Karla Thornhill Coleman

March 10, 1964 ~ May 5, 2023 (age 59) 59 Years Old


Family will receive friends on Friday, May 19, 2023 at 8:30a.m. until time of service at 9:30 a.m. at New Salem Baptist Church, 2956 Cleveland Avenue, Columbus, OH 43224. Interment: Greenlawn Cemetery.

Karla Thornhill Coleman, 59, passed away on May 5, 2023, in Columbus, Ohio.

Karla, a loving mother, sister, and friend, respected and admired Black Business owner and pillar of the community, was a beacon of light for all who knew and loved her.

A Columbus native, Karla “with a ‘K’” grew up in Southfield and was a cheerleader, star student, and member of Homecoming Court at Father Werhle High School class of 82’. She turned heads with her classic green Mustang and embroidered jean jackets. After high school, Karla attended Dennison University before graduating from The Ohio State University.

Throughout her lifetime she held careers in journalism for major publications, public relations for Aetna and the Detroit Medical Center and worked as an editor and ghost writer for authors and nonprofit organizations. After finishing her Master’s in Business from the University of Michigan, Karla traveled around the world as an executive with General Motors and for leisure with her children and close friends.

After gaining the knowledge and expertise she needed in corporate America, Karla, ever ambitious, founded her own business, and Thornhill Communications was born. Named in honor of her father, the late George Thornhill Jr., Thornhill Communications is a full-service woman and minority-owned public relations and strategic communications firm that has thrived for over a decade.

She was rooted in her love of God, family, and our shared humanity evidenced by her dedication as a board member Global Infant Safe Sleep Center (GISS) and Baby First Network.

Though Karla’s final years were primarily spent serving her hometown community of Columbus, OH and the greater Midwest as CEO of Thornhill Communications. She was truly an international powerhouse in her lifetime. Family and friends can find comfort in knowing she spent her last weeks enjoying the luxuries of Paris, relaxing massages, fellowshipping with the women of New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, dancing, laughing and loving life.

Karla is the proud mother of Sydnie (Jonathan) Coleman Morales of Cincinnati and her grand-dogs Bernie and Boomer, son Trevor W. Coleman II of Los Angeles, sister Tonya (Darrel) Thornhill Smith of Dallas, and was married to Trevor W. Coleman of Albany, N.Y.

She has numerous cousins including the Delaneys, Peters, Elders, Colemans and Carrs and close friends she considered family including: Shelnita Fields, Stacy Scott, Stephan Franklin, Mika Wade, Yolanda Irizarry, Chip and Linda Willis, and Robert Evans and many more friends.

She was preceded in death by her father, George Thornhill Jr., and mother, Martha Thornhill (Caldwell) and other beloved family members.

Karla Elaine Thornhill Coleman was the kind of woman who inspired the great Maya Angelou to write her ode to strong Black women, "The Phenomenal Woman."

With deep regret and almost unbearable sadness, we say goodbye to this phenomenal woman, whose cheerful attitude and bright smile will be sorely missed by those who loved her so dearly.

We will continue to honor her legacy by living our lives to the fullest, as Karla would have wanted.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Timothy 4:7

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Karla Thornhill Coleman, please visit our floral store.


May 19, 2023

8:30 AM to 9:30 AM
New Salem Missionary Baptist Church
2956 Cleveland Avenue
Columbus, OH 43224

Funeral Service
May 19, 2023

9:30 AM
New Salem Missionary Baptist Church
2956 Cleveland Avenue
Columbus, OH 43224

Interment following funeral service
May 19, 2023

Green Lawn Cemetery
1000 Greenlawn Avenue
Columbus, OH 43223


© 2023 White's Funeral and Cremation Services. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility