William Arvin Coppedge, 82, of Hemphill, TX, passed away on September 4, 2023, in Bullard, TX.
Visitation will be 6:00-8:00 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023, at Hamil Funeral Home in Abilene, Texas.
Funeral services will be held at 12:00 PM on Friday, September 15th, 2023, at the Hamil Family Funeral Home, Bro. David Cason (Baptist), officiating. A burial will follow at the Texas Veterans Cemetery of Abilene at 2:00 PM. Services are under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road.
Bill (Arvin to his family) was born in Sweetwater, Texas to William Joseph and Annie Clendennen Coppedge on June 5th, 1941. He went to school at Abilene High School. He graduated in 1960 and married his high school sweetheart Merrilyn Ann Pebworth on December 29, 1960, in Abilene. They shared adventures across the globe for over 62 years. Bill enlisted in the United States Army in 1960 and served with distinction for 9 years, His service included a year-long combat deployment to Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division (Air Mobile). He was awarded the Bronze Star with "V" device (for heroism in battle), a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat, and received many other citations and awards, including 21 Air Medals during combat service. He worked as a Rotary Wing (helicopter) Subject Matter Expert and Technical Representative for Bell Helicopter and Pratt & Whitney Engines for approximately 40 years in the United States and abroad. He was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 10351, Disabled American Veterans, and the Masonic Lodge of Dale Alabama.
Upon his retirement he and Merrilyn bought a home on the lake, where he enjoyed boating, fishing and relaxation.
They had many wonderful neighbors who became like family over the years. In the years to follow, the house on Toledo Bend Lake became a place for their family to all come visit and share in many memorable gatherings.
Arvin was preceded in death by, an infant daughter Lisa, his father, William Joseph Coppedge, his mother, Annie Coppedge, and his sister Ann Collier.
Bill is survived by his loving wife, Merrilyn Coppedge, his son William Joel "Bill"(wife, Cathie) Coppedge, his daughter Laurie Ann Patton (fiancé Paul Thiem), and his son Steven Daniel Coppedge (wife, Laura). Both sons are also veterans of the Coast Guard and Army respectively. He is also survived by 7 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. And he will be missed by his beloved dogs Barney and Max.
The Coppedge family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to Harbor Hospice in Lufkin and Tyler and the Veterans Administration Clinic in Lufkin.