MORRISTOWN, NY — Memorial services for Dr. John William Copeman, age 87, of Morristown, will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, at Frary Funeral Home, 515 Caroline St., Ogdensburg.
John William Copeman, MD, 87, died Aug. 9, 2018.
He was predeceased by his beloved wife Lois Carolyn and his youngest son Donald William.
He is survived by his loving daughter Laurie Carolyn (David), son J. David, and his five adoring grandchildren Caroline, Ryan, Hannah, Hailey, and Jake, as well as his sister in law Ina Mae Burk, four nieces, and a nephew. He is also predeceased by his brothers Thomas and Douglas, his sister Jane, sister in law Barbara, and brother-in-law Walter Burk, as well as his nephew Richard.
The son of Dr. Edwin and Irene (Hurley) Copeman, John was born 11/1/1930 and raised in Simcoe, Ontario. He attended the prestigious Ridley College boarding school from grade school through high school before heading on to the University of Toronto where he received his degree in medicine in 1955.
John served in the Canadian Navy as well as the US Navy Reserves. John met the love of his life, his spitfire, as some would call her, while he was completing his residency in anesthesia at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.
John and Lois were married in 1963. Throughout their 52 year marriage they raised three children, lived in Canada and on both coasts of the US, and traveled extensively.
John began his career in private practice anesthesia but eventually moved into industrial medicine, beginning with Union Oil, where he tended to the health needs of workers on oil rigs around the world. From there, he went to IBM for the majority of his career, eventually moving into the management of regional medical departments.
When John retired from IBM in the early 1990s, he and Lois moved up to Morristown New York, where they had a summer cottage on the St. Lawrence River, and made Morristown their year-round residence.
Once retired, John went back to practicing general medicine at a local hospital part time, and he loved it. John was a kind and compassionate man whose sole reason for going into medicine was to help and heal people. This purpose, that was largely missing from his work in industrial medicine, was re-found in retirement positions in general medicine. Sadly a few years after retirement John’s hearing deteriorated, and he couldn’t continue his work.
In later years, John suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Everyone who knew John throughout his life, knew him to be an extremely intelligent, honorable, and generous family man with a great sense of humor. In his younger years, he was quite a gymnast. He could walk across a field on his hands, and to the delight of his grandchildren, up until the age of 76, was still performing front flips off the diving board. He was a voracious reader, a worthy chess opponent, and he had a joke or song for every occasion. The truest testament to his character, however, is that those who met him only after he had Alzheimer’s disease, knew him to be a kind, gentle, compassionate and funny man. His character still shone through. John touched many hearts, and he will be greatly missed. May he rest in eternal peace.
Online condolences may be made to www.fraryfuneralhome.com/obituaries.
Donations may be made in John’s memory to the Katie McBride Foundation.
Katie McBride Foundation
36 Redwood Drive
Great River, NY 11739