Walter Clarence Copeland III, 78, passed away on October 13, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s and Lewy Body disease. He was born and reared in Madison, Florida, the only child of Walter Clarence Copeland, Jr., and Willie Clare Sims Copeland. He graduated from Madison High School and Yale University with a degree in industrial engineering. At Yale, he was a member of The Mory’s Association, The St. Elmo Society, and played trumpet with the Yale Symphony Orchestra and Yale Marching Band. After graduation, he served five years in the United States Army and Army Reserve. He spent his professional career with his family’s business, Copeland Gas Company, and was past president of the Madison Rotary Club. His favorite times were spent with his family, whether hunting and exploring the woods, listening to classical music, or backpacking through Europe with his best friend and wife, Frances. He was a member of First Baptist Church in Madison, where he served as a Deacon and as a Sunday School teacher.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Frances Stewart Copeland; his three sons: Brett Stewart Copeland (Douglas Johnson) of Washington, DC; Walter Sims Copeland (Jennifer) of Madison, and Scot Benjamin Copeland (Katy) of Tallahassee; three grandchildren: Parker Copeland and Collin Copeland of Madison, and Jack Copeland of Tallahassee; an aunt, Agnes Sims Studstill of Madison; an uncle, Robert “Bobby” Copeland (Shirley) of Melbourne; and mother-in-law Eloise Glass Stewart of Pinetta.
A visitation will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, October 16th at Beggs Funeral Home, followed by a memorial service celebrating his life at 11 a.m. A brief graveside service will follow at Oak Ridge Cemetery. The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Big Bend Hospice, 1723 Mahan Center Blvd., Tallahassee, Fl 32308, Madison First Baptist Church (1898 sanctuary), P. O. Box 307, Madison, Fl 32341, or Madison Academy, P. O. Box 690, Madison, Fl 32341.