Wheeler Rossman “W. R.” Copelan, Jr., age 76, of the Greshamville Community of Greene County died Thursday, June 14, 2007 at Athens Regional Medical Center. Born September 22, 1930 in Greene County, he was the only son of eight children born to the late Wheeler Rossman Copelan, Sr. and Clara Eunice Hayes Copelan. As a child he attended school in Greshamville and in 1948 graduated from Greensboro High School. After high school he worked on the family farm in Greshamville and on May 3, 1953 he married Bennie Mae Lovern of Madison. The young newlyweds lived at the Dovecote house in Madison and he commuted to Warner Robins Air Force Base where he worked as a mechanic. He returned to Madison and for several years he worked for the City of Madison Police Department. In 1959 he began his career at Wellington Leisure Products as a Marine Supervisor retiring in 1990. He was a Madison City Councilman for 12 years and was a long time volunteer and assistant chief at Madison Volunteer Fire Department. In December of 1985 he and his wife moved back to his homeplace in Greshamville. He loved and was a faithful member of Fork Chapel United Methodist Church where he taught the Adult Sunday School Class for over twenty-five years last teaching this past Easter. He was a member of the Madison Masonic Lodge #376 where he was a past worshipful master and received his fifty year pin in 2006. He was an educational instructor for new members of the Masonic Lodge. W. R. never met a stranger. He was truly a people person, always had a good joke and could put a smile on your face as soon as you saw him.
He is survived by his loving wife of fifty-four years, Bennie Mae Lovern Copelan of Greshamville; a daughter, Bonnie C. Duvall and husband Billy of Greshamville; a son, Ross Copelan and wife Rachel of Greshamville; five sisters; Myrtice C. Pollock of Port St. Joe, FL, Lillian C. Smith and husband Jimmy of Lawrenceville, GA, Dorothy C. Collins and husband Lenard of Gainesville, GA, Mary C. Arnold and husband Lorain of Lawrenceville, GA and Janet C. Byrd of Lawrenceville, GA; sister-in-law, Reba Osborne of Macon, GA; three grandchildren, Will Duvall and wife Tiffany, John Duvall and Katie Copelan all of Greshamville; two great grandchildren, Cody Duvall and Madison Duvall; 18 nieces and nephews; 19 great nieces and nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends. Along with his parents, W. R. was preceded in death by two sisters, Peggy C. Rosencrance and Jo Ivie.
Funeral Services will be held Saturday, June 16, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. at Fork Chapel United Methodist Church in Greshamville with Rev. Bob Murphy officiating. Interment will follow at Madison Memorial Cemetery with Masonic Rites. Serving as pallbearers are Billy Duvall, Will Duvall, John Duvall, Jason Byrd, Ellison Whitehead, Doug Osborne, and Don Osborne. Honorary pallbearers are members of the Madison Masonic Lodge #376 and nieces and nephews who called him “Uncle Brother”, Al Rosencrance, Brent Smith, Douglas Collins, David Collins, Matthew Arnold, Russell Ivie, Brian Ivie, Vanessa Burt, and Clara Copelan. The family will receive friends from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Friday night, June 15, 2007 at McCommons Funeral Home in Greensboro, GA. Flowers will be accepted or memorials can be made to Fork Chapel United Methodist Church, c/o Martha Chappelear, 1290 Chappelear Road, Madison, GA 30650. 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.