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Cecile M. "Ceil" COPSEY

1945 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Cecile M. "Ceil" COPSEY Obituary
February 22, 1945 - October 10, 2017 Cecile Copsey, better known as Ceil, passed away peacefully on Tuesday morning October 10, 2017 in Camarillo, California, after a brief, unexpected illness. Ceil was an incredible wife and best friend forever in a marriage of 45 years, a fantastic mother to four children, and a passionate history teacher at Moorpark College for 44 years. She is survived by her husband, Reese Copsey; four children, Trish, Keith, Kathy, and Eric; and sister, Elinore Cumings. Ceil was born in Glendale, California, on February 22, 1945. She attended high school in Temple City and went on to graduate from UC Berkeley in the 1960's. She continued her education at UCLA for a Masters Degree in History. She started teaching history at Moorpark College right after the college opened. Ceil was extraordinarily skilled at presenting history as a vital narrative of people's lives, competing visions, and human passions. She created a pioneering American Women's history class, which became a staple in the curriculum there for years, and a travelling history class that went from desert ruins to the Huntington Library to Yosemite Valley. Her storytelling approach to teaching history had a profound impact on her students, a number of whom told her that they wanted to become history teachers because of the fascinating way she was able to help them relate to and make sense of what had happened in the past. For 17 years, as part of her teaching a history-on-the-road class at Moorpark College, Ceil took students to Yosemite National Park. Many positive memories remain for both her students and her own children who participated in the camping trips there. Camping was a favorite pastime of the family, evolving from tents to eventually a tent trailer surrounded by a tent "village" as the kids got older. Ceil met her husband-to-be Reese when she moved in next door to him in a singles apartment in Oxnard. In a matter of only a few months, they were married in 1972. They moved to a small, comfortable home on a dirt road Camarillo. The home grew in size, with rooms being added as children arrived. She retired from Moorpark College 3 years ago and spent her time after that at home. Ceil loved to read and garden. Ceil spent her last hours comfortably with her husband and older daughter, with other children nearby or present on the telephone. Rather than have a memorial service, her local family met for an afternoon of a simple lunch, good memories, and a piece of pie. In lieu of flowers please make a contribution to a favorite . While her leaving us unexpectedly is difficult, her love, friendship and passion for life will always be remembered. Ceil will continue to be missed by the many friends and family members who loved her dearly.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Oct. 29, 2017
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