A memorial service to celebrate the life of Dale Copeland will be held at PCG/Temple of Peace church, at 610 Valencia in Milan, NM, on Sunday, February 14, beginning at 10:30 a.m., Pastor Darryl McCullough will officiate. New Mexico State Covid-19 precautions will be in place, including social distancing and wearing protective face masks inside the church (unless seated). The family will have a private graveside service on a later date.
On August 4, 1932, in the little settlement of Rough Edge, Oklahoma, God graced this world with a vibrant and strong baby boy, John Raymond (Dale) Copeland, born to Basil Raymond Copeland and Ada Mae (Spindle) Copeland, who were God-loving, hard-working, and honest farmers.
On August 17, 1950, God blessed a beautiful young woman by the name of Avis (Mazell) Morris when He joined her and Dale in marriage. Mazell adored him for the rest of her life! Together, they would be a positive influence in the lives of countless others, shining the light of Christ in every way possible by just "being" what God wanted them to be.
In the early morning of January 29, 2021, many tears were shed on earth as God lovingly welcomed Dale to his heavenly home.
Dale Copeland, besides loving to laugh and tease good naturedly, was intelligent, creative, with a curious mind, poetic soul, and a country-boy's heart for the simple things and simple answers in life. He could tell a story and make it come alive with his humor - he had the memory of an elephant. That might be why he was so good at crossword puzzles, which he "worked" every morning. He was a strong man, both physically and spiritually, with a lion's heart for God and for people. He was a "rock" for those who needed encouragement and hope. He could size a person up in seconds; he was fair, generous; a man of his word; he was very merciful, but, he could be a formidable force if the situation called for it! When he walked into a room, he exuded an aura of authority, wisdom, and strength. His blue eyes could look straight through a person, but he endeavored to see others as God would see them, no matter what. He worked hard to provide for his family throughout his life, preferring physical jobs, with his longest employment in the propane gas industry, including a few years with his own business, Copeland's LP Gas.
Dale was called of God to be an ordained minister with the Pentecostal Church of God, and he faithfully served in the capacity of Pastor and Assistant Pastor of PCG/Temple of Peace church in Milan, NM, from 1981 to his date of death, with just a short break to serve the PCG/NM District as Superintendent. He was beloved by those he ministered to; he had a true Pastor's heart, and was an excellent mentor to many. His love for God's word and the depth of his studies blessed countless people - his sermons were not only powerful and preached with passion, but they were also life-changing, with his favorite sermon themes being about God's grace, and the need for revival. His deep love of music was enjoyed by all, with his deep and resonate voice singing God's praises with great skill and beauty.
Dale came from the lush, deep woods of southern Oklahoma, and although he could speak very articulately when he wanted to, his language was splashed with the color of his southern roots with some double negatives, and country-flavored words/phrases such as: "ain't no sense in it; pert near; fixin to; come right quick; reckin so; feel like I swallered somepin; well, that sap-sucker; ol' whickum-dodger (if he couldn't remember someone's name);" and so many others.
He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of almost 70 years, Mazell Copeland; his parents, Ray and Mae Copeland; his sisters, Hazel Copeland, and Ruby Sullivan; his brother Wayne (Toad) Copeland; his granddaughter, Kimberly Hope (Copeland) Stout; his nephews, Mike Sweet, Grant Sullivan, Mike Copeland, Don Holmes and his wife, Carolyn.
He is survived by his four children: son, Steve Copeland, and wife, Kathy; son, Dennis Copeland, and wife, Brenda; daughter, Sheree Melrose; daughter, Anita McCullough, and her husband, Darryl. Eleven grandchildren: Nathan Copeland, and his wife, Selina; Adam Copeland, and his wife, Holly; Anna Frohboese, and her husband, Don; Douglas Copeland, and his wife, Shiloh; Carey Nix, and her husband Kent; Karah Copeland; Roxanne Mirabal; Rex Good II, and his wife, Amanda; David Good II, and his wife, Katy; R. Dale Good, and his wife, Kendra; and Isaac McCullough. He is also survived by 29 great-grandchildren, ten great-great-grandchildren, sisters-in-law (Bonnie Martin, Donnie Sweet, Kay Morris, and Virginia Copeland), brothers-in-law (Otis Martin and Gale Morris), many nieces, nephews, cousins, and his treasured church family.
Flowers, plants, and cards are welcome. If you prefer to give a donation in his memory, the family would encourage that those donations be sent to PCG-Temple of Peace church (PO Box 2665, Milan NM 87021).
Dale Copeland will be missed beyond words by many people, but especially by his four children. Some called him Dale, some called him Boog, some called him Papa Dale or even Papa Boog, some called him Pastor, but his four kids were blessed by God to be able to call him "Dad."
To be sure, because Dale always put God first in his life, daily seeking and surrendering to God's will for his life, he heard the words, loud and clear, "Well done, my good and faithful servant," as he entered Heaven's portal.
We'll see you soon, Dad ...