Horace Wilgus “Pop” Copeland
Horace was born on December 15, 1929 to Harvey and Pearl (Nipper) Copeland.
He spent his life as a mechanic and built his first car from scrap parts at the age of twelve. He was baptized at the age of thirteen at Walcott Baptist Church in Walcott, AR. His Grandpa Lee called him “the human calculator” due to his ability to add numbers in his head quicker than many could on paper. Graduating from high school in 1948 has allowed him to attend many high school reunions in Paragould, AR.
Horace was married to Barbara Jean Olive for twenty-nine years and to this union nine children were born. Through this time he spent a couple of years in St. Louis living in a flat and shared a bathroom with his in-laws and spend quite a bit of time working for General Motors in Flint, MI. He also owned a garage in Arkansas and worked for several moths in California. He then spent several years in Breckenridge, MO, where he was elected to the Board of Alderman. During that time he owned a business that was a combination garage, gas station, towing service and an ambulance service.
Horace moved to St. James in 1978 to work as the fleet mechanic at Boy’s Town of Missouri where he worked until his retirement in 1992. During that time, he truly enjoyed participating in the Boy’s Town wagon Trains. As the fix-it man, his presence was indispensable. While employed at Boy’s Town, the boys fondly named him “Pop” and the name stuck.
Horace married Irene walker on May 21, 1983 and three step-children entered his life. A daughter Heidi joined this union.
Horace was preceded in death by his parents, Harvey and Pearl Copeland; three brothers, Bud, Archie, and Howard; one sister, Gusty; and one son, Michael.
Pop is survived by his wife, Irene Copeland of the home, nine children, Diane Bishop and friend Ralph McFadden, of Fulton, MO; JR Copeland and wife Donna, of troy, MO; Donna Usery and husband Don, of St. James, MO; Bob Copeland and wife Joann, of Elsberry, MO; Darlene Donnelly and husband Rob, of St. James, MO; Ed Copeland and wife Patty, of St. Charles, MO; Kevin Copeland, of St. James, MO; Tammy Boyd and husband Chris, of St. James, MO; Heidi Copeland of the home; three step-children, Nancy Walker, of St. James, MO; Chris Walker, San Antonio, TX; Lonnie Martin, of Rolla, MO; 32 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great-grandchild; sister Maxine Linthicum, of Lakeland, FL; sister-in-law, Pat Copeland, extended family and many friends .Having lived with him for periods of time, he had a special bond with granddaughters, Heather Kemp, Tracy Yeggy and Fiona Martin.
Funeral service for Horace W. Copeland will be Friday, January 8, 2010 at 2;30 PM in the High Gate Baptist Church will Pastors Ron Allerheiligen and Gene Branson officiating. Interment will be in the High Gate Baptist Cemetery. Visitation for family and friends will be Thursday, January 7, 2010 from 6-9 PM.