Obituary: Ruth Coan

Obituary: Ruth Coan

The Cleveland native was a leader in commercial real estate and involved in Jewish women's organizations.

Ruth Ellen Coan, age 72, passed away Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Atlanta.

Ruth was born in Cleveland and grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio. She earned a degree in sociology from Cornell, a master’s in social work from the University of Chicago and a master’s in real estate from Georgia State. Her first job, as a lobbyist for a women’s rights organization in Illinois, was followed later in life with activities and contributions to Jewish women’s organizations. Ruth moved to Atlanta in 1975, raised her family there and made it her home. She had an impact on real estate development in Atlanta and the Southeast as a partner with the Shopping Center Group, where she worked for over 30 years. She served as the chair of the Sandy Springs Real Estate Appeals Board, was a founding member of the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) of Atlanta and was an honored member of the CREW Hall of Fame. Her success in business was surpassed only by her success as a wife and mother.

She is survived by her husband, Mark, whom she married in 1969; her sons, Seth and Brian; a daughter-in-law, Tica; grandchildren Leah and Arabelle; her mother, Neomia Chitlik; and her brothers, Jimmy and Larry Chitlik. She was preceded in death by her father, Edward Chitlik, of blessed memory.

Forever curious, she traveled the world with husband and family in tow. She always enjoyed connecting with new people and nurturing relationships that spanned decades. To her family, she is a guiding light whose moral compass was firmly rooted in her Jewish upbringing and commitment to her family and children’s happiness.

Sign the online guestbook at In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be sent to the Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta, 1440 Spring St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30309, 678-222-3716,, in Ruth’s memory. The funeral and graveside service will take place Sunday, Oct. 8, at 11:30 a.m. at Arlington Memorial Park, 201 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.

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