Obituary: Dale E. Copeland
A Life Well Lived: March 15, 1946 — March 3, 2020
Born in Bisbee, Arizona, to Ruth Rhodes Copeland and Charles Copeland, Dale went to St. Pat’s Catholic School through 8th grade and graduated Bisbee High School, Class of 1964, where he lettered in football, baseball and track. He attended the University of Arizona for two years then volunteered for the Army serving two years in the 25th Infantry which included a tour of Vietnam from November 1966 to October 1967. Following his honorable military discharge Dale worked underground for the Phelps Dodge mines in Bisbee and Morenci for three years.
In 1970, Dale started his 28-year career with Arizona Department of Corrections (ADOC) holding various positions and retired in 1998 as a Complex Warden. He ended his correctional career in 2005 as Regional Director for a private prison company. During the time with ADOC he earned an AA from Mesa Community College, attended ASU and graduated with a business degree from University of Phoenix.
Dale and his wife, Betsann, moved to Prescott from Tempe in 2007 where they built their “Happy Place.” They were married 32 years and good friends for many years prior. Left to mourn his death and especially celebrate his life is his wife; sons, Greg (Kristi) and Brad; brother, Kevin (Michelle); sister, Linda; grandson, Logan; Logan’s mom, Christine; sister-in-law, and brother-in-law, Leslee and Keith; sister-in-law, Georgia; special cousin, Dean Rhodes (Wanda) and our granddaughter by heart, Kellie Ann Lawrence. Dale is also survived by four nieces, four nephews, fourteen great nieces and great nephews and three “grand” fur babies. He was predeceased by his parents, brother, Daryl (aka Pete) and son Paul.
Dale enjoyed road trips in the USA, international travel, good red wine, an extra dry martini, reading a good book, doing jigsaw puzzles, working in his yard, New York City and Broadway productions, the Arizona Diamondbacks, driving his 2003 Porsche, his retirement years in Prescott and especially all the family and friends that came to stay with us at our hacienda.
Dale was proud of being born and raised in Bisbee, being a Bisbee High Puma (class of 1964), his military service in the Army and his career in corrections. He was passionate about his 15 years coaching Pop Warner kids in south Tempe, his 30 plus years as a Type O universal blood donor (till he was unable to due to his health) and donating his time, efforts and knowledge as a member of Yavapai County Foster Care Review Board for the past nine years.
He was an extraordinary man whose heart beat with compassion and kindness and his soul was filled with integrity. He is missed and will be missed every day. Special thanks to Dr. Fred Markham and the ICU staff at Yavapai Regional Medical Center West Campus for the excellent care and kindness. Due to the generosity and thoughtfulness of friends, neighbors and family, donations were given on Dale’s behalf to PEO Chapter DX for furthering education of women and to Coalition for Compassion and Justice to help the homeless. Both are local organizations in Prescott and were very meaningful to him. Should you still like to honor Dale further please consider donating blood on his behalf.
Due to the current situation Dale’s Celebration of Life will be this fall. Information will be communicated at a later date.
Remember…DON’T CRY BECAUSE IT’S OVER…SMILE BECAUSE IT HAPPENED (Dr. Seuss).
Information provided by survivors.
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