David R. Copeland
1946 - 2020
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COPELAND, David R. David Ross Copeland was born in Fort Worth, TX on 7/11/1946, and he died on 09/30/2020 in Medical City Hospital in Dallas at the age of 74. David had some complex medical issues in his later years. He had been in the hospital since July 10, but he passed away suddenly and without any pain. Shortly after his birth, David was adopted by Gladys Odell Harvel Copeland and Floyd Houston Copeland of Odessa. TX, and David grew up in Odessa. David was an intelligent, extroverted, and caring person. David graduated from Odessa High School in 1964 near the top of this class. David attended Odessa College on scholarship for 2 years, and he received a scholarship to attend Texas Christian University in 1966. David graduated Magna Cum Laude from TCU in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts Degrees in History and English. While at TCU he received a Fellowship to work on his Master of Arts degree in History. He was awarded that degree in 1972. David began teaching at Southwest High School in Fort Worth Independent School District in 1970. During his first year as a teacher, he taught Freshman and Sophomore English, and for the next 11 years, he taught American History and several years of of Government as well. David was very involved with all phases of his students activities, even after teaching, attending 10 year reunions and some weddings. David met Nancy McDaniel at TCU, and they were married in 1973. David and Nancy were married for 9 years until their divorce. While David was teaching high school in Fort Worth, he applied for some scholarships for post graduate courses in the summers, and he was awarded fellowships at Stoneybrook, Stanford, University of London, UTA, and UNT. David moved back to Odessa with his parents in 1980 and became the Acquisitions Librarian for the Ector County Library for 8 years. While there he organized a successful project to prevent teenage suicide which involved approximately 2000 people. David moved to Dallas in 1991 and remained in Dallas for the rest of his life. He worked as a librarian at the De Golyer Library at SMU until David had to take long-term disability from SMU for multiple medical issues. David was later approved for Social Security disability at age 57. David was always very interested and active in theatre, movies, museums, dining out at restaurants. He was a member of the Democratic Party and the Stonewall Democrats, the 500 Inc, the Dallas Theatre Center Guild, and the Dallas Video Association. David would always watch the Academy Awards each year, and he tried to see all of the important or critically acclaimed movies. David was always a religious and spiritual person, and he had a large collection of books on religion and spirituality. David attended various churches in Dallas and finally chose Oaklawn UMC near his apartment. David later joined Northaven UMC when he needed to move in June 2018 into an assisted living facility. He enjoyed attending Northaven UMC and the fellowship there. David asked that his body to be cremated after his death, and those wishes were honored. His ashes will be inturned in the beautiful Celebration Garden located on Northaven UMC's campus in Dallas. I decided that there will be no memorial service scheduled at this time due to COVID-19 restrictions in Dallas area and other practical considerations. His family recognized that David wanted to have a memorial service, but this memorial service will be at a later date. I expect that most people who would attend David's memorial service would be living in the Dallas metro area. An update will be posted to this obituary when a memorial service is scheduled. David was preceded in death by both of his parents, and all aunts and uncles from the Harvel and Copeland sides of his family, and by many cousins. David is survived by his brother Harold D. Copeland, many first and second cousins and their families too numerous to list here. David wanted to note in his obituary that he especially valued some of his close friends: Kenneth and Kendell Brumelle, Art Roberts, Evan Mooney, Rick Shannon, Judy Birchfield, and Bob Williams. The family requests that in lieu of flowers that you consider a memorial donation in David's name to a charity of your choice or to one of David's favorite charities: Turtle Creek Chorale, Northaven UMC, Texas Christian University Scholarships. Please take comfort in knowing that David is in heaven now and in peace.




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Published in Dallas Morning News on Oct. 16, 2020.
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5 entries
October 21, 2020
David was my dental patient that I always enjoyed seeing and talking about history. He was always full of life and his disabilities did not slow him down. He was a Renaissance man with multiple talents and interest. The short time I treated him did not allow more time to talk about our mutual interest. He must have been a wonderful teacher that truly cared about his students. I will miss our times together and the friendship we shared.
Dr David Hughes
Friend
October 18, 2020
I knew David in the late '60's and early '70's. Knew him from DeMolay. I lost track of him. Tried to reconnect but deeply regret I was late. He was a fine person. So sorry he has passed. Rest in peace, my old friend.
Steven D Klein
Friend
October 18, 2020
Enjoyed having Mr. Copeland as my Am History teacher at Southwest. Also, as a student aid one semester. RIP
Sandra Rice
Student
October 18, 2020
David was one of my favorite teachers at Southwest HS, Class of 1978. I loved his class and his teaching style. His love of music has stayed with me my entire life. He has certainly made a difference in the lives of many people with the short time he spent on this earth. He will be missed but not forgotten.
Bruce Duncan
Student
October 18, 2020
Godspeed and Prayers great teacher
Grady
Student
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