Cover photo for Luther Clifton "Cliff" Copeland, Jr.'s Obituary
Luther Clifton "Cliff" Copeland, Jr. Profile Photo
1952 Luther 2022

Luther Clifton "Cliff" Copeland, Jr.

September 16, 1952 — April 22, 2022

   Luther Clifton “Cliff” Copeland, Jr., age 69, of 112 Blount Street, Edenton, NC, peacefully passed away on Friday, April 22, 2022, in Duke University Hospital, Durham, following complications after heart surgery.

   Cliff was born in Suffolk, Virginia on September 16, 1952, and was the son of the late Luther Clifton “L.C.” Copeland and Rebecca Lassiter Copeland. He grew up in Woodland, NC.

   A graduate of Duke University with a B.S. in Political Science in 1974, he received his Master’s in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina. His first employment was in Stanley County, NC as the Assistant County Manager. In 1979, he was employed as the first County Manager of Chowan County and continued in that position until his retirement in 2008.

   Cliff had a deep abiding love for Chowan County and Northeastern North Carolina. Early in his career he learned of the importance of conserving the County’s rich and vast natural resources. Thus a priority throughout his service to the County, were initiatives to protect and preserve environmentally sensitive areas around the Chowan River and Albemarle Sound. Cliff also appreciated the economic value of promoting the County’s natural and historical assets and successfully advocated to the NC General Assembly for the creation of the Chowan County Tourism Development Authority, one of the first rural counties to establish a comprehensive tourism initiative. He was particularly proud of Chowan County’s partnership with the State of North Carolina that resulted in the complete restoration and reopening to the public of the Historic 1767 Chowan Courthouse, a National Historic Landmark considered to be one of North Carolina’s most historically significant buildings.

   Cliff championed partnerships with counties in the region and with the Town of Edenton that helped to provide enhanced levels of services to citizens for a variety of programs, including solid waste and recycling, animal control, and building inspection services. He loved helping citizens. Cliff worked tirelessly leading the County’s recovery efforts from damages sustained by Hurricane Isabel in 2003, the most damaging storm to impact Chowan County since Hurricane Hazel in 1954. He especially relished answering a call for assistance to help a Chowan County agricultural or industrial business owner after encountering frustration from government bureaucracy. Constituent service was a priority throughout his career with Chowan County.

   Civic involvement included his longtime membership in the Edenton Rotary Club where he was a Paul Harris Fellow and enjoyments were his daily involvement with the coffee group, his golfing outings with friends, and his work with the Baptist Men and their Book Bag Buddies program.

   Surviving is his wife of nearly 38 years, Anna Chesson Copeland; two sons, Luther Clifton Copeland, III of Arlington, VA and Bryan T. Hurdle of Kill Devil Hills (his children, Bryan and Kathryn Parker Hurdle of Hickory); a sister, Rebecca Copeland Scarboro of Franklin, VA (late husband, Don William “Bill” Scarboro); a brother, William Grant Copeland of Birmingham, AL (wife, Dawn); and two brothers-in-law, J. Parker Chesson, Jr. of Durham (wife, Wynda) and Donald N. Chesson of Raleigh (wife, Billie Rae).

   Friends may visit with the family on Friday from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in Miller Funeral Home & Crematory, 735 Virginia Road, Edenton, and all other times at the residence.

   A private graveside service will be held on Saturday at the family plot in the Woodland Cemetery, and will be conducted by his pastor, The Reverend David Brooks of Edenton Baptist Church.

   In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Boys & Girls Club of the Albemarle/Edenton Unit, 824 North Oakum Street, Edenton, NC 27932, or to Edenton Baptist Church, 200 S. Granville Street, also in Edenton.

   Online condolences may be made by visiting

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, April 29, 2022

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Miller Funeral Home & Crematory

735 Virginia Road, Edenton, NC 27932

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