GEORGETOWN - M. Marcella Copes Wilson, daughter of Frances Morris and Ernest McNeil, was born on Dec. 14, 1929 in Kingston, Jamaica. On the wings of angels the Lord called her home to eternal rest on Nov. 29, 2012. At an early age Marcella relocated to Eldorado, Md., where she was raised by her grandparents. She completed her formal education in Salisbury, Md. graduating from the James Groves School in Delaware. She has been an inspiration to her family, friends and community. Her "loves" were few-her God, her family, her community and her music. Her love for God and music dominated most of her life. She was an ordained minister for more than 20 years. She served as Associate Pastor at Prospect AME Church, Georgetown, Del. Her calling was to reach out to those who were lost. She was the founder of more than five gospel choirs including the Voices of Harmony the Copes/Wilson Family, the Busy Bees and the Sussex Community Gospel Mass Choir. Marcella loved the Lord and would share her love through prayer, reading scriptures, preaching and through her music ministry. She had a special way of communicating that could soothe the body as well as the spirit. As a young mother Marcella began working as a seamstress in her home. This proved to be the perfect job for the stay-at-home mom. In 1956, she was hired as an Attendant at the Hospital for the Mentally Retarded for the State of Delaware. This was the beginning of a career that she would grow to love and as a result spent the best years of her life making a difference. Marcella's passion was her "special children" and she devoted her working career to individuals with developmental disabilities. Her positions included Director of the Stockley Day Care Center, Georgetown Center Director, First State Senior Center Director. Her awards and honors included "Psychiatric Aide of the Year", the first recipient of the State Service Award for Excellence, a commendation as a trainer from the Foster Grandparents Program, the National award for Excellence by the Aging Special Interest Group of the American Association on Mental Retardation and Chairperson of the Foster Care Review Board for the State of Delaware. She retired from state service after 37 years. Left in God's care and to mourn her passing are: a faithful companion, Woodrow Daily; daughters, Marcella, Sandra and Valerie; sons, Alonzo, Charles (Doris), Lamont (Doris), Larry (Gwendolyn) and Michael; siblings, Ernest and Maryellen; friend, Roberta; 60 foster children; 29 grandchildren; 65 great grandchildren; 31 great-great-grandchildren and a host of family and friends. She was preceded in death by a son Aaron and two daughters, Karen and Margo. Friends are invited to a period of visitation on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 from 6 p.m to 8 p.m. The Celebration of Life Service will be held on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 at 11 a.m where friends may visit one hour prior to the service. All services will be held at St. John's 2nd Baptist Church, 26602 Mt. Joy Road, Millsboro, DE. Professional services provided by Harris-Nock Funeral Home, Laurel, DE. [*Excerpts from "A Tribute to Marcella Copes Wilson" (October 25, 1995) and "Sussex "Community Gospel Choir History" (June 20, 2010).]
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Published in NewsZapDE on Dec. 5, 2012