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Edward T. Copeland, Sr.

WINTON – Edward Thornton “Puddin” Copeland, Sr., age 92, passed away peacefully in his sleep on December 8, 2020 at his home.

Mr. Copeland was born in Ahoskie, Hertford County, NC, on June 11, 1928, a son of the late Joseph Herbert and Mable Leary Copeland in Ahoskie. Edward, affectionately known to most as “Puddin”, was a graduate of Ahoskie High School. After high school, he attended Wake Forest College, but dropped out to join the U.S. Army and served Occupational duty in Japan at the end of WWII. He was a paratrooper and jumped eight times.

After his tour of duty in the army, Puddin returned to Wake Forest, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree and taught two years of high school Algebra and coached girls’ basketball in Salemburg, NC, losing only two games in two years.

Puddin married Jewell Anne Jernigan in August of 1952. They returned to their home place in Ahoskie, where he worked for the next 40 years in banking, ending his banking career in Henderson, NC, with First Citizen’s Bank as Vice President and City Executive. Ed served as President of the Henderson Country Club and Henderson Elks Lodge. Puddin opened the Pizza Inn in Henderson, where it is still in operation 45 years later. Puddin was a successful businessman with interest in seven Pizza Inns, a steak restaurant, and a tire and battery shop. He was voted “Boss of the Year” in 1977 by the Henderson Jaycees.

After returning to his hometown of Ahoskie and while he was in Goldsboro, Puddin coached boy’s little league baseball and football, winning numerous championships. He was a member and past president of Davie Masonic Lodge #39 in Ahoskie and the Hertford County Shrine Club. Mr. Copeland was also an FAA licensed pilot and avid golfer and at the time of his death was the oldest member of his beloved Beechwood Country Club.

Besides his parents he was preceded in death by his wife, Jewell Anne Jernigan Copeland, and three older brothers.

Left to cherish his memory is his daughter, Peggy Copeland McLean and husband, Ben McLean of Winton NC; his son, Edward Thornton Copeland Jr. and wife, Susan Hudspeth Copeland of Vilas, NC; five grandchildren, Edward T. “Tripp” Copeland, III and wife, Margaret of Folly Beach, SC, Thomas Herbert Copeland and Joseph William Copeland of Denver, CO, Annie McLean Maloney and husband, Dan of Raleigh, NC, and Gus McLean of Raleigh, NC; and a great grandson, George Maloney.

A celebration of life memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church of Ahoskie, NC, with Rev. Dr. Trey Gilliam, officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church of Ahoskie, PO Box 649, Ahoskie, NC 27910 or to the Shriners Hospital for Children, PO Box 863, Orlando, FL 32866 or online by visiting tmcfunding.com/search fund, type: Edward Copeland

Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service – Ahoskie Chapel is handling the arrangements for the Copeland family and online condolences can be directed to the family by visiting www.garrettsykesfs.com.