Remembering Pat Copeland

2 Nov

I heard some sad news the other day. Pat Copeland, one of the Village of Webster’s bright spots, has passed away.

I didn’t know Pat very well, but I did get to meet her a few years ago when her daughter Molly organized a surprise car and truck parade for her 90th birthday. I heard about it on Facebook and made very sure I was there for the festivities.

Precisely at noon on April 28, 2020, dozens of cars, truck and jeeps covered in banners and balloons, led by emergency vehicles all sounding their sirens and air horns, streamed past Pat’s East Main St. home as she watched with a huge grin on her face. The parade even included a drum majorette, Webster’s own Denise Baller of Dancing With Denise.

Denise still remembers the day well.

I met (Pat) after seeing a post from Molly saying she wanted to have a parade for her mom for her birthday, and wanted to have a majorette in the parade. Well, my days at Bishop Kearney were filled with high kicking as a majorette in the BK Marching Kings, so I located an old uniform and boots and coordinated with Molly to be part of the parade!

As my mom had just passed away, I knew how important it was to fulfill the desires of her elderly mom. So I was so happy to be a part of such a special day and create such a nice memory for both of them.

Another very special moment that day, Molly remembers, is when an opera singer, who had once sung the National Anthem at a Florida Marlins game, sang it and “God Bless America” for Pat. Molly wrote, “Finding such a needle in a haystack was the Lord at work giving me a hand in creating such a day!”

The community came out in droves to drive by, honk their horns and lean out their windows yelling “happy birthday!” Many others stood along the sidewalk to watch the festivities. (Click here for the blog I wrote that day.)

Pat was rather blown away by it all. In a television interview she sat for after the parade was over, she told the reporter, “I don’t know where they all came from. (Molly) certainly went out of her way to create a birthday I will remember forever.”

“I’m overwhelmed. I just couldn’t breathe,” she added. “It’s a wonderful gift, a marvelous gift.”

Pat passed away on Saturday Oct. 15, at the age of 92. Her daughter Molly writes that she was not afraid to pass, that she was looking forward to seeing her brother, sisters, husband and friends.

Molly wrote, “The entire family, immediate and extended, will miss her dearly as she never left anyone with anything less than a smile.” It’s fitting, then, that in her later days, the Village of Webster community was able to bring a smile to her face.

* * *

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(posted 11/2/2022)

3 Responses to “Remembering Pat Copeland”

  1. Molly Copeland November 3, 2022 at 4:12 pm #

    Thank you so much for paying such a wonderful tribute to my mom, my best friend. She is so missed. This kind of thing helps with the healing, knowing how many people she touched.

  2. Catherine Farina November 3, 2022 at 7:54 pm #

    We miss you dearly Aunt Pat!!!

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