MARTINEZ, Ga. - Mr. William Pierce "Bill" Copenhaver, 84, of Martinez, Ga., entered into rest at home on Friday, May 15, 2009. He was the beloved husband of the late Jane Copenhaver and is survived by his devoted wife of sixteen years, Karel Copenhaver. Bill will be remembered by his family and friends as a man whose life exemplified a commitment to service. A veteran of World War II, Bill served his country as a B-17 pilot, gaining the rank of Captain before going on to graduate from Virginia Tech and the Harvard Advanced Management Program and pursuing a career in business. Throughout his business career, Bill distinguished himself as a man of strong character, honor and integrity, serving as the CEO and Chairman of both Columbia Nitrogen and Dutch State Mining North America while also serving on the boards of many corporations including Georgia Bank and Trust, the Southern Company, Georgia Power and Georgia Railroad Bank and Trust. A man who never sought the spotlight, Bill's quiet and constant commitment to serving his community is reflected in his dedication to serving on the boards of the Community Foundation of the Central Savannah River Area, the Creel Foundation, the Augusta State University Foundation, the Medical College of Georgia, the St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation, the National Science Center, the Greater Augusta Chamber of Commerce, the United Way, Rotary Club International, First Tee of Augusta and the Boy Scout's Council. Bill's devotion to his faith and to his church led him to serve on the board of St. John United Methodist Church for many years where he took particular pleasure in helping to raise funds for the organ which now stands as a hallmark of both church services and concert presentations and many other civic and nonprofit organizations. Among all of his acts of service, Bill's commitment to, and love for, his family remained a constant throughout his life. The brother to four siblings brought up by a single mother, having lost his own father at the age of 12, in Blacksburg, Virginia, Bill innately knew the value of a strong family and instilled these values in his children. His wry sense of humor and subtle wit were also trademarks of a man who was dearly loved by his family, his friends and all those who were blessed to spend time with him. Bill is survived by two loving daughters, Paula Knox (wife of Larry Knox) and Lisa Copenhaver, three devoted sons, Andy Copenhaver (husband of Anne Copenhaver), John Copenhaver (husband of Lynn Copenhaver) and Deke Copenhaver (husband of Malisa Copenhaver), nine grandchildren, Will Copenhaver, Casey Copenhaver, Drew Copenhaver, Jane Barrett, Maggie Wallace, William Knox, Spencer Haynie, Ana Jane Arenas and Jorge Arenas, as well as a newly born great granddaughter, Caroline Rose Copenhaver. He is also survived by three step-children, Eve Turner, Brian Estroff (husband of Heidi) and Eric Estroff (husband of Dianne), as well as seven step-grandchildren. A passionate outdoorsman and sportsman, Bill will also be remembered for his lifelong pursuits of hunting, fishing, golf, gardening and any other activities which allowed him to spend time in the great outdoors. The funeral service will be held Monday, May 18, 2009 at 11:00 A.M. at St. John United Methodist Church with Rev. Gary DeMore officiating. A private burial will follow. Memorials may be made to the Parkinson's Foundation, 2708 W Terrance Dr., Augusta, GA 30909; St. John United Methodist Church, 736 Greene St., Augusta, GA 30901 or the CSRA Community Foundation Unrestricted Grants, 1450 Greene St., Augusta, GA 30901. The family will receive friends today, Sunday, May 17, 2009 from 4:00 until 6:00 P.M. at Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Directors, 214 Davis Rd., Augusta, GA 30907 (706) 364-8484. Please sign the guestbook at www.thomaspoteet.com .
The Augusta Chronicle-May 17, 2009