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Little Rock Funeral Home

8801 Knoedl Ct., Little Rock

Phone: 501-224-2200

Walter E. "Gene" Copeland

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Published: November 13, 2012

Walter E. "Gene" Copeland, 86, of Little Rock, died Sunday, November 11, 2012. Born October 18, 1926 in Little Rock, he was the son of the late Austin and Coy Copeland. He graduated from Little Rock Central High School, Little Rock Junior College (currently UALR) and the University of Arkansas. While at LRJC, he served as President of Delta Kappa Fraternity, played on the varsity basketball team and was the business manager of the Trojan yearbook. He was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II and a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church.

At St. Paul's, Gene served on the Board and as a counselor for the United Methodist Youth. He also served on the Board of Camp Aldersgate. He was a former member of the Greater Little Rock Downtown Optimist Club, served as a County Chairman for the March of Dimes, and was a member of Chapter 34 of AARP where he served as vice-president and enjoyed playing bridge with his AARP friends.

Gene's professional life included being a public accountant and a managing partner in a new car dealership. Most of his life was spent in the life insurance business where he earned the FLMI (Fellow of the Life Management Institute) designation. He retired as Secretary, Treasurer and Vice-President of Providential Life Insurance Company.

Gene was a baseball enthusiast and played for the Little Rock American Legion Doughboys at Lamar Porter Field. He coached boys' baseball teams for ten years in the Greater Little Rock Optimist Club baseball leagues at Lamar Porter Field where his teams won many championships, including the State Championship. When he was in his 70's, he assisted his son in coaching a girls' softball team.

He is survived by his wife, Marilyn Copeland; children, Scott Copeland and wife, Christy and Cynthia Murphy and husband, Chip; step-children, Benny Melikian, Tommy Melikian and wife Kimberly, and Timothy Melikian and wife, Cindy; his grandchildren, Sydney Copeland, Tiffany Robinson and Toby Watkins; and step-grandchildren, Lance Melikian, Laine Melikian, Alyssa Melikian, Josh Melikian, Noah Melikian, Caleb Melikian and Mirah Melikian, and Kierra Nelson.

Services with Military Honors will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at Little Rock Funeral Home, 8801 Knoedl Ct. (NW corner of I-630 and Barrow Rd.), Little Rock, with Dr. Bob Dunaway officiating. Memorials may be made to Asbury United Methodist Church, 1700 Napa Valley Dr., Little Rock, Ark. 72212. A special Thank you to Mike and Carol Patrick and family for all of their help, support, and friendship especially through his last years of life. Arrangements by Little Rock Funeral Home, (501) 224-2200. Mr. Copeland's online guestbook may be signed at

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