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Jesse Copeland

Published: Friday, July 5, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT
Jesse Copeland

DIXON – On Monday, July 1, 2013, Jesse Copeland, beloved husband of Sandie Copeland, passed peacefully into the presence of Jesus.

He was born Jan. 17, 1933, in Houston, Mo., to Otis and Bessie Copeland, the oldest of eight children. He was married to Carol Ackerman for 21 years. She preceded him in death. Jesse was drafted into the Army in 1953, and was discharged in 1955, with the rank of corporal. He married Sandra on Oct. 23, 1978, in Kalamazoo, Mich. They recently moved to Dixon to be closer to family and the grandchildren he adored.

In 1950, he began working at the Byron Sand Company. He moved to Sawyer, Mich., in 1961, and started working at the Portage-Manly Sand Plant in Michigan City, Ind. In 1966, Jesse became plant manager of what is now Unimin in Oregon, and then transferred to their sand plant in Bridgman, Mich., in 1978. In 1979, he moved to Huntingdon, Pa., and worked as maintenance superintendent for PA Glass Sand, now U.S. Silica, until he retired in 1998.

Before Jesse retired, he bought quilt squares at an auction. He pieced them together and thus began his quilting career. His sewing machine of choice was a Wheeler & Wilson No. 9 treadle. In 1998, Jesse and Sandie bought a quilting machine, and opened a machine quilting business called Petunia Patchwork in Huntingdon. He had made well over 100 quilts. They are gracing the beds of family and friends and grandchildren. In 2006, Jesse received two second-place ribbons in the men’s category in the national machine quilting show MQX in Manchester, N.H. In November 2006, “The Quilter Magazine” featured one of Jesse’s winning quilts, “Spinning Colors,” in an article on the MQX quilt show. For several years, Jesse donated a quilt to Soroptomists, who sold raffle tickets through the year to raise money for Huntingdon County PRIDE. Jesse was honored in February of this year to have eight of his quilts displayed in the Huntingdon Art Space, along with a fellow male quilter.

He is survived by his wife, Sandra; brother, Elmer Copeland and his wife, Laura; brother, Leo and his wife, Nancy; sister, Phyllis Stelter; stepsons, Richard Stranberg, and Keith Stranberg and his wife, Linda, grandchildren, Heather, Kelly, Olivia and Alek; and several nieces and nephews.

He also was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Norma Jean Copeland and Joyce Culvahouse; and two brothers, Vernon and Melvin Copeland.  

A celebration of Jesse’s life will be at 1:30 p.m. Monday at Sauk Valley Community Church in Dixon, with the Rev. John Kalebaugh, pastor of The Refuge Church in Amboy, officiating. Preston-Schilling Funeral Home in Dixon is handling arrangements.

Memorial contributions in Jesse’s name may be made to Sauk Valley Community Church.

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