Mary Ellen Copeland
Mary Ellen (Ryker) Copeland, the fourth of seven children born to Arra and Bethel (Wolf) Ryker, entered this world, February 3, 1938. She passed from this life, July 19, 2023.
Following graduation from Okemah High School in 1956, she and James Copeland were married on August 1st. With the exception of short stays in Bartlesville and Hominy, she was a life-long resident of Okemah. Upon completion of college at East Central University in Ada, she began her teaching career at Butner Schools in Cromwell, where she taught 4th and 5th grade science classes. Later she taught 1st grade classes with Okemah Public Schools. In addition, she taught VBS and Sunday School to the three-year-olds for many years. Following retirement, she volunteered at/with the Okfuskee County Historical Center and was a proud member of the Red Hat Society. She loved golf, bird watching, helping with the hospitality, and clothing ministries at First Baptist Church, playing cards and dominoes.
She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, James Clinton Copeland; two brothers, Norman and Eugene; one sister, Wilma Jackson and one sister in law, Joyce Ryker.
Survivors include her two sons, John Michael Copeland and wife Margaret of Okemah and Jim Bill Copeland and wife Darlene of Okemah; two brothers, Joe Ryker and wife Janet of Owasso and Steve Ryker of Lake Charles, Louisiana; one sister, Cynthia Dunson of Broken Arrow; one sister in law Ruth Ryker of Wichita ,Kansas; brother in law C.J. Garrett of Okemah; 5 grandchildren, Levi Annis and wife Shelby, Jamie Copeland Foster and husband Brandon, Kara Copeland, Will Copeland and Amie Copeland and one great-grandchild, Willow Foster.
Serving as honorary bearers will be Nick Lambeth, Phil Hatcher, Keith Robertson, Steve Alcorn, Paul Albright, L.D. Smith and Rick Hatfield.
Services will be under the direction of Parks Brothers Funeral Home, Okemah, Oklahoma.