On August 20, 2015 at 8:20 p.m. LaNell Coppedge, a life–long follower of Jesus Christ was called home to her eternal reward. LaNell was born on August 12, 1942 in New Mexico. The family later moved to Hattiesburg, MS, where her parents, William Van and Elizabeth Murry raised all three of their girls. LaNell and her younger sisters, Lola and Betty, both now living in AR, have remained close throughout the years.
LaNell graduated from High School in Hattiesburg, MS
She studied for 3 years at Harding University before moving back home after her father was critically injured in an accident. She finished her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Southern Mississippi.
She later earned a Master’s Degree in English Literature at UCO.
LaNell was never idle. She held numerous teaching positions over the years in the public schools and later served as an adjunct professor in the English Department at Oklahoma Christian. She also faithfully served as a volunteer tutor for over 8 years in OKC public schools. She loved to read her Bible and encouraged those she loved to do the same. In addition she spent countless hours preparing to teach Bible classes for the elementary program at church and also for the women’s classes at Wilshire, focusing on such topics as good nutrition in the home, ways to make family finances go further, things that mothers can do to rear spiritual children and ensuring that children have opportunities to grow in stature, in wisdom, in favor with man, and in favor with God.
She was a frequent visitor to those who were sick at home or those in living centers, a practice she started early in life.
Within her family she was a faithful Christian mentor, especially to the young, who needed a great adult role model. When her own children were young, she read to them often and encouraged them to develop a love of reading and learning. She took them regularly to spend time with residents of nursing homes who received few visitors, thereby teaching them to be compassionate towards the needs and hurts of others. She was a talented writer, and used that skill to write encouraging letters to those she loved. Those letters have become treasured memories to those fortunate enough to receive them.
As is the case with all of us, LaNell suffered some trials and difficult times in her life. She made a conscious choice, early on, to choose to be joyful no matter the circumstances and to use her painful life experiences to bless and encourage other people, a practice she maintained throughout her life.
In 1981, LaNell, with children Shannon and Mark, married Floyd Coppedge, with children, Tim, Mike and Kimberly and moved to Oklahoma from Arkansas. Floyd was truly the love of her life.
Together they shared many wonderful years together. They were equally yoked, as the Bible says, and have blessed so many people as they quietly and humbly served others behind the scenes. LaNell was a Home Economics major and cared for the home in a meticulous manner for many years. She was a wonderful cook and loved to host gatherings of family and friends. She was a talented seamstress as well and blessed many with a gift of a handmade quilt or loaf of her famous braided bread over the years. Later, when she began to experience early symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease, Floyd compassionately cared for her at home and helped her to stay involved in activities she dearly loved, like tutoring and teaching for much longer than she would have been able to on her own. It was inspirational to see such selfless love in action. Towards the end of her life, when her speech became severely limited, she would say his name over and over again. And while she no longer seemed to visually recognize him or anyone else, she did know his voice and would respond to it! When he wasn’t able to be present we would call him and hold the phone up for her to hear. Her demeanor would lighten and she would talk to him in a way that indicated to me that she KNEW him still.
She was kind, generous, loving, hospitable and grateful. She had a special radar for those who needed some extra encouragement or love and would seek those people out. She lived modestly all her life, giving instead to those who had much less than she. LaNell was a life-long Christian and if ever there was one who walked in the narrow way and did not conform to this world, it was her. She left us a legacy of compassion, tenderness, gentleness and loving kindness. When you read about the Fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, think of her. She embodied those traits so beautifully. One of her favorite passages in the Bible was Philippians 4:4-9. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things and the God of peace will be with you.”
A more positive person you could not find, her appreciation of beauty in the smallest and simplest of things was unparalleled. We thank her for her unfailing example of a life well-lived. She invested in others always and encouraged without imposing judgment or guilt. To say that we loved her and will miss her every second does not even come close to describing how we feel.
Floyd and LaNell were blessed with 5 children, 17 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren whom they loved very dearly.
Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 29, 2015 at The Wilshire Church of Christ with interment at 4:00 p.m. at Kansas Cemetery, Kansas, Oklahoma