Copan, George Robert
1931 — 2014
George Robert Copan was born April 29, 1931, in Inverness, Cape Breton. He was the second last child of nine children born to Arthur and Bertha (McKenzie) Copan. He was the son of a coal miner and the family moved to New Waterford when the mines closed in the late 1930s.
At the age of 14, George began working at his sister Tillie’s store and then later worked as a plasterer before heading west in 1953.
He worked briefly in Port Alberni, B.C., for MacMillan Bloedel, a forestry company. In the fall, he came to Coronation, looking for employment, and began working for Vinnie and Jo Farwell. Later, he worked for Clarence Fisher, a rancher in the Neutral Hills.
George met and married Wilma Lang from Talbot in August 1956. They had a son, Maurice Arthur, born in 1957, a daughter who died at birth in 1958 and a son Michael Carson born in 1962. During this time, George worked with his father-in-law, Maurice Lang, and they resided at the Lang farm.
George and Wilma purchased land from Ole Olson and built a new home there in 1963. To supplement the farm income, George began working with Ted Bullick in construction. Later, with that knowledge and experience, George started Copan Construction with Roger Golby and Bruce Lindmark.
George worked hard and played hard. He loved all sports; fastball, floor curling, hockey, bowling and curling. He curled his last game at 81 years of age! George especially loved music, singing and playing the guitar. He played with Mr. Banjo (Gerald Lang) for dances in the area over the course of many years.
He was a good dancer and entertained many with his clogging and dancing on the back of chairs. Playing cards was another pastime he enjoyed. He often attended card parties in the early years and then cards at the Drop In Centre in the later years.
George was also an avid fan of the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Blue Jays and attended their games several times.
George loved to travel, going to places such as the British Isles, Nova Scotia, Costa Rica, Alaska, Australia and a multitude of other countries. He shared this love of travelling with Wilma, his sons, his grandchildren, and a wide variety of friends.
George loved his family, especially his granddaughters! He rarely missed their sports, music and school events. He relished his time spent on the farm helping Michael during seeding and harvest, and he loved to keep up with Maurice’s travels working overseas.
He is survived by his loving wife Wilma, son Maurice (Ana) Copan and family Cindy, Bryan and Howard of Costa Rica and son Michael (Michele) Copan and family Alyssa, Lauren and Rayel of Brownfield.
He is also survived by his sisters Sadie Keusch of New Waterford, Cape Breton, and Gladys Copan of Boston; sisters-in-law Mitzi Copan of Wolfville, N.S., Mary Copan of New Waterford, and Joyce (Gordon) Wakefield of Talbot; brother-in-law Gerald (Adrienne) Lang of Bawlf; special friends Dale McKay and Dale Brigley, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was predeceased by baby girl Copan, parents Arthur and Bertha, brothers Clarence, Henry, Andrew, Mannie and sisters Tillie and Mary.
George and Wilma were married 58 years and over the course of the last few years of marriage, he was patient and kind and never complained when Wilma was struggling with her health.
George will be remembered for his generosity, quick wit, and his eagerness to help others. He will be sadly missed by his family and friends.
George Robert Copan passed away peacefully at the Coronation Hospital and Care Centre on Tuesday July 29, 2014 at the age of 83 years.
A memorial service in honour of George Copan was held on Tuesday Aug. 5, 2014, at 2 p.m. at the Coronation Trinity United Church.
Officiating was Pastor Darrel Durksen. Linda Osetsky Kneeland played for the congregational hymn, “Just As I Am.” George’s favourite poem, “The Day Is Done,” was read by Frances Forrest.
Special music was by Julie Schroeder, Candy Brown and Patty Shaw. The eulogy was given by Cameron Brown and Craig Brown. Special recorded music was “Song For The Mira,” by John McDermott.
A tribute to Grandpa was given by Alyssa, Lauren and Rayel Copan. A video tribute was prepared by Alyssa Copan. The urn bearers were George’s granddaughters, Alyssa, Lauren and Rayel Copan; the family interment took place at the Coronation Cemetery.
Lunch and fellowship was held at the Coronation Community Centre, which was prepared and served by the Talbot Homemakers.
As an expression of sympathy and in loving memory of George, memorial contributions may be made to Coronation Hospital Foundation, “Home Away From Home Room,” Alberta Heart and Stroke Foundation or Coronation Trinity United Church; in care of Coronation Funeral Home, P.O. Box 358, Coronation, AB, TOC 1CO, which has been entrusted with the care and funeral arrangements. Phone 403-578-2928. Condolences can be forwarded to the family by visiting our website at www.coronationfuneralhome.ca.
Card of thanks
We wish to express our sincere appreciation to family and friends for their donations made in George’s name, flowers, food, cards, phone calls, words of sympathy and acts of kindness. Special thanks to Pastor Darrel Durksen and to Heather Caseley of Coronation Funeral Home who provided us with support and assistance during this sad time. Thank you to Talbot Homemakers, who provided the delicious lunch after the funeral.
We also appreciated the care given to George by Dr. McKenzie and staff at the Coronation hospital. We are fortunate to live in such a caring community.
the Copan Family