Jewell David “Hank,” Copeland, 83, of Nashville, Ark.,, died Monday, May 18, 2020. He was born Jan. 1, 1937, in Nashville, son of the late TJ and Tacy Marjorie (Bissell) Copeland.
He was also preceded in death by his wife, Brenda Jo (Hill) Copeland; a brother, Carroll Copeland, and his sister, Betty Ann Sanford.
He was saved when he was a young boy, and told us many times about being baptized in a pond. His first church home was Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, where he was as an adult, ordained a Deacon and served for many years as song leader, church Secretary and Treasurer. He and Brenda later joined First Baptist Church and enjoyed serving there as an usher. As his health began to decline, he started going back to Pleasant Valley Baptist Church with his son, David and reunited his membership.
He was a 1955 graduate of Nashville High School, he was a Scrapper and for a couple of years he was a Hope Bobcat. Following graduation, he attended Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia before receiving his draft notice to report to the US Army. His basic training was Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. While working for the Arkansas Highway Department in Saratoga, one day, he was serenaded by his future wife, Brenda, from the 2nd floor window of Saratoga High School. They were married Sept. 5, 1959.
He received orders to transfer to Fort Monmouth Army installation in New Jersey. During his time there, he was placed in a US Army Signal School, for Cryptographic training. He never would tell us what he learned at the school — even mama couldn’t get any information about that out of him — and he’d always smirk and say “they (the Army) said they’d be checking” for years after his discharge and he wasn’t to tell about his training. They moved to and lived in Ocean Port, NJ, arriving on New Year’s Day.
After leaving the military service, they returned to Nashville. He began working for Coca Cola Bottling Company, and later Holnam Cement in Okay, Ark., until the plant closed. He work for a time for Southern LP Gas before retiring.
He then joined the family of Latimer Funeral Home the month after his “official” retirement, and remember him saying he worked most every day that January. He served his apprenticeship and became a licensed funeral director. Later, he joined Nashville Funeral Home, and worked with Bobby and Sheila for many years before he was unable to work. He really enjoyed his retirement career as a funeral director.
The caregivers at the nursing homes he has resided in over last years would often tell us of stories he would tell them about funerals and were always surprised to learn that he had worked as a funeral director.
He loved his family, home and always had a desire to garden and farm to a degree, from raising hogs, chickens, and his goose. He loved planting his garden and gathering the food from it. He told us that nothing ever tasted as good as it did when you raised your own food.
Hank was a hard-working provider for his family. He made sure there was food, and clothes and a home, but most of all brought love to the table.
Survivors are: his daughter, Sharon Kay and Mike Aylett; David Copeland all of Nashville; Scott Copeland of North Little Rock; “Nin Dad” and “Nan Dad” to his grandchildren, Brian Aylett and wife Nicole; Brandon Aylett and wife Heather; Brittany O’Neal and husband Chad; Ashley Arnold and husband Josh; Adam Copeland; Allison McBay and husband Eric; Alex Copeland; Abby Copeland; and Austin Copeland; great-grandchildren, Lindsey, Laken and Lucas Aylett; Jackson and Hudson O’Neal; Conner and Colt McBay; Natalie and Nora Arnold; and Beau and Harper Aylett; nephews, Mike and Jay Sanford; a number of other cousins and friends.
Graveside services were 11:00 a.m. Friday, May 22, 2020, at Nashville Cemetery with Bro. Wayne Sewell and Dr. David Blase officiating. Arrangements are under the direction of Nashville Funeral Home.
Due to the COVID-19 situation, the Governor of Arkansas has issued directives that face coverings must be worn and social distancing be observed.