Cover photo for Elwood Copeland's Obituary
Elwood Copeland Profile Photo
1931 Elwood 2022

Elwood Copeland

March 1, 1931 — March 11, 2022

   Merrill Elwood Copeland, 91, of 1078 US Highway 17 South, Elizabeth City, NC, passed away peacefully on Friday, March 11, 2022 in his home.

   Born in Tyner, NC, on March 1, 1931, he was the son of the late Merrill Elisha and Kines Dail Copeland. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother-in-law, Radolph Ward.

   Elwood lived a long, happy, and humble life of service. A longtime and faithful member of Corinth Baptist Church in Elizabeth City, for many years he had previously enjoyed fellowship and served the Lord as part of Happy Home Pentecostal Holiness Church in Tyner. As a member of Corinth Baptist Church, Elwood devotedly served on 12 global mission trips to areas including Poland and Ukraine. Additionally, he spent countless hours as a volunteer through the Pasquotank Ruritan Club, Seniors Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP), and with different hospice agencies. He was also honored to have spent 25 years on the Advisory Committee for the North Carolina State Employees Credit Union.

   In addition to his humble service and following 30 years of employment with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Elwood enjoyed spending countless hours in his garden and visiting with friends and family. A talented pianist, he played for many churches and services in the community, with his most honored contribution to play as part of his son's wedding ceremony.

   Surviving is his devoted wife of 55 years, Sara Lou Pritchard Copeland; his daughter, Billie Renee Copeland and her friend, Drew Fischer; his son, Mark Copeland and his wife, Katherine; and his two cherished granddaughters, Ava and Morgan Copeland. Also surviving is his brother, Durwood Copeland and his wife, Rhonda; three sisters, Yvonne Ward, Margaret Spivey and her husband, Thomas, and Carole Chappell and her husband, Bill; and many beloved nieces, nephews, and extended family members.

   A service in celebration of his life will be held Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. in the Miller & Van Essendelft Funeral Chapel, 1125 Harvey Point Road, Hertford, and will be conducted by Richard Hamilton. Burial will follow in New Hollywood Cemetery in Elizabeth City. Friends may join the family for a time of visitation on Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. in the funeral home, and other times at Mark and Katherine's home, 100 Binnacle Court, Elizabeth City.

   In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his memory may be made either to Corinth Baptist Church, 1035 US Highway 17 South, or to First United Methodist Church, 201 South Road Street, both in Elizabeth City, NC 27909.

   Online condolences may be made by visiting

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, March 15, 2022

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Starts at 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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