Betty Francisco Copeland, 95, passed away January 27, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah where she and her husband of 72 years, Frank Wood Copeland, were living to be near their daughter. Born Elizabeth Millar Francisco in Madison, Indiana to the late Alice Joyce Millar and Van Edwin Francisco, Betty was born May 24, 1925. She grew up in Wirt, Indiana knowing the Great Depression and World War II. Much of her family’s farm was placed into the United States Jefferson Proving Ground in 1941. Betty graduated from North Madison High School in 1943 and Hanover College in 1948. She was a member of the Phi Mu sorority and was active in local chapters most of her life. She worked at the Jefferson Proving Ground and Clifty Falls State Park to pay for college. Following graduation, she and Wood married and moved to Detroit, Michigan. They lived in Michigan for 35 years where they raised their four children. They retired to Wirt in 1984 on land that was formerly part of her family farm. They lived in Texas for 3 years then returned to Indiana in 2009.
Much of Betty’s life was devoted to the service of others. She was constantly involved with her children’s education and maintained high expectations. She was particularly proud of helping all her children get their bachelor’s degrees (and two master’s degrees). She was an admired substitute teacher for 31 years in Detroit and Madison. Betty repeatedly cared, cooked, baked and, in certain cases, completely managed the lives of neighbors and relatives in need with a constant sense of Christian outreach. Betty was an active member of the Catholic Church throughout her life. The core of her faith brought her an inner peace that most people seldom experience. When challenged with two unrelated cancers over 25 years, she survived and thrived with a selfless grace and charm. When she was in need, she was thankful and appreciative of all those that cared for her.
Betty and Wood enjoyed their retirement and traveled to see their children and grandchildren across the country. Their family camping trips across Michigan and Canada were memorable for everyone. They traveled to Turkey, South America, Hawaii, and Alaska, meeting new friends throughout their journeys.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents, brother Joseph Francisco (Virginia), sister Mary Louise Francisco Morgan Kreamelmeyer (Douglas Morgan and Bob Kreamelmeyer), and her sister Martha’s husband Theo Wennen. She is survived by her husband Wood; sister Martha Wennen of Indianapolis, IN; children Jane Blair (Kim) of Salt Lake City UT, son Mark Copeland (Becky) of Lilburn GA, son Robert Copeland (Gwen) of Harrisburg, PA and son Carter Copeland (Leslie) of Houston TX; nine grandchildren Douglas, Karen, and Lane (Mark), Alex and Sam (Rob), Emily and John (Jane), Megan and Daniel (Carter); and seven great grandchildren. Memorial donations may be made to Prince of Peace Catholic Church, 305 West State St, Madison, IN 47250, in honor of Betty Francisco Copeland.
A Memorial Mass and Interment Service will be announced and held at a later date in Madison, Indiana.