Stephanie Zabrenski Coleman
August 27, 1976 – January 1, 2020
Stephanie Zabrenski Coleman, 43, a beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend to all, lost her year-long battle against stage IV breast cancer on 1 January 2020.
She was born on 27 August 1976, in Takoma Park, Maryland, to Stephen and Lucia Zabrenski and was baptized and confirmed at St. Pius X Catholic Church in her hometown, Bowie, Maryland. She graduated in 1994 from Bowie High School, where she excelled in her academic studies and swimming activities.
She received an Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Scholarship, and decided to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, New York. While at RPI, Stephanie developed friendships that withstood the tests of time and distance. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in May of 1998. Her first Air Force duty assignment was at RPI’s AFROTC Detachment 550, as she awaited her formal training course. While there, she completed her Master of Science degree in Applied Mathematics.
Stephanie then moved to Tyndall Air Force Base, in Panama City, Florida, to attend Undergraduate Air Battle Manager Training. While there, she met the love of her life, Michael Coleman. Once again, she excelled and completed training as a “Distinguished Graduate.” Stephanie and Michael decided to travel in tandem to their next duty assignment, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, which would prove to be the first of many fantastic and memorable adventures.
At Tinker, Stephanie became an Air Weapons Officer on the E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System. She deployed to Saudi Arabia and Turkey supporting Operations NORTHERN and SOUTHERN WATCH. She advanced in crew leadership and became a Senior Director and deployed to Oman in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. While at home station, she flew numerous Operation NOBLE EAGLE missions ensuring the President’s safety and Nation’s defense.
Stephanie and Michael were married on 3 August 2002, at St. Pius X, in Bowie. After her last deployment, Stephanie separated from the Air Force in January 2003 to pursue other plans and support Mike’s Air Force career.
She became an Adjunct Professor at Rose State Community College, in Midwest City, Oklahoma, teaching Calculus III and IV, until Mike received orders to Geilenkirchen, Germany, in October 2004. At GK, Stephanie would develop other lasting relationships and discover her true passions…traveling and travel planning. She and Mike explored the European Continent from England to Italy and Spain to the Czech Republic, and even ventured into Egypt. After returning state-side, their shared love of travel and baseball took them around the country and to many MLB stadiums and National Parks.
Over their next assignments at Robins AFB, Georgia; Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Norfolk, Virginia; and a return to Tinker AFB, Stephanie became a math tutor, swimming instructor, H&R Block tax professional and District Manager, a squadron Key Spouse, philanthropist and professional volunteer. She always sought opportunities to serve her community and supported every cause that touched her heart. She brought light into, and impacted, the lives of too many individuals to count!
In 2015, When Stephanie and Michael returned to Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, motherhood was her goal; however, it didn’t unfold as planned. After a trip to Flagstaff, Arizona, in May 2018, she recalibrated and made a new plan for her life…she would become a nurse. However, by December of that year she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her diagnosis quickly went from bad to worse when she learned that the disease had spread into her lymph nodes and bones. Over the next year, she fought valiantly, with courage and strength, to beat this terrible disease. Unfortunately, her stubbornness and tenaciousness were not enough to overcome its effects, and she passed peacefully on 1 January 2020.
Stephanie is survived by her husband, Michael; her parents, Stephen and Lucia Zabrenski, her sister, Alison (Ronnie) Humphreys all of Kingsville, Maryland; her in-laws Robert and Faye Coleman, her sister-in-law, Julie (Jeb) Tachick all of Gillette, Wyoming; and many nieces and nephews in both Kingsville and Gillette.
She was preceded in death by her daughters, Quinn and Kierra; and her grandparents, Edward and Adelaide (Dale) Bellon and Theodore and Rose Zabrenski.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be given in her memory to The Mercy Health Foundation, specifically the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Coletta Cancer Resource Center (13321 North Meridian Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73120), Metavivor (https://secure.metavivor.org/page/contribute) or at a charity of your choice.
A Memorial/Celebration of Life will be held on Monday, 6 January at 1:00 in the afternoon at Matthews Funeral Home (601 South Kelly Avenue, Edmond, OK).
A reception will be held after the services at the home of Dan and Amy Carr, 1017 Bayonne Bridge CT, Edmond, OK.