Judith Ann "Judy" Copeland was born March 26, 1935, in Rapid City, S.D. She was the eldest of three children of Wayland and Mildred (Maher) Simkins. Judy grew up in Boulder, where she attended Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School, Mount St. Gertrude Academy, and graduated from Boulder High School in 1953.
After high school, she worked at a flower shop where she eventually met her future husband, Ted Copeland. Ted worked for Mountain Bell and was called into the shop to fix the phone lines. Judy noticed Ted right away and after that day continued to show up at the same coffee shop Ted frequently visited.
After a year, they were married and made their first home in Boulder. To this union seven children were born: Kevin, Kraig, Karen, Kelly, Katrena, Kristin, and Kent. Judy's life calling became full-time mother and wife, and she even made time to be a Cub Scout den mother.
She became very active at Sacred Heart, Cub Scout den mother, and volunteered her time at a local nursing home. In 1970, Ted took a promotion and moved the family to Rangely, where Judy became a well-known resident by first enrolling seven children in the tiny school district, then volunteering as a CCD teacher, Girl Scout leader, and becoming very involved at St Ignatius.
Two years later, Ted and Judy moved the gang to Hayden. Once again Judy immersed herself into her church, community, and the several volunteer opportunities that come with seven children. Later, Judy somehow found time to take on an agent job at National Car Rental. Not only did she work every flight that came into the Hayden airport, she also worked security and concession. Yes, Judy even had the keys to the candy machines.
Judy was a lover of life and people.
She was notorious for running into people she knew everywhere she went. Her family was always the center of her life but she had a heart and personality to fit in so many others. Judy touched the lives of so many people throughout her own life. She was an advocate for all children, and especially the unborn.
She wrote letters, attended rallies, and marched in support of The Right to Life and Priests for Life, sat on the board of the Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center in Craig, and fiscally helped many young mothers. She opened and ran a youth center in the late 1970s and years later operated another youth center from the elementary gymnasium.
She continued to volunteer in every aspect of her children's lives, shared her floral talents with many young bride and grooms and every high schooler needing a homecoming mum or prom corsage. Judy remained active at Holy Name Catholic Church. She appropriately became a church greeter, brought the Eucharist to the homebound, planned and oversaw several bunko fundraisers, and was part of the parish council. She was able to touch, affect, and better so many lives. She also wanted it known that she was only able to do so because of her husband, Ted. The fact that he was a wonderful spouse and supportive of all her efforts, enabled her to do so.
Judy will be missed greatly by so many.
Judy is survived by her husband, Ted; children Kevin Copeland, Kraig (Suzie) Copeland, Karen (Fred) Hughes, Kelly (Jeff) Potter, Katy (Jim) Bonds, Kristy (Doug) Prewitt, Kent (Shari) Copeland, and Bill Klotz; grandchildren Tanner (Becky) and Seth Copeland, and Misty (Sam) Jenkins, Megan (Nathan) Svoboda, and Mindy (Bill) Yoast, Nicholas (Rachel), Gunnar, and Skylar Hughes, Colby (Natalie), Casey, and Lindsey Potter, Erin (Darrell) Copeland/Abbott and Mary Bonds, Bryan (Brittney), Barry, and Andrew Klotz, Blake (Kyra) and Brad Copeland; great-grandchildren Kennedi and Collin Copeland, Logan, Camron, and Jackson Jenkins, Lily, Bella, Olivia, and Ava Svoboda, Ethan, Evan, and Elizabeth Yoast, Liam Hughes, Nora and Finley Copeland/Abbott, Aiden and Caleb Klotz, Lane Copeland; sister Sharon (Walt) Hellman; sister-in-law Sharlotte Simkins; uncle Bill (Rosemary) Maher; and numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins.
Judy was preceded in death by her parents, brother Jack Simkins, and daughter-in-law Ann Copeland.
May God bless the memory of Judy Copeland.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to one of Judy’s requested charities:
• Priests for Life
P.O. Box 141172
Staten Island, NY 10314
• Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center
356 Ranney Street
Craig, CO 81626
• Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN)
5817 Old Leeds Road
Irondale, AL 35210