William "Bill" Wallace Copeland, 88, beloved husband, devoted father, grandfather and faithful friend, went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Friday, January 10, 2014. Son and only child of the late William Bruce Copeland and Hattie Ditto Copeland, he was born Thursday, January 15, 1925 in Iowa Park, Texas (just outside and west of Wichita Falls).
As a child, Bill attended elementary in Tavener, Fort Bend County, Texas, followed by middle school in Baytown and then high school in Crosby, Texas. He attended Southwest Texas State Teachers College before joining the Naval Air Force in 1942. A Veteran of World War II, he piloted many different aircraft with the Navy and last piloted the PBY Catalina until his discharge in 1945.
Bill attended the University of Houston for a brief time before going to work as a doodlebugger (a seismologist performing seismic field work) in 1947. He was sent many places as a doodlebugger including the Bahamas where he met and married an island girl, Dottie, (Dorothy Pinder), who became his life partner. They were married Friday, April 23, 1948 in New Orleans, LA. Their first of four children, Lana, was born in New Orleans.
Bill, his wife, and new child returned to Texas and he began another life-long partnership in 1950 when he started working for Lansdowne-Moody Company, a Ford Tractor and Equipment dealership. Although he left Lansdowne-Moody for a brief stint with Christenson Bros., another tractor company, 1954-1956, he returned to Lansdowne-Moody where he worked diligently for over fifty years. Bill was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason at the age of 21 in the Sampson Masonic Lodge No. 231 A.F. & A.M., Highlands, Texas, eventually became a 32nd degree Mason and received his 60 year pin for being a Mason in 2006. He is also a Scottish Rite and Knight Templar.
His life was focused on his work, his church and his family. Bill maintained a strong work ethic and loved what he did – so much so that he continued to work 6 days a week into his eighties. He attended the same church for over 50 years – Woodland Baptist Church where he was Chairman of the Deacons for just about as long as he attended. He was active in Garden Oaks Baptist Church and most recently attended the First Baptist Church of Cypress.Bill was a Gideon and a member of the Kiwanis where he served as Treasurer.
Bill was a dedicated and generous family man to his extended family, living his life as a quiet but great man. A very diplomatic person, he would persevere through most trials and tribulations, sometimes appearing as stubborn and hard-headed as his mother. He will be missed by his many associates, Brothers, friends and family he associated with and we look forward to seeing him again someday, as we believe he has gone on to his eternal life. He was preceded in death by his son, David Ross Copeland.
He is survived by his wife of over 65 years, Dorothy "Dottie" Copeland; three children - his daughter, Lana Copeland Hardy and her husband Jimmy of Atlanta, GA; his son, William Gregory Copeland and his wife Michelle of Hempstead, Texas; his daughter Roslin Gail Copeland and Ginger Hurley of Houston, Texas; and 2 grandsons - David and Daniel Hardy of Atlanta, GA.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in his name to the Texas Masonic Retirement Center, 1501 W. Division St., Arlington, TX 76012 (www.txmrc.org/donate.aspx
) or The Gideons International, Post Office Box 140800, Nashville, TN 37214-0800, (www.gideons.org
Visitation will be held Sunday, January 12, 2014, from 3:00 to 4:00 PM, at the Brookside Funeral Home - Cypress Creek, 9149 Hwy 6 N, Houston, TX.
Friends are cordially invited to share in celebrating Bill's life by joining them at 11:00 AM, Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at the First Baptist Church of Cypress, 14515 Cypress N. Houston, Cypress, TX 77429 for a memorial service to be officiated by Pastors Joseph Blair and Brad Blair. Bill's family invites you to further celebrate Bill's life by joining them for lunch and an ice cream social (Bill's favorite food) immediately following the service in the fellowship hall of the First Baptist Church of Cypress.