Cover photo for Celia Rae Nixon Copeland's Obituary
Celia Rae Nixon Copeland Profile Photo
1926 Celia 2023

Celia Rae Nixon Copeland

February 10, 1926 — February 7, 2023

   Celia Rae Nixon Copeland, 96, of Ryland Road, Tyner, NC, died Tuesday, February 7, 2023 in ECU Health Roanoke-Chowan Hospital, Ahoskie.

   Mrs. Copeland was born in Chowan County on February 10, 1926, and was the daughter of the late Jesse and Dixie White Nixon. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Lester Taylor Copeland; an infant son, Joseph Anthony Copeland; by sisters, Ella Mae Perry, Minnie Brown, Louise Perry, Gertrude Driggs and Jessie Driggs; by brothers, Cecil and Norman Nixon; and by four half-siblings. Through her family history and genealogy Mrs. Copeland was proud that her maternal grandfather Joel White had volunteered to fight in the Civil War.

   A homemaker and farmer’s wife, for many years Mrs. Copeland owned and operated with her husband, Copeland & Sons Turkey Farm, and had also worked at The Bettye Shoppe, Belk’s, The Bride & Groom, and Nixon’s Family Restaurant. She was a member of the Ryland Extension Homemakers Club, The Albemarle Craftsman’s Guild, and of Ballard’s Bridge Baptist Church where she served in the W.M.U. and as a Sunday School teacher.

   Surviving are her sons, Lester Ray Copeland (wife, Emily) of Tyner, Paul Gene Copeland (wife, Seanna) of LaGrange, and H. Alan Copeland of Elizabeth City; six grandchildren, Kelly Ray Copeland, Celia Kay Copeland Overton, Kathryn Copeland Griffin (husband, Brad), Candice Copeland Rhodes (husband, Brent) Wesley Alan Copeland and Wendy Copeland; six great-grandchildren, Taylor Overton, Colin and Braden Griffin, Isabella Pearce, and Caleb and Katherine Copeland; and many nieces, nephews, and extended family members.

   Funeral services will be held Thursday at 3:00 p.m. in Ballard’s Bridge Baptist Church and will be conducted by the Rev. Junior White. The burial will follow in the church cemetery. Friends may visit with the family in the Family Life Center immediately following the service.

   Memorial contributions may be made to Ballard’s Bridge Baptist Church, 3025 Virginia Road, Tyner, NC 27980.

   Miller Funeral Home & Crematory, 735 Virginia Road, Edenton, is assisting the family with arrangements and online condolences may be made by visiting

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Celia Rae Nixon Copeland, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Starts at 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Ballard's Bridge Baptist Church

3025 Virginia Road, Tyner, NC 27980

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