Billy Ray Copeland, of Marquez and a long-time resident of Groesbeck, passed away at Providence Hospital in Waco on Thursday, February 18, 2021.
Visitation will be held at the First Baptist Church in Marquez on Monday, February 22, 2021 from 12:00 noon until the funeral service begins at 2:00 p.m. The funeral will be conducted by Pastor Jon Honea and Reverend Bill Sutton and music will be provided by John Allred. Burial will follow in Bethesda Cemetery at Flynn.
Pallbearers will be Gary Desautels, Gary Stewart, Scott Noey, Stuart Noey, Roland Padgett, and Todd Neyland.
Honorary pallbearers will be Shelton Snow, Buren Noey, David Ferrill, Chester Aills, Butch Hughes, John Allred, Darron Snow, Roy Lee Copeland, Brian Stewart, Bubba Copeland and Bubba Padgett.
Billy Ray was born July 21, 1949 to Fred Copeland and Alma Snow Copeland in Flynn and grew up and attended school in Flynn.
Billy Ray was a veteran, having served in the U. S. Army, and went to Germany during the Vietnam War.
He was self-employed, but also had worked for Leon ISD as a bus driver and maintenance, as a grounds keeper for other facilities, and was a welder’s helper for his cousin, Milton Snow and Milton’s son, Shelton Ray. Milton was like a brother, and also Shelton was close to Billy Ray like a brother. In fact, Billy Ray had been the one to give Milton and his wife their names PawPaw and MeMe, which everyone called them for years. Billy Ray never met a stranger and talked to everybody. He actually had no filter in what he would say or do.
Billy Ray loved playing dominoes and dancing to country music. He loved dancing enough to take the Leon ISD school bus to the Cowboy Club in Mexia one night, which was his last time to drive the bus, due to being relieved of his bus driving duties. He and his daughter had a good time going to the Oletha Jamboree in younger years. He had been a resident in the local nursing home prior to his death and had enjoyed the musicians from the Oletha Jamboree when they entertained at the nursing home, and he also loved Chaplain Honea and the ministers who held services. He was baptized and a member of the Oletha Baptist Church.
Billy Ray was preceded in death by his father, Fred Copeland and other extended family members.
He is survived by his mother, Alma Snow Stewart of Oletha; son and daughter-in-law, Kenneth and Kelley Copeland of Groesbeck, and his children, Kellen Copeland and Stran Copeland of Leon; and daughter, Sherry Copeland of Groesbeck, and her children, Kaitlyn Copeland, Colter Copeland, and Karley Mayhugh, of Groesbeck. He is also survived by his brother, Roy Lee Copeland of Marquez; sister and brother-in-law, Alma and Butch Hughes of Oletha; brother and sister-in-law, Gary and Denise Stewart of Marquez; brother, Brian Stewart of Marquez; brother and sister-in-law, Bubba and Jennifer Copeland of Groesbeck; many nieces and nephews; uncle, Buren Noey of Flynn; and aunt, Martha Jean Noey of Conroe.