Wesley Copeland

Our beloved father, Wesley Eugene Copeland (Gene) of Independence, Missouri, 85 years old passed away Tuesday May 29th 2007 in Independence, Missouri. We invite you to celebrate his life in a memorial service at 10:30 AM, Friday June 1st 2007 at First Presbyterian Church, 100 N Pleasant (corner of Lexington), Independence, Missouri 64050. Harold and Stephanie Copeland gave birth to their only child, Gene on January 31st, 1922 in Kansas City, Kansas. Gene graduated from Argentine High School, attended Kansas State University (Delta Tau Delta), and graduated in 1947 from the University of Kansas with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He was honored to be a member of Tau Beta Gamma academic engineering fraternity. Gene was in the US Army during World War II, serving in Normandy, Belgium, and behind German lines. For his valor in the Battle of the Bulge, he was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge. He enjoyed the challenge and was proud of his exacting work during his 34 year career as a project engineer for Standard Oil of Indiana (BP AMOCO), at the Sugar Creek refinery retiring in 1981. Gene’s high school sweetheart was Beatrice Jane Cassidy. While dating, Bea’s father told Gene he was not allowed to drive Beatrice to their high school prom in a car. Having a private pilot’s license, Gene flew her over her parent’s house instead. Gene was passionate about playing the trumpet, loving to participate in high school and community bands throughout his life. Gene married Beatrice at her parent’s house in 1945 while on leave during the war. A devoted and nurturing father, Gene and Bea had three children; Nancy, Kevin, and Shawn. A natural teacher, he shared his passions in life, inspiring his children to follow their dreams. A lover of music, Gene frequently took Bea dancing. He was also an avid hiker, downhill skier, and jogged daily until he was in his mid 70’s. Gene designed houses, drawing and building the house in which he and Bea raised their three children. Gene’s faith and membership in First Presbyterian Church was the foundation of his life. He served as elder, trustee, and deacon, sharing his faith by how he lived and taught his children. Flowing from his faith, he was a devoted community servant volunteering for years for Meals on Wheels, the Independence Sanitarium (Independence Regional Hospital) auxiliary, tax assistance preparer for the elderly, 55 alive, and Junior Achievement. He will be greatly missed by his wife Beatrice Copeland; his children Nancy Copeland-Payton (Gary), Kevin Copeland (Beth); three grandsons; Ian Payton (Charity), Adam Payton, and Graham Payton; and step granddaughter Alixandra. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church, Independence, Missouri.

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