, Joseph C. Jr.
Fuerstenau, Charles
Fuerstenau, Robert R.*
Fuller, Gerald C.
Gramer, Henry J. Jr.
Hartway, Carl A.
Hebel, Clarence G.
Hebel, Thomas
Hutton, Glen E.
Hutton, Norwood J.
Johnson, Gordon
Kelly, William P.
Kolts, Russell H.
Krause, Marvin A.
Krause, Orville C.
Kronner, Hugh D.
Lashley, George
Leach, Nelson J.
Leverenz, Lawrence L.
Mabley, Paul F.*
Mackley, Gordon J.
Mackley, Kenneth F.*
Meloche, Thomas H.
Miller, William L.
Montgomery, Martin E.
Neubauer, Norwood W.
Oke, Calvin C.
Pavey, Everett
Pentzien, Charles W.
Potter, Gerald A.
Potts, Joseph J.
Powers, Keith D.
Reno, Frederick E.
Rickert, Gordon F.
Rickert, Ross*
Schellkopf, Frederick W.
Schmidt, John P.*
Schubert, Martin L.
Schulz, N. Edward
Schuster, Ervin N. Jr.
Schwark, John H.
Schwark, William F.
Scott, Robert C.
Shue, Lawrence M.
Simmons, Kenneth L.
Singer, James H.
Singer, John G.
Spencer, Delyle C.
Spencer, Leo R.*
Stier, Edward J.
Stilwell, Kenneth E.
Sullivan, Leo F.
Teska, Harold A.
Teska, Wilfred L.
Thueme, Frank C.
Uppleger, Melvin T.
Verbeke, Emil A.
Verbeke, Walter G.
Weeks, David N.
Winkel, James A.
Wisniewski, Edwin W.
Zech, Clarence C.
*) Denotes Past Commander

Past Commanders from 1946 to 1996

1946 - 47 Paul Mabley
1947 - 48 John Schmidt
1948 - 49 Ken Mackley
1949 - 50 Ken Mackley
1950 - 51 Jack Cole
1951 - 52 Royce Howes
1952 - 53 Ross Rickert
1953 - 54 Robert Fuerstenau
1954 - 55 Bruce Carpenter
1955 - 56 Irvin Almstadt
1956 - 57 Bill Spicer
1957 - 58 Leo Spencer
1958 - 59 Robert Covert
1959 - 60 William Tout
1960 - 61 Jack Haslem
1961 - 62 Ed Moran
1962 - 63 Ed Carroll
1963 - 64 Jack Waterloo
1964 - 65 B. Carpenter/I. Almstadt
1965 - 66 Les Griffith
1966 - 67 Ellsworth Chapman
1967 - 68 Norm Kleinhans
1968 - 69 Gene Shuboy
1969 - 70 Claude Calahan
1970 - 71 Bernard Roland
1971 - 72 James Scott
1972 - 73 Norm Heck
1973 - 74 Gerald Hebel
1974 - 75 Pat Fogarty
1975 - 76 Leonard Burkacki
1976 - 77 John Allen
1977 - 78 B. Dunbar
1978 - 79 Max Sanford
1979 - 80 Bill Mott
1980 - 81 Bruce Carpenter
1981 - 82 Bruce Carpenter
1982 - 83 Bill Rhode
1983 - 84 Bernie Yaklin
1984 - 85 James Beck
1985 - 86 James Beck
1986 - 87 B. Dunbar/C. Chisholm
1987 - 88 Colin Chisholm
1988 - 89 Colin Chisholm
1989 - 90 Joseph Kozub
1990 - 91 Joseph Kozub
1991 - 92 James Galen
1992 - 93 Mark Radzilowski
1993 - 94 Owen Gies
1994 - 95 Forrest Gearhart
1995 - 96 Steve Hunt

Ladies Auxiliary
On May 7, 1960, the VFW Post 6802 lost its bacherlorhood when the Ladies Auxiliary received its charter. Formal installation of the Ladies Auxiliary was held early in June, 1950 at the Cook Hotel when 25 charter members were installed. Mrs. Kenneth Mackley was the first president.

Charter Members

Carole R. Carpenter
Zelma E. Carpenter
Jean Case
Edna H. Chapman
Lorraine A. Covert
Esther M. Dohse
Doris Doan
Lois M. Fletcher
Margaret Ann Hebel
Stella May Martin
Dorothy McCall
Rosemary McCarty
Lucy A. Moran
Jane Patton
Florence Paehlig
Audrey B. Rickert
Barbara Rix
Janet Salters
Frances M. Shuboy
Luella Shue
Helen Spencer
Donalda Swoffer
Bertha Teska
Doris Uppleger
Genevieve Wroblewski

In addition to assisting their local post, the Ladies Auxiliary does philanthropic work with hospitalized veterans and assists financially and in other ways to maintain the famed VFW National Home at Eaton Rapids, Michigan, which was established for orphans and widows of deceased VFW members.
The Ladies Auxiliary holds its meetings at the post home.

The Honor/Color Guard
When called upon, members of the James Coleman Post No. 6802 conduct final rites for deceased comrades. They are also regular participants in the area parades, e.g. the Memorial Day Parade, “Good Old Days” Parade, and present the colors at ceremonies such as Richmond’s 4th of July Ceremony.

Officers of the Guard in 1996

Steve Hunt, Post Commander and Presiding Officer

Robert Koehler, Sergeant of the Guard,
Bruce Ward, Corporal of the Guard,
Mike Skreigan, Adjutant of the Guard,
Bernard Yaklin, Chaplan of the Guard

The Honor/Color Guard in 1996

Jim Galen
Forrest Gerhart
Woody McDermott
Teddy McDermott
Mark Radzilowski
Cliff Allen
John McLeod
John Greer
Walt Surma
Ida Murphy
Manuel Iglesias
Owen Gies

Decorations Officer:

Mark Radzilowski



1996 VFW Membership Roster 

Adams, Albert

Alexander, Robert W.

Allen, Clifford C.

Almon, Douglas C.

Almstadt, Ronald E.

Babel, Albert J.

Balduck, Charles L.

Balhorn, Edward J. Jr.

Baranowski, William B.

Bargeman, Nelson C.

Bauman, Dale F.

Bellhorn, Norwood E.

Benoit, Leo J.

Betcher, Kenneth D.

Blake John L.

Boguslawski, Zygmunt C.

Bosman, Florimond F.

Boucher, Stanley D.

Boyd, John A.

Budzisch, Frank F.

Burford, Roy O.

Burke, Vincent J.

Caldwell, Robert W.

Campbell, Charles W.

Carpenter, Bruce W.

Chalmers, Robert M.

Chisholm, Colin J.

Chisholm, Russel T.

Collins, Roland

Collins, Ronald C.

Colpaert, George V.

Corlew, Bobby R.

Coronado, Gabriel C.

Coronado, Rodolfo G.

Covert, Robert L.

Covert, Wayne L.

Cunningham, John D.

Curatolo, John R.

Cybart, John L.

DeBusschere, Robert

Demiglio, Peter

Derby, Robert E.

Dipirro, Jessie J.

Dolan, Melvin J.

Donofrio, James J.

Doty, John G., Jr.

Droste, Michael J.

Dupree, George F.

Dutkiewicz, Steven C.

Eberhardt, Frederick

Eberwein, Casper C.

Ede, Donald R.

Ernst, Donald D.

Ernst, Joseph C., Jr.

Estrella, Maria E.

Felstow, Verne C.

Fogarty, Patrick M.

Ford, William R.

Fuerstenau, Charles

Fuerstenau, Robert R.

Galen, James M.

Gearhart, Forrest C.

Germonprez, Paul, Jr.

Gies, Owen P.

Gonnering, Iver B.

Gornex, Leroy E.

Greer, John W.

Gutt, Thaddeus, E.

Harvey, Jerome L.

Head, Eugene

Herschaft, Peter P.

Higgins, Arthur L.

Hopkins, James R.

Hunt, Steven A.

Hurttgam, John C.

Hutchins, Robert M.

Ingles, Jeffrey F.

Jackson, Stephen C.

Jacobs, Raymond

Jacobson, James L.

Jasak, Robert S.

Johnson, Gordon E.

Johnston, Osco W.

Jones, Howell, V.

Jurczak, Ronald M.

Kania, Ronald R.

Ketchum, Lewis J, Jr.

King, Floyd D.

Klebba, Donald J.

Koehler, David W.

Koehler, Robert F.

Kozub, Joseph A., Jr.

Krause, Orville C.

Krum, Terry L.

Landschoot, Robert F.

Lashley, George

Laszko, Edward

Leach, Nelson J.

Leister, Harry L.

Leverenz, Lawrence L.

Levock, Raymond, Jr.

Loba, John J.

Loba, Raymond F.

Locke, Richard L.

MacMartin, Douglas

Mackley, Kenneth F.

Mannino, Peter J.

Matusik, Frank P.

McCabe, Dennis W.

McDermott, Dennis J.

McDermott, Edward J.

McDermott, Paul R.

McDermott, Theodore

McGuffin, Donald E.

McLeod, John C.

Meyers, Don J.

Meyers, Irvin D.

Miller, Adelbert W.

Mino, Keith, Jr.

Misiuk, Stanley P.

Montgomery, Thomas R.

Moore, Kenneth J.

Morgan, Donald B.

Mott, William D.

Murphy, Ida J.

Murphy, Thomas P.

Newman, Percy T.

Nichols, Keith E.

O’Connor, John F.

Oke, Calvin C.

Orris, Lew M.

Osmialowski, Edward

Owen, James M.

Owens, Harold G.

Parr, Lawrence C.

Pattison, John J.

Penwarden, Allen D.

Pflueger, Michael J.

Picklo, Nick A.

Pressley, Edward F.

Puls, Frank C., Jr.

Radzilowski, Mark

Raymond, James W.

Riccobono, Joseph

Ringel, Gregory A.

Rybicki, Raymond L.

Scheible, J. Henry

Schirmer, Warren F.

Schubert, Martin L.

Schultz, Stephen J.

Scott, Charles

Scott, James C.

Seifert, Robert F.

Shea, John W.

Shuboy, Thomas W.

Silver, Richard G.

Simmons, William R.

Singer, William F.

Sino, Eino O.

Skinner, Mayland E.

Skreigan, Michael A.

Socia, Gerald E.

Spencer, Dale L.

Spicer, William C.

Starkweather, Harold

Starr, Donald F.

Steinhauer, Martin L.

Stewart, Paul C.

Stier, Clifford F.

Sullivan, Leo F.

Summerville, Carroll A.

Surma, Walter A.

Swantek, Hubert

Swartz, Walter M.

Szpyra, Chester S.

Sztajer, Fred

Teltow, Charles W.

Tersigni, Pete P.

Thacker, David P.

Thomas, Daniel O.

Thompson, Roy M.

Trotter, Joseph, Jr.

Uppleger, Robert R.

VanAntwerp, Robert

Vandevelde, Andre J., Jr.

Veshka, George K.

Walsh, James M.

Walsh, Thomas Michael

Ward, Bruce A.

Ward, Kenneth W.

Waterloo, John N.

Watson, James L.

Westrick, Vincent D.

Williams, Jack N.

Winn, William C.

Winsten, Charles W.

Winsten, Loren P.

Wisniewski, Edwin W.

Wroblewski, Joseph J.

Wroblewski, Stanley M.

Yaklin, Bernard A.

Yaklin, Richard C.

Yelencich, Frank J.

Younts, Robert J.

Zigo, John H.

Ziviski, Edward A.

Ziza, Steve F.

Zmich, Harold C.

Zukas, William C.


No guarantee is given for the accuracy of the information on this page as it pertains to the members or the correct spelling of their names.
Last updated 24 March 2008