1923 ~ 2010
Orem, Utah - Our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Virgil Alvin "Al" Copeland, age 86, died July 8, 2010 at his home in Orem. He was born September 19, 1923 in Bakersfield, California, a son of Randolph and Lillian Geary Copeland.
He graduated from Kern Canyon Union High School, Class of 1941. He attended college at Bakersfield College, San Jose State University, Fresno State and BYU Hawaii, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial Education with a minor in science. He served his country in the US Navy during World War II.
Al married Jessie Eileen Shultz, August 29, 1947 in Bakersfield, California. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Oakland LDS Temple in June of 1972. She died September 23, 1997. He later married Dorothy Francom, May 21, 2004 in Orem, Utah.
Al was an active member of the LDS Church, serving as a counselor in a Bishopric, High Priest Group Leader, Scout Master; served a temple mission at the Timpanogos Temple and a church genealogical mission. He received the Silver Beaver award, the Silver Bear award, the Scouters Key and Scouters Award in the Scouting program. He served as a District Commissioner and as the Silver Bear Awards Chairman.
He worked on all the Titan I and Titan II missiles; at the 624 A Orbital Lab; on the Gemini II manned space projects for NASA and the Apollo space projects. He was a retired teacher of Industrial Education and Science and an Aerospace Instructor Engineer. Al was a member of the American Legion, SAR, Timp Rock and Minerals, a Talac Restoration specialist at Lake Tahoe, California, and a Gold Discovery Park Docent at Coloma Park in California, where he was known as "Sidewinder Sam".
Al was an avid fisherman and he loved hunting, lapidary, jewelry making and traveling. He enjoyed poetry and story telling.
He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Al is survived by his wife, Dorothy, of Orem; his children: Rebecca and Vearl Christiansen of Monroe, Utah; Robert Copeland of Orem; a daughter-in-law: Margine Copeland-Wixon of Placerville, California; 8 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Jessie Eileen Copeland; a son, Charles Randolph Copeland; a son-in-law: Wayne Clifton George, and a grandson, Matthew Charles George.
Memorial Services will be held Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 10:00 A.M. in the Hillcrest 1st LDS Ward Chapel, 1450 South 800 East in Orem, where friends may visit with the family one hour prior to the services.
Graveside services and burial with military honors accorded by the Monroe American Legion Post #37 and the Utah Honor Guard, will be Saturday afternoon at 4:00P.M. in the Monroe City Cemetery under the care of the Springer Turner Funeral Home of Richfield and Salina, Utah.
On line guest book at: www.springerturner.com