Raeburn V. “Rip” Coalson passed peacefully into Heaven on a fine Arizona day, April 20, 2020. He was 80 years old. Preceded in death by his parents, Jeanet and Eual of Rome, Georgia, he is survived by his beloved wife, Rockee (Rosanna), his son, Curtis, and his dog Tater. He also leaves behind his loving sister, Ann, two brothers-in-law, Liviu and Dan, and two sisters-in-laws, Louise and Cissy and nieces and nephews. Rip had a life filled with various successes in his working career. Curiously, he never was employed as an electrical engineer, the degree he earned on a scholarship to Georgia Institute of Technology in 1962. While at Tech, Rip served his country in the Air Force ROTC program. He was appointed as the Air Force ROTC Commander, thereby earning a regular commission into the Air Force. Lieutenant Coalson spent most of his military career as a member of the Site Activation Task Force, the top-secret Minute Man Missile program. He also was involved in the Anthena Missile Program, primarily in (Alamogordo) White Sands, New Mexico. There he chaired the development of the Real Time Meteorological Tracing System for which he received many accolades. He was twice awarded the Air Force Commandant Medal, for his outstanding contributions. After leaving the Air Force, Rip was hired by I.B.M. in Los Angeles, California, and being “groomed” for a career in corporate life. However, Rip’s southern entrepreneurial spirit got the better of him. In 1968, he started and became the president and CEO of CDC Computer Leasing Company. He successfully sold that enterprise and began building apartment buildings in California. An opportunity arose for him to accept a position as President and CEO of American National Enterprises. ANE was a motion picture production and distribution company located in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and New York. Under Rip’s leadership, ANE prospered world-wide. The company’s library contained one Oscar, over 100 feature films, documentary films and several television programs. During this time, Rip met Rockee ,”the love of his life”, and they married in 1982. In 1986, Rip was dealing with a complicated health issue. He felt it was the right time to retire. And so he did! Retiring at the age of 46, and having the freedom to enjoy life, Rip’s health vastly improved. Together Rip and Rockee traveled all over the world compiling wonderful stories about their unique adventures. Rip’s first passion had always been the game of golf. He was excelled at the game and was a strong competitor. He especially enjoyed playing when there was “skin” in the game, and a gin game afterwards. He became a private pilot, and for several years Rip and Rockee flew their Cessna on many trips all over the U.S. If the plane was parked, you could find them riding their Harley Davidson motorcycles. Growing up in the backwoods of northern Georgia gave Rip his life-long pleasure of hunting. In the last few years, he took up trap shooting and it became almost as fun as hunting for him. Someone once described Rip as a Renaissance man. That he was a gentle, charming and charismatic person. He could speak to anyone on any subject with authenticity. He enjoyed wine, a good cigar and a good joke. His sense of humor and wit is legendary. He loved God. He loved our country. He will be enormously missed by so many friends and family. Due to the circumstance of the COVID virus, the Memorial Church service and private Celebration of Life will be held in the Fall in Rio Verde, AZ. In Lieu of flowers, Rip’s memory may be honored by donating to the Tunnels to Towers Foundation. Call: 718-987-1931 If you wish to send a donation: Tunnels to Towers Foundation I.M.O. Rip Coalson 2361 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10306
Condolences may be posted at http://www.messingermortuary.com
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