Justin Coleman Served White House as Intern
Justin Lord Coleman, age 27, died on Oct. 17, 23 days after suffering injuries from a motor vehicle accident in Byron Bay, Australia. Justin was immensely brave from the moment of the accident until the moment of his death, when he donated many organs and bones, which will save and improve the quality of life for approximately 30 Australians.
He was born Feb. 12, 1976 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the son of Dr. and Mrs. William Lord Coleman. Justin's childhood was spent in Massachusetts, North Carolina and summers on Martha's Vineyard. Following his graduation from Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Conn., he attended Brown University in Providence, R.I. where he majored in political science and was graduated in 1998. He later lived in Washington, D.C., Sydney, Australia and San Francisco, Calif.
He took time off from college to serve as a White House intern assigned to the President - working in Oval Office operations. After graduation he returned to the Clinton White House where he served in several capacities as a presidential aide: advance team, counsel's office and a member of the staff secretary's office. Justin's colleagues have said that that they don't know of anyone else who, at such a young age, held more authority at the White House.
Following his years at the White House, Justin took to mountain climbing around the world, e.g. Nepal, Russia and the United States, as a vehicle for sifting through his life goals and for exploring his inner spiritual life. His actions and thoughts, which resulted from these pilgrimages, touched a great number of people with their strength of conviction, generosity, kindness, humor and depth of spirit.
He is survived by his mother and father, William and Julie Coleman of Chapel Hill, N.C., and Chilmark; by his sister, Chandra Lord Coleman of Miami Beach, Fla., and by numerous aunts, cousins and many, many friends from all walks of life.
A service for Justin was conducted on Oct. 26 on Martha's Vineyard at the Chilmark Church followed by a reception. About 250 friends and family attended the service, including former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who each delivered eulogies.
The statement below was posted on Oct. 24 by the former president's office to the Justin Coleman Yahoo group, created for all of Justin's loved ones to share their thoughts and memories.
"Justin Coleman was one of the finest young people I've ever known. He was kind and generous, with a great sense of humor. His devotion to public service was heartfelt, and I will always be grateful for the time he spent with me at the White House. He continued to assist us in the work of my foundation, and I know he was excited about the future, which makes his passing all the more difficult to bear. For Justin, in all ways, the sky was the limit, so perhaps it's no surprise that he loved mountain climbing so much. Justin was a joy to be around and he made a larger-than-life impact on all he touched. Hillary and I will miss him very much, and our condolences to his family and his many, many friends."
In lieu of flowers, tax-deductible donations can be made to the Justin Lord Coleman Foundation. P.O. Box 55158, Boston, MA 02205.