In their grief, Flight 3407 victim Coleman Mellett’s family shares his music
The journey began a little more than a decade ago. In February 2009, Coleman Mellett leaned over in a car and kissed his wife, Jeanie Bryson, just outside Newark Liberty International Airport. He told her he loved her, a moment she holds onto as a gift, then left for a flight toward Buffalo and a performance of unique family meaning.
At 34, he was a guitarist for composer and musician Chuck Mangione, whose band was set to play the next evening with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at Kleinhans Music Hall. Coleman’s parents, Mary Ellen and Ken, met as college students in Buffalo. Mary Ellen is a Bennett High School graduate whose dad ran a business that imported beer from Canada, including well-loved Old Vienna “splits.”
Like countless others raised on the Niagara Frontier, she grew up understanding the magnitude of Kleinhans, where so many renowned musicians have performed. Mary Ellen and her husband planned to travel from their Virginia home to see Coleman on that stage, joined in the audience by his grandmother and others from their family.