DeMal Coleman leaves legacy


OU freshman, DeMal Coleman died Monday, Feb. 11 from complications caused by a pre-existing heart condition. He is the fourth OU student to die during this academic year.

DeMal, a 2013 graduate of University High School in Ferndale, was a first-year student involved with the Center for Multicultural Initiatives (CMI) program at OU.

“He was a fun-loving student,” CMI director, Omar Brown-El said. “He had a personality that brought energy into any room he was in.”

Damien Moore met DeMal through the CMI program, and he considered DeMal a brother.

“He made me smile, even when I didn’t feel like there was a reason to,” Moore said. “That kind of person is somebody you love. Every time I smile, I’ll keep him in my heart.”

DeMal wanted to be an ambassador for the CMI program. He also dreamed of being a sports analyst.

“Every time I asked a question about somebody’s stats or somebody’s height, he knew every one of them,” DeMal’s girlfriend, LaDonna Scott, said. “That was his dream.”

DeMal and LaDonna first met in high school.

“Before we were dating, he read a love letter out loud in front of the class,” LaDonna said. “I was embarrassed at first, but it was the sweetest thing I had seen in my life.”

Both DeMal and LaDonna lived on campus and the two were often together.

“You can tell how genuine their love was,” LaDonna’s resident assistant, Kristie Nixon said. “You could tell how much he cared about others. He was always smiling. He radiated the fact that you could trust him.”

“He was a gentle giant,” DeMal’s friend, Celeste Keesling said. “He was the sweetest, most genuinely nice person. Anyone who met DeMal was lucky to meet him.”

“He was sweet and compassionate all the time,” LaDonna said. “He made everyone laugh that was around him. We loved each other a whole lot and we spent every moment together.”

“When you think happiness, and you think tender care and compassion you think of DeMal,” Moore said. “He pretty much personifies happiness. And he’s everything you want in a friend. He has everything you want to see in a person. And for anybody who hasn’t met him. If they could just hear how people talk about him, it would probably put a smile on their face. That’s how big of an impact he’s had.”

A candlelight vigil honoring DeMal will be held in front of Vandenberg Hall Wednesday, February 12 at 6:00 p.m. There are no updates on funeral arrangements at this time.