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COPELAND, ETHRIDGE BILLARD - born November 30, 1919, passed away Sunday, May 5, 2013, at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. E. B. was raised in Birmingham, Alabama, and graduated from Birmingham Southern College where he was a member of Kappa Alpha fraternity. In 1941, he was drafted into the United States Army serving on Guadalcanal with the 244th Coast Artillery Corps in heavy combat. He earned the World War II Victory Medal, Navy Presidential Unit Citation, Battle Star for the Guadalcanal Campaign. He was selected for Officer's Candidate School at Fort Monroe, Virginia, and after graduation, became an instructor. There he met and married Betty Stephenson in February 1945. He came to Knoxville in 1953 starting a long business career, raising a loving family and helping to strengthen his community. He was the retired president and owner of Johnstone Supply Company, Knoxville and Chattanooga, TN; E. B. Copeland and Company and was the former CEO of Fort Sanders Alliance. He served the business community on many boards including Knoxville Utilities Board, First American Bank, Sterchi Brothers Stores and Johnstone Supply Incorporated. He was active in numerous civic activities including past president, Knoxville Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Knoxville Rotary Club, Downtown Knoxville Association, Knoxville Industrial Development Board, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, Fort Sanders Foundation, 1982 World's Fair and Elder, First Presbyterian Church. He was the recipient of the "Knoxville Brotherhood Award" from the National Conference of Christians and Jews (NCCJ) in 1980. Salesman of the year 1979, Knoxville Sales, Executive and Marketing Club, and was honored with a street named the "E.B. Copeland Boulevard" on the campus of Fort Sanders West. He was a UT sports fan and an avid golfer, many times shooting his age. E.B. is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Elizabeth Stephenson (Betty) Copeland; mother and step father, Cecil John and Leonard Daniell; and sister, Billie Copeland Kennedy. He is survived by his daughters, Catherine Copeland of Chattanooga, Sarah Copeland Pennington and husband, Charlie, Cynthia Copeland Hughs and husband, Carswell; and grandsons, Charles Pennington, Jr. and James Copeland Pennington of Knoxville; three step grandchildren; and five great grand children; niece and nephew, Meredith Gadbois of Birmingham and Penfield Wilson of Knoxville. A celebration of his long and happy life will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Knoxville 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, with Reverend Dr. William Pender officiating. The family will receive friends following in the fellowship hall. In honor of his life, memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 620 State St. Knoxville, TN 37902 or to Fort Sanders Foundation, 1901 Clinch Ave., Knoxville, TN 37917. Online condolences may be sent to Arrangements provided by Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel.


Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from May 7 to May 8, 2013
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