Arthur (Art) Wayne Coltharp, age 77, died Tuesday, December 20, 2016 in Austin, Texas. Let us remember that death is not the end of the road, but the beginning of a wonderful new journey which brings Art closer to God.
As Art begins this new journey, he leaves behind his wife of 55 years, LaNell (Holbrook) Coltharp, his three sons: Mark and wife Amy, Scott and wife Kima, and Craig and wife Alison, his grandchildren who always brought a sparkle to his eye: Megan, Connor, Alyssa, Kaeden, Tristan and Caroline, as well as many nieces, nephews and very dear friends. Art was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Lillie Coltharp and his brother Bruce Ray Coltharp, Jr.
Art grew up in Baytown, Texas and then went on to college in Waco, Texas where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University in 1961. He continued his education at the University of Houston where he was awarded his Masters of Education in 1964.
Education was always important to Art and this is where he started his professional career. Art brought his knowledge to the classroom as an elementary school teacher and later an elementary school Principal in Baytown, Texas. Art continued his professional career supporting teachers and education initiatives during his 18 year tenure with the Texas State Teachers Association in Austin, Texas as well as the National Education Association. Art was also a life member of both of these organizations. During his retirement, Art would occasionally substitute teach just to stay connected to the educational setting he enjoyed and supported.
When you think of Art, his love for Baylor University always comes to mind. He was a long time football season ticket holder and each Fall Art could be found in at the stadium in Waco cheering for his Bears, regardless of whether it was a winning season or not. In 1993, Art was proud to serve as the President of the Baylor Alumni Association. His support of Baylor and its traditions were part of the fabric of his life.
Art enjoyed traveling with LaNell both in the US and abroad and was fortunate to visit many wonderful locations. Many memories were made traveling to China, Australia, New Zealand, passing through the Panama Canal, as well as several countries in Europe. However, Art most looked forward to visiting Leakey, Texas and staying in a cabin on the Frio River each summer over the 4th of July. For him, this was a "little slice of Heaven on Earth".
An avid reader, Art was never without a book to read. He enjoyed participating in a local book club for 16 years and particularly enjoyed reading books focused on American and English history.
Another area that was very important to Art was his faith. He was a member of Highland Park Baptist Church for 44 years where he participated in and chaired numerous committees, was a church Deacon, enjoyed singing in the church choir and serving the Lord.
Diagnosed with Alzheimer's approximately 5 years ago, Art continued to read, enjoyed catching the latest movie, attending theater productions with LaNell and various friends, and watching his grandchildren's basketball and football games as well as numerous dance performances and recitals.
A husband, father, grandfather, uncle, friend, and servant of the Lord, Art Coltharp will always have a special place in everyone's heart. He is with his Father now and we are blessed knowing that he is at peace.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, December 29, 2016 from 5-7 pm at Weed-Corley-Fish, 3125 North Lamar Blvd.
Services will be held on Friday, December 30 at 1:00 pm at Highland Park Baptist Church, 5206 Balcones Drive.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the following organizations are appreciated:
• Alzheimer's Texas – on-line donations at: http://www.txalz.org/
• Baylor Line Foundation, P.O. Box 2089, Waco, TX 76703, Attn: Member Gifts or on-line at: https://btl.bayloralumniassociation.com/baa-donation-landing-page/
• Highland Park Baptist Church, 5206 Balcones Drive, Austin, TX 78731