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Richard W Copeland JR

June 17, 2020
Pine Island Eagle

Richard W. Copeland, a long-time resident of Pine Island, WWII veteran, educator, published author, philanthropist and avid outdoorsman passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 after a brief illness. He was 98 years of age.

A native Virginian, he was born Friday, January 13, 1922 and grew up in Hampton, VA the only son of a US Army Colonel. He graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA in 1943.

During WWII he served his country at San Diego Naval Base Radar Station. His later career was in academia, serving as Director of Admissions at Radford University in Radford, VA. During his long career he was a college professor and taught mathematics at both Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton and at Stetson University in Deland. He earned his Doctor of Education in Math Education and distinguished himself as the author of several text books on teaching children mathematics. These included How Children Learn Mathematics (1970, 4 editions) and Mathematics and the Elementary Teacher (1976, 4 editions).

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Richard loved the outdoors, fly fishing in the streams of Montana and hunting wild turkeys. He also found pleasure and purpose volunteering at several local organizations including the Edison Estate, Cape Coral Hospital and the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce.

Since 2007, he has been an advocate of the Edgar Cayce Prison Outreach Program, contributed generously to the renovation of the Edgar Cayce Hospital Building in Virginia Beach, VA and supported many A.R.E. programs.

He was preceded in death by his wife of almost 60 years, Gerri (Geraldine Shepherd) Copeland, who died in 2002; his parents, Colonel Richard W. Copeland and Maude Cheatham Copeland of Richmond, VA; and his only sister, June G. Copeland of Jupiter, FL.

Survivors include a niece, June Havekost of Loomis, CA; two nephews, Richard Waite of Dallas, TX and Edward Waite and wife Shannon of Fort Myers, FL. and six great nieces and great nephews.

Uncle Dick was the patriarch of our family and he will be lovingly remembered and greatly missed. At his request, a private memorial service for the immediate family will be held at a future date.



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