Mr. Russell Copeland, 61

Russell Teague Copeland, 61, of Gainesville, GA passed away on Monday July 17th, after his short battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Lisa, sons Andrew and Zachary, twin daughters Morgan and Madison, mother Lorena, and twin brother Ruffin.


Russ was raised in Greensboro, NC, son of Dr. Raymond Teague and Lorena Holden Copeland. He was a graduate of Page High School Greensboro, NC, class of 1974 and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach, FL, class of 1984.


Russ spent his life in the skies working as a Delta pilot for 27 years. He loved to fish. The highlight of his year was always spending time at the beach and casting out a rod. His family enjoyed and will very much miss the jokes when he did not catch anything. He and his family found joy in the simple moments of life together. The memories most cherished will be those going with him to grab a Starbucks, grocery shop, or just taking off the trash. His family will miss the special occasion where he brought out his guitar.


Russ was a man who would travel 30 minutes on the “scenic route” to avoid 5 minutes of traffic. He was known for his dependable and selfless nature making him a beloved husband, father, and friend of many. His intelligence and ingenuity made him a master handyman, whether it was finishing a basement, fixing the plumbing, or building sets for his daughter’s theatre productions. Russ found himself to be the chef of the family, who were always grateful, except when the meat was too tough. Those who knew him, loved his humor and endless need to crack jokes, even to the embarrassment of his children.


His family can only wonder how they will survive without him…


A reception and remembrance will be hosted by his family in Gainesville, GA from 3:00pm - 6:00pm on Saturday July 22, 2017 at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Gainesville, 1911 Sweetbay Dr, Gainesville, GA 30501. A second memorial service will be held in Greensboro, NC to be scheduled at a later date. The family requests donations be made in Russell's name to the Esophageal Cancer Awareness Association. Online condolences can be made at Memorial Park North Riverside Chapel, 989 Riverside Drive Gainesville, Georgia 30501. 770-297-6200

Condolences 19
Cheryl & Scott Wright 2017-07-19 16:22:07
Lisa, Andrew, Zachary, Morgan and Madison- We were shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Russell. We always enjoyed catching up with him at the YMCA. He was such a great guy! We have only fond memories of him- he was always friendly, witty and upbeat. He will certainly be missed. You are all in our prayers- praying for the peace that only our Lord Jesus can bring. We are so sorry for your tremendous loss.
Barbara Parker 2017-07-19 22:06:15
Dear Lisa and family, Words seem so inadequate to express my sincere sympathy in the loss of your precious family member. When we lose a loved one our lives are never the same yet we must go on. Please know that you all are in my thoughts and prayers that you all will find strength and comfort in our Lord. His Presence will be with you when no one else can be there. Love in Christ, Barbara Parker
Gloria Thacker 2017-07-20 13:39:10
My heart breaks with you all over the loss of someone you loved deeply. My prayers are with you as you start a new way of life with a part of you missing.
Johnny Morrow 2017-07-21 08:18:01
So sorry to hear that my great childhood friend Russell has passed on. My thoughts and prayers are with all his family.
Dave Armstrong 2017-07-21 12:26:50
I had the pleasure of flying with Russ several times while working at Delta Air Lines.. Russ was always upbeat and a joy to fly with. His positive personality and kindness to everyone really showed. .. I am truly saddened to hear of his passing..
Kellie & Charlie waddell 2017-07-21 16:58:59
Lisa, we are grieving for your loss. You guys were our first friends in Gainesville. We were there when you found out about the twins! Lots of fond memories of Russ fixing up the house. Russ had been through a few airlines but found a home with Delta. He will be missed.
Nate Simonds 2017-07-21 18:29:30
Deepest condolences to your family. Russell was a pleasure to fly with and will be missed by many on the flight deck.
Charlie Waddell 2017-07-21 20:21:33
i first met Russ Copeland in the Spring of 1990. I was in my first year (probationary year) with USAir and flying as a Flight Engineer. I'll remember that 3 day trip with Russ as long as I live, because back then (flying with the old Peidmont pilots) probationary pilots fetched the coffee, hot sauce, and generally served as "man servant" to the more senior pilots in the cockpit. Naturally Russ being Russ, he failed to mention until the trip was over that I was actually senior to him! Russ was like that. He made people laugh. He made people smile. God has a special place in heaven for those like Russ. I look forward to seeing him again.
Fred Benson 2017-07-22 09:59:38
Always great memories with Russ from when I was a shiny new B727 plumber, at the Delta traing center and in the crew lounge. Will miss you, Russ! God bless your family.
Chris Crenshaw 2017-07-22 10:34:20
What an incredible loss of a gentile giant!! So sad. I worked with Russ in the training department on the Boeing 727 and what an awesome intelligent happy man he was! You only saw Russ with a big smile and caring eyes!! I loved introducing first officers to him in airports when we passed. Who couldn't love this man? I'm deeply saddened for your loss... ....heavens a happier place now!!
Mike Strickland 2017-07-22 14:07:16
Russ was one of my favorite people. Our children grew up together and he was always such a positive influence with me and my kids. We will all miss you big russ.
John Earley 2017-07-22 14:24:55
So sorry to hear what Russ and you, the family, have been going through. We flew together at Delta when he was a Flight Engineer and my son, Jaret flew with him when Russ was the Captain. I am 2 minutes away if you need a second opinion (on anything). Curt and I will also be helping you with Delta benefits paperwork after some time has passed. My sincere sympathy.
David Busch 2017-07-22 16:35:42
Goodbye from a fellow Delta now have been "cleared to climb". We less fortunate will continue to talk to Ground Control...we all will soar at our destined time ....
Julie Kozma 2017-07-22 22:11:38
I was fortunate enough to fly with Russell a few times and it was always a great experience. He was superb pilot and top-notch individual. He always lit up when discussing his family and children. Deepest condolences at this tough time.
Scott McKay 2017-07-24 02:31:48
A truly excellent person and pilot. He will be deeply missed. Always quick with a whiticism and encouragement. May God bless his family. A most deep and sincere thank you from those of us that had the pleadure to work with Russ.
Tina Fremd Ary 2017-07-25 16:10:57
I am Russell's cousin, one of six, from the Fremd family (my Mom and his Dad are siblings). We use to play when we visited the farm when we were kids. I remember playing hide and seek in the hayloft, riding the go cart down the driveway to the road and back (it seemed really long then), and swimming with him. Reading the condolences about him, I see some of the wonderful characteristics I liked about him as a child blossomed in the man. He was a steady guy even then with a sweet smile that reached his eyes. I am so sorry for the loss of your husband and father. It seems like we just heard about his illness and the seriousness of it ... and then he was gone. When loved ones have passed, I believe that when you think of them they are with you at that exact moment. We may not see them or often feel them, but I believe they are there then. And sometimes we get a little sign and recognize it as such. I hope you all do the same ... because the love never dies ... you just have to feel it in a different way. May God bless you all.
Gregg Matous 2017-07-26 13:56:58
I am shocked and saddened by your loss! Russ was one of my Delta new hire classmates. He was a terrific guy and had a great sense of humor and made going through indoc classes fun. He was a wonderful man, pilot and human being!!! My thoughts and prayers are with you! May God Bless all of you!
The Case Family 2017-08-05 22:56:35
We were so shocked to hear about Russell's passing. Our hearts go out to you Lisa and your beautiful family. Harry and I remember him as being such a kindhearted man and a great father. Cheryl always spoke so highly of him. We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. God Bless you.
Linda Crowell Moore 2018-11-02 20:24:46
I have been having dreams about Russel and Ruffin for months and just leatned about Russell’s passing. I am the same age and they were always in my Sunday School classes at College Place. They borh kept us going. One day i watched Russell clumb out the window and hide on the roof from Pop Shelly. What fund for s somewhat dry Sunday School lesson. How i loved the twins. They used tohave wonderful hayrides on the farm in the fall. I pray that the family can find some good in his passing and know that Jesus called him for him final roll. God Bless!
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