The Passing of Ronny J. Coleman – The Legend

It is with great sadness that the Coleman family has shared that Chief Ronny J. Coleman, State Fire Marshal, (Ret.), passed away peacefully on September 19, 2023, at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento.

Chief Coleman was a 50-plus year veteran of the fire service. Following his service and leadership as the Fire Chief in San Clemente, California, and the Fire Chief in Fullerton, California, he was appointed as California State Fire Marshal from 1992 to 2000 by Governor Pete Wilson. Chief Coleman was the past President of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and has been a member and leader of numerous fire service committees and associations. He has given us all an incredible legacy with his dedication to our training and education. He championed the California State Fire Training system both as the Division Chief and has the Chairperson of the Statewide Training and Education Advisory Committee. He has authored more than 19 books and was influential within our industry as an advisor, leader, mentor, and friend.


Chief Coleman is survived by his wife, Marie, his son Chris Coleman (North Carolina), his daughter Lisa Coleman (Colorado), and their families. A local (Northern California) tribute to Chief Coleman will be hosted in Elk Grove in the coming week. Funeral services will follow in San Clemente, with a date to be announced. Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to National Heritage Fire Museum or the California Fire Museum & Safety Learning Center.

The Colemans are requesting privacy at this time. Please contact their family liaison, Chris Fowler, at [email protected] with any urgent inquires.


Condolence cards may be sent to:

Mrs. Marie Coleman

c/o Chris Fowler

P.O. Box 661114

Sacramento, CA 95866