James Norris Copelan

Born: Thu., Nov. 14, 1929
Died: Sat., Jan. 7, 2017


12:30 PM to 2:00 PM, Wed., Jan. 11, 2017
Location: McCommons Funeral Home

Graveside Service

2:00 PM Wed., Jan. 11, 2017
Location: Greenview Cemetery

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James Norris Copelan

James Norris Copelan of Martinez, GA, died January 7, 2017 at the age of 87 at Lanier Lodge Assisted Living in Gainesville, GA. Born in Greensboro, GA on November 14, 1929, he was the son of the late Leo Warner Copelan and Leila Yearwood Copelan both of Greene County, GA.  Norris graduated from Greensboro High School in 1948 where he played football.  After high school, he joined the United States Navy and proudly served his country during the Korean War from 1948 to 1952.  While serving he received numerous medals: the  United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Navy Medal, Korean Service Medal and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon. On May 17, 1953, Norris married the former Hazel Gentry in Gainesville, GA.  His 40 year working career was spent with Georgia Power working in the Meter Department and retiring in 1992. He was an ardent booster of the Boy Scouts of America and served as a troop committeeman of Boy Scout Troup 119 in Martinez, GA.  While living in Greensboro, he attended Walker United Methodist Church, where he served as Sunday School Superintendent and later became a member of Liberty United Methodist Church.  After moving away he attended Lewis Memorial United Methodist Church in Evans, GA.  His hobbies included reading Louis L’Amour western books and watching John Wayne movies.  His greatest enjoyment came when he was surrounded by family and spending time with his two grandsons.  Everybody loved Norris and he will truly be missed.

In addition to his wife, Hazel Gentry Copelan of Gainesville, GA, he is survived by his children, Robert Copelan and wife Gabriele of Flowery Branch, GA and Jan Hallman and husband David of Greensboro, GA; grandchildren, Josh Holliday of Richmond, KY and Robert Holliday of Greensboro, GA; plus numerous nephews, nieces, and many, many friends.  He was preceded in death by all of his siblings, John Hamilton Copelan, Marvin Copelan, Mildred Hunt, Nonie Callahan, Jessie Marion Gilpin and Beatrice McNorrill.
Graveside Services with military honors will be held Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at Greenview Cemetery with Rev. Farrett Boswell and Rev. Bruce Lovin officiating.  Serving as pallbearers are Robert Holliday, Charlie Merritt, Henry Pruett, Ray Foster, Geoff Barnes, Dan Jernigan, and Phillip Akins.  Honorary pallbearers are Wayne Usry, Stanley Sorrells and Tony Merritt.  The family will receive friends Wednesday from 12:30 p.m. until time for the service at McCommons Funeral Home.   Flowers accepted or memorials may be made to Pruitt Cares Foundation, 1623 Jeurgens Ct., Norcross, GA 30093.  You can also make donations online at www.pruittcares.org.  McCommons Funeral Home, 109 W. Broad St., Greensboro, GA, (706) 453-2626, is in charge of arrangements. Visit us at www.mccommonsfuneralhome.com to sign the online guest register.


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Condolence Booklet

Henry Pruett
   Posted Mon January 09, 2017
It is with a heavy heart that I learned of Mr. Copelan's passing. Where we were acquaintances for only a brief time, Mr. Copelan made me feel as if I were a long time friend. His demeanor was always most pleasant and spoke volumes of his raising. A finer gentleman will be difficult to find.

Please accept our deepest sympathy in the loss of Mr. Copelan.

Janet Copelan Hallman
   Posted Mon January 09, 2017
Daddy: You are going to be greatly missed. If I had one wish I wish I could have one more day with you. You taught me a lot over my 55 years. Like how to put up a fence, dig a post hole, drive a tractor, and ride a horse. You let me drive your 54 Ford Station Wagon and grind the gears, helped plant the garden and all those other great things I learned from you. You taught Josh and Robert so much and along with David and I, they will miss you greatly. You lived your life to the fullest and enjoyed every minute of it. God must have really needed a special angel. I love you Daddy and will always miss you. Don't worry about mama, she will be fine.

Your daughter,


Di Johnson
   Posted Mon January 09, 2017
Your family is in my prayers in the loss of your beloved father, Jan. I know he was very proud of his family and loved you all very much. He was certainly thankful to have such a loving and caring daughter. I pray the peace of Christ will surround you and your family in this sad time. The merit of a man can be seen in his legacy, and you are a truly fine legacy. I give thanks and praise to God for your father's long life and for the good he leaves in this world.

With love, Di Johnson

Katina Fenderson
   Posted Tue January 10, 2017
My deepest sympathy, my God be with you and your family in this time of need.

Cathy Kennedy Stanfield
   Posted Tue January 10, 2017
My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you as you go through this difficult time. May God give you peace and comfort.

Beth and Wendell Gibson
   Posted Tue January 10, 2017
After I heard that Mr Norris pass away I started thinking, I can't remember not knowing him or Mrs Hazel. They have been a wonderful and special part of my life, my entire life. Many things is our lives change and few are constant. Mr Norris was a constant. He was warm, loving, always there for all of us with that beautiful smile. He will be so missed in all our lives. My love to all, y'all are in our thoughts and prayers.

Terry and Loma Grisham
   Posted Tue January 10, 2017

Please accept our deepest sympathy in the loss of Norris!

Robert and Annette Dowdy
   Posted Tue January 10, 2017
Norris was a fine man and will be missed by all who knew him. Hazel. Jan
Robby and Josh and Robert you and will all be in our thoughts and prayers at this sad time.

Neil, Susanne and Joshua Griffin
   Posted Wed January 11, 2017
Our condolences and prayers to your family during this time . May each day you feel the strength of God and memories sustain you and comfort your hearts . The Griffin family ( Neil, Susanne and Joshua )

Joe and Beth
   Posted Wed January 11, 2017
Thinking of you with heartfelt sympathy.

Roger and Martha Anne Bagby
   Posted Wed January 11, 2017
We were so sorry to hear about Copelan. Roger and I loved him. He was a good man and a friend to both of us. For years he was Roger's assistant every week-end with all types of jobs. They both seemed to enjoy spending the time together. We will cherish our wonderful memories of him.

Bobby & Darlene Barton
   Posted Wed January 18, 2017
Sorry, to hear about the death of Mr. Copelan. Our thoughts & prayers are with the family, during this difficult time. Sincerely, Bobby & Darlene Barton (Neighbors for many years)