Cover photo for Douglas Robert Copes's Obituary
Douglas Robert Copes Profile Photo

Douglas Robert Copes

June 20, 1935 — November 24, 2023

Douglas Robert Copes



On Friday, November 24, 2023, a light went out in our world with the passing of Douglas Robert Copes, a beloved husband, father, brother, and friend. Doug, as he was affectionately known, passed away a few hours after a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner with his family. He was a man who touched the lives of everyone he met with his kindness, generosity, and a true zest for life for 88 years.

Born in Auburn, New York, on June 20, 1935, Doug was the third son to Ida Virginia (Stokes) Copes and Kenneth Reginald Copes. He was a resident of Auburn until 1984, when he moved to Clay, NY, followed by his most recent move in August 2023 to Carmel, IN, where he lived close to his youngest daughter, Kelly.
Doug, also known as Dougie, Dad and Poppy attended Auburn High School until his junior year when he left to take a job to help his family. He later earned his GED diploma with a perfect score. Doug was a versatile athlete who excelled in multiple sports including football, basketball and baseball. He was recognized by the Auburn High School Athletic Association for his contributions to undefeated football seasons, serving as a starting fullback in 1950-51.

After high school, Doug embarked on a distinguished military career, serving with honor in the United States Army. During his tour of duty in Korea, he honed his skills as a communications specialist and earned the title of certified sharpshooter. He received an honorable discharge in 1960 and commenced his civilian career, first at Welch Allyn and then at New Process Gear – Chrysler Corporation, where he thrived as a skilled assemblyman for 26 years before retiring in 1999. Throughout his career, Doug’s innate engineer-like talent and knack for fixing, repairing and assembling just about anything shone through, earning him a reputation for meticulous craftmanship and dedication to quality.

Upon his honorable discharge from the Army, he also met the love of his life, Raymell Smith. Doug and Raymell were married for 61 years, and they had two daughters Karen Rae and Kelly Renee who were their cherished joys. Doug was a devoted husband and father to his family, and he love spending time with them. Doug and Raymell both valued education as a gateway toward a better life and he worked tirelessly to ensure both daughters had the opportunity to attend college. Later he became a loving and relentlessly supportive grandfather.

Doug's passion for sports extended far beyond his own Auburn High School playing days. He was a follower of the NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball, tracking wins and losses and an avid fan of teams like the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, New York Mets, and New York Yankees. His enthusiasm for sports was infectious, and he could often be found engrossed in news coverage or watching live games. The day before his passing, in fact, Doug watched the 49ers vs Seahawks game with his family surrounding him in his hospital room. Doug was also a voracious consumer of information, staying up-to-date on current events, politics, and weather patterns. He was a true conversationalist, engaging friends and family in lively discussions that enriched their lives to the very end.

Doug's life was a testament to the enduring power of love, family, and dedication. He embodied the qualities of a true hero, navigating life's challenges with resilience and grace. His legacy lives on in the hearts of those he touched, inspiring generations to come.

Doug was preceded in death by his parents, Ida Virginia and Kenneth Reginald Copes; brothers, Edward Copes and Kenneth Copes Jr; and daughters, Michelle Copes and Karen Rae Swinton.

He is survived by his wife, Raymell Copes; daughter, Kelly Copes-Anderson (Arvie); son, Joel Smith (Linda); brother, Louis Copes (Mary); grandsons, Michael Swinton II, Brenton Anderson, Bryce Anderson, Mike Smith; and one granddaughter, Jamie Smith.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, December 2nd, at Farone & Son Funeral Home, 4899 W. Taft Rd, Liverpool, NY 13088. The services will begin promptly at 10 a.m. Doug will be laid to rest during a private family burial at Fort Hill cemetery in Auburn.

While flowers are appreciated, the family also suggests donations to the Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Indiana Chapter at 50 E 91st, Ste 100, Indianapolis IN 46240; 317-575-9620 in honor of his wife Raymell Copes.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Douglas Robert Copes, please visit our flower store.


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