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RAYMOND DIXON COPELAND Jr.

COPELAND
RAYMOND DIXON, Jr.
Of Coraopolis, a kind, gracious and "great" man with a huge loving heart, an icon in the funeral industry, "OUR DAD" was taken from this earthly life unexpectedly from complications of Influenza "A" at the age of 92, on Friday, February 15, 2013 at Heritage Valley Sewickley. Born in Sewickley, PA on July 31, 1920, he was the only child of the late Goulding (Walker) and Raymond Dixon Copeland, Sr. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 64 years, Geraldine Anna (Larabee) Copeland (October 9, 2012). Loving father of Jessica Volante (John) of Moon Township, Carin Copeland of San Diego, CA, and Thomas T. Copeland (Denise) of Moon Township; grandfather of Morgan Thomas, Meagan Marie and Adam Copeland Kane; Jana and Weston Volante, Nikki Heasley (Ty) and Mark Cunzolo (Sarah); and great-grandfather of Nicolas Bates; brother-in-law of Clarissa Anderson of Coraopolis, Betty and Faye Larabee; uncle to many loving nieces and nephews, and last, cherished owner of his pug, Mai-ling III and Abby Cat. Dixon grew up in Sewickley and graduated from Sewickley High School, attended Hamden-Sydney College of Virginia and graduated from Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in 1940. His career in funeral service, which spanned 67 years and served over 20,000 families, began at Ritchey Funeral Home, Sewickley, followed by an apprenticeship at Brandt Funeral Home. He then served as an embalmer at Patterson Funeral Home in Atlanta, GA, Scott Funeral home in Rogersville, PA and Troxell Funeral Home which he then purchased in 1954 (the current funeral home in Copeland Coraopolis). Funeral Director extraordinaire, a legend in his own right, he was an example to many with his foresight in funeral service. He served in office with the PFDA as District Governor, in NSM (now SIFH), and for the Allegheny County Funeral Directors Association. A hands on operator, personally involved and always present for his devoted clients, he owned 3 funeral homes located in Coraopolis (1954), Moon TTownship (1969) and Sewickley (1998), each members by invitation only of OGR and SIFH. As part of the greatest generation, Dick like many of his friends enlisted in the U.S. Navy during WWII. He served as a Corpsman and assistant chaplain on the attack ship USS Colusa in the S. Pacific Theater. He was a living example of compassion, generosity, respectfulness, kindness and being down to earth. He believed in supporting the community with his businesses, and had owned and operated an ambulance service. In 1972, the concept and evolution of Valley Ambulance Authority became a reality uniting local ambulance companies as one and he proudly served as a founding member with other local leaders. For many years, he served on the Board of Sewickley Savings Bank. His other memberships included the Doric Lodge #630 F&AM, Syria Shiners', Consistory Valley of Pittsburgh, West Hills Caravan #25, Sewickley and Airport Area Chamber of Commerce, the Coraopolis School Board (many years and during the NI merger into Cornell School District), the Coraopolis United Methodist Church (various offices and Methodist Men), Coraopolis Kiwanis Club 60+yr. member, The Belly Club, BPOE #1090 and VFW Post 402. He had an innate ability to enjoy simple things: smoking his pipe, drinking coffee with his wife on the porch of their summer home as they watched the waters of Lake Erie, entertaining friends, a good game of bridge, playing golf or more likely retrieving golf balls from the golf ponds, cooking burgers/steaks on the grill, appreciating the beauty in nature, planting a tree, spending time with his family and enjoying the view from his beautiful picture window warmed by his quaint fireplace. Dixon loved people and that is why his vocation of funeral service was second nature to him in his compelling spirit to help others. He had a smile that came easily, exuding friendliness and a caring, approachable nature. He would stop and talk to anyone, having a kind word for all that just came naturally, especially when he and his little black pug would walk around the block. I don't think he ever met a stranger. As a father, he always gave us unconditional love tempered with wisdom and gentle guidance. He was a patient teacher. He was great man, not only to his children, but to all. Visitation Sunday 12-4 and 7-9 with Masonic Service Sunday at 7:30 p.m. and Monday 2-4, 7-9 with VFW service Monday, 7:30 p.m. at COPELAND'S CORAOPOLIS, 867 Fifth Ave., where service will be held on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. Officiating will be Rev. Amy Wagner and Father Richard Jones. Burial will follow in Sewickley Cemetery with full military honors. In lieu of flowers, family requests donations to Coraopolis Volunteer Fire Department, Doric Lodge #630 F&AM or the Raymond D. and Geraldine L. Copeland charitable trust, contributions may be made to UMF, 223 Fourth Ave., Benedum Trees Building, Suite 707, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, ear-mark with trust name. We would like to thank the ER, PCU and CCU staff of Heritage Valley Sewickley for making us feel like your family, for the support, care with dignity and love shown to our Dad and our family during our two week journey. Dad, we loved you so much and our hearts are crying with sorrow. We always will miss you. Governor and Pioneer Woman, we know you are reunited in heaven and at your lake house watching the sunset.
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Feb. 16 to Feb. 18, 2013
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