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Copsey (AP)
James L. Copsey

Posted on Nov. 13, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.

May 14, 1926 - Nov. 10, 2012

GOSHEN — James L. Copsey, 86, died Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, at Greencroft, after a struggle with Alzheimers which lasted more than eight years. His final days were eased by the presence of many friends and family members and by the tender care provided by the staff at Greencroft and employees of Goshen Home Care and Hospice.

Jim was born May 14, 1926, in Elkhart to Jim and Olivia Copsey. He was the second of three children. He grew up in Elkhart and graduated from Elkhart High School in 1944. He was drafted into the U.S. Army Air Force and served in the United States until his discharge in 1946.

Jim married Joan Gyllstrom on July 21, 1951, at Augustana Lutheran Church. They met when Jim was working at Handy Dandy Hamburg Hotel, a popular diner across the street from Elkhart High School. They were married for 58 years. Joan preceded Jim in death in July 2009.

Jim spent his working life as a purchasing agent for various companies, including Miles Laboratories. He served on the church board in various capacities at Grace Lutheran Church and was often found working in the church kitchen for important events like the church bazaar, Mother’s Day banquet, and Easter breakfast.

Jim loved to cook and to bake. He will be remembered by his extended family for his vegetable soup, cinnamon rolls, Swedish rye bread and potato salad. He loved to dance and had a lifelong interest and love for trains.

Jim is survived by his daughter, Lori, and by his granddaughter, Olivia, who was the apple of his eye from the moment he first held her. He is also survived by his brother, Ray (Donna) Copsey; his sister, Evelyn Canen; numerous nieces and nephews; and many great-nieces and nephews.

Jim was a member of College Mennonite Church for the last nine years.

Visitation will be held there from 4 to 7 p.m. today, Nov. 13, 2012. Funeral services will be at the church at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, officiated by Pastors Pamela Yoder and Phil Waite.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Student Aid Fund at College Mennonite Church.

Rieth-Rohrer-Ehret Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements and online condolences may be sent at