Roger L. Copple
1934 - 2020
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Roger L. Copple



Former First Judicial District Court Judge Roger Copple passed away June 13, 2020 at St. Vincent Hospital from complications following surgery.

He was born in Hickman Mills, MO, December 26, 1934 to C.A. (Bud) Copple and Becky Swaney Copple.

After many moves to various parts of the west the Copple family settled in Roswell, NM where his father was President of Malco Products, Inc. for 21 years. Rodger graduated from Roswell High School in 1952.

He attended the University of Colorado and the University of New Mexico where he met Patricia Golightly. They were married in 1954. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1956. He earned his bachelor of laws degree at Southern Methodist University School of Law in Dallas, TX (Honor Society) in 1959.

Roger was a member of the Jennings, Christy and Copple Law Firm in Roswell for 15 years before moving to Santa Fe in 1974. About seven years later Roger opened his Santa Fe Law office in 1981.

In 1987 he was appointed to the District Bench by Governor Garrey Carruthers and attended the National Judicial College in Reno, NV. After his time on the bench in Santa Fe, Roger and Patricia moved to Albuquerque where he became an Assistant United States Attorney dealing in criminal cases and property forfeitures.

In retirement he was on the Fee Arbitration Panel and the Commission of Professionalism for the State Bar of NM; Disiplinary Board for the Supreme Court of NM; Arbitrator and member of the American Arbitration Association. In Santa Fe he held many Civic/Municipal/Club offices and positions.

Bank Board Director, President Chavez County Bar Association; Roswell City Commissioner. He was a former member of the Santa Fe Rotary Club.

He was preceded in death by his parents and Brother Riley Copple. He is survived by Patricia his wife of 66 years; son Bruce and wife Jeannie of Grand Junction, CO; son Brian and grandson Brett of Austin, TX; Brother Brian Copple and wife Pat of Dallas, TX; nephews a niece, grandnieces and grandnephew.

Roger will be remembered as a kind and loving man to his family and friends and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Donations in Roger's memory may be made to the charity of choice. A memorial service will be announced at a later date.


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Published in Albuquerque Journal on Jun. 21, 2020.
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