Smith Center - Donald E. Copper, 93, passed away Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at Smith Center Health and Rehab.
Don was born January 2, 1926 in Plainville, KS, the son of James O. and Ina (McCune) Copper. Don attended Fort Hays State and Kansas State University. Don met his future wife Francie while both were attending KSU. Don grew up in Stockton until he joined the United States Army serving from August 9, 1944 to June 27, 1946 when he was honorably discharged.
On March 11, 1951 Don married Francie Moate in Smith Center at the United Methodist Church and they were married for over 68 years.
In 1953 Don and Francie moved from Stockton to the family farm east of Smith Center where Francie had grown up. Don and Francie were always involved in community and school activities. They were members of the Smith Center United Methodist Church. They always had a huge garden and shared their vegetables with as many friends as possible. They always fixed fresh vegetables for church and funeral dinners. Don and Francie were crowned the Old Settler's Day King & Queen in 2017.
Don farmed for many years and enjoyed raising black angus cattle and numerous crops. After WWII Don held classes for farmers that had served to teach them the new methods of agriculture and farming. He also judged livestock at county fairs. He was also a Farm Bureau Insurance agent and substitute teacher at Smith Center High School. Don was a very proud member of the American Legion Post #220 and VFW Post #1141. He always enjoyed being with friends at the American Legion and VFW. He was a member of the American Legion Post #220 for 73 years.
Don and Francie always enjoyed traveling with their daughter Nancy and going on cruises with Mike and Linda Nebel. They traveled to Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, Alaska, Western Caribbean, South America and many places in Europe. Don and Francie have many cherished memories of their travels and cruises.
For many years Don and Francie went camping at the lake with their motor home. They both enjoyed spending lake time with family and friends and had lots of good times. Going to KSU football games over the years became their favorite thing to do in the fall. They always loved tailgating with family and friends. The presence of Willie the Wildcat was everywhere in their home.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Francie on July 29, 2018, a brother, Harold Lee Copper and a son-in-law Jim.
Don is survived by a daughter, Nancy Roberts of Wichita; two sons, Jeff (Marla) Copper of Hays and Jim (Pam) Copper of North Newton; three sisters-in-law, Betty Jane Lambert of Manhattan, Carolyn (Kurt) Heaton of Topeka, Marilyn Copper of Wichita; eight grandchildren, Josh Copper of North Newton, Joey (Alicia) Copper of Bel Aire, Ashley Roberts of Wichita, Aaron (Brittany) Roberts of Wichita, Molly (John) McMurtrie of Hays, Michael (Charlotte) Copper of Hays, Maggie (Cameron) Moeder of Ellis and Millie Copper of Kansas City, MO; fifteen great grandchildren, Miley, Ally, Remy and Reed Copper, Hudson and Brynn Roberts, Jack, Jacy and Jerzy McMurtrie, Emersyn and Elliot Copper, Camdyn Copper, Weston, Callen and Scottie Moeder and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, March 11, 2019 at All Faiths Funeral Chapel, Smith Center, KS, with Pastor Lance McDowell officiating. Visitation will be held on Sunday, March 10, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. with family present to greet friends from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at the funeral chapel. Burial will take place with military honors in Fairview Cemetery, Smith Center, KS. Memorials may be given to VFW Post #1141 of Smith Center.