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Ellis Lee Copeland

November 11, 1930 ~ November 4, 2017 (age 86)
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Ellis Lee Copeland of St. James, Missouri, was born November 11, 1930 at Safe, Missouri, to Fred Oscar Copeland and Bertha Mae (Southard) Copeland; he passed away Saturday, November 4, 2017 at the St. James Living Center in St. James, Missouri. He was 86 years, 11 months, 24 days of age.

In 1947, Ellis met the love of his life, Maxine Carmen John, and on June 9, 1951, he was married to Maxine Carmen John at the Broadway Baptist Church in rural St. James, Missouri.

Ellis was preceded in death by his parents, Fred Oscar Copeland and Bertha Mae (Southard) Copeland and son-in-law, Jim Prebianca.

Ellis is survived by his wife, Maxine Carmen (John) Copeland of 66 years; son, Allen Lee Copeland and wife, Vera Lucille (Leigh) Copeland of St. James, MO; daughter, Yolanda Lynne (Copeland) Prebianca of St. James, MO; two grandchildren: Jeremy Allen Copeland of Kennett, MO and Valerie Lynne (Copeland) Havens and husband, Matthew Havens of Bolivar, MO and three great grandchildren: Emery Jeremiah Havens, Anberlin (Annie) Nicole Havens, and Ashlynne Grey Havens of Bolivar, MO.

Ellis found Christ as his Lord and Savior May 12, 1946 and was baptized along with his father in Lane's Prairie Fork Creek near the Broadway Baptist Church. He was ordained as a deacon in the Broadway Baptist Church in 1954.

On 1955, Ellis and Maxine moved their membership to the First Baptist Church of St. James, Missouri. Ellis was accepted as a deacon and has continued to serve through 2017. He was a deacon emeritus. He also served as music director for 25 years and has continued to be a part of the music program. He has also served the church in other capacities of leadership for several years.

Ellis spent 22 years working with International Shoes Company. During this time, he worked part time at other occupations as well.

In 1963, Ellis got his real estate license and worked part time for Carnahan Realtors in Rolla, Missouri. In 1964, he received his broker's license. In 1967, Ellis and Maxine opened their office known as Copeland Realtors. In 1971, they opened the real estate office at 417 North Jefferson St. James, Missouri until they retired in December 31, 2002. However, they still remained active with real estate education and maintaining their designation and membership in the South Central Board of Realtors, Missouri Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors.

Ellis received his GRI, "Graduate of Realtors Institute" designation; CRS, "Certificate Resident Specialist" in mid 1970; CRB, and "Certified Residential Broker" designation in 1980. He served in many real estate positions in the south central area: real estate appraiser from 1971 until 1994, president of the Central Board of Realtors 3 different times, and state director for the local board of realtors for 12 years. He received "Realtor of the Year" 3 different times from the South Central Board of Realtors, and he received the "Distinguished Service Award" by the Missouri Association of Realtors in 1991.

Ellis was active in the local St. James Chamber of Commerce, serving as president in 1980; he served many years in other capacities as a chamber member. He served on the planning and zoning committee for the city of St. James for many years.

Ellis was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, a caring friend and neighbor. We celebrate his life and will remember him as a devoted family man, a devout Christian and a true friend to many.

Visitation for family and friends will be held from 6-8 PM Monday, November 6, 2017 at the Jones Funeral Home in St. James, Missouri.

Funeral services will be conducted 2 PM Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at the First Baptist Church in St. James, Missouri with Brother Stephen Brubaker officiating. Special music selections, "Victory in Jesus" will be sung by Hal Rhea, "How Great Thou Art" will be sung by Stephen Brubaker and a congregational hymn will be directed by Stephen Brubaker. Accompanists will be Jeanette Ashley, pianist and Connie Rhea, organist. Pallbearers will be Allen Copeland, Jeremy Copeland, Matt Havens, Emery Havens, Ray Ellis, and Rodney Rumley. Interment will be in the St. James Cemetery.

Memorials are suggested to be made to the First Baptist Church in St. James, Missouri.

All arrangements are under the direction of Jones Funeral Home in St. James, Missouri.


Charitable donations may be made to:

First Baptist Church
132 Aida Street, St James MO 65559
Tel: 1-573-265-3449

 Service Information

November 6, 2017

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Jones Funeral Home
200 South Meramec
Saint James, MO 65559

Funeral Service
November 7, 2017

2:00 PM
First Baptist Church
132 Aida Street
St James, MO 65559

November 7, 2017

St. James Cemetery
Jefferson Street
St. James, MO 65559

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