Born in Iowa City, Iowa, he was the son of the late Paul and Gertrude (Phelps) Copeland. He was educated in Chicago schools and was a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology. He also attended Case Western Reserve in Ohio. He had been a resident of Northborough for 14 years, previously living in Westborough for many years.
During the post -Korean Conflict era, he served with the U.S. Air Force, attaining the rank of First Lieutenant.
John was an experienced Engineering Executive for multiple corporations in the United States and Belgium. He was a licensed pilot and instructor and was a very active member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, where he was currently serving on the board of directors. He also volunteered his services for The Young Eagles and was a member of the Baha's faith.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his three children, Jeffrey P. Copeland and his wife, Mary, of Holden, Jerri L. Holland and her husband, James, of Hopkinton, and Jeanine A. Deranian of Grafton; one brother, William C. Copeland of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; and 12 grandchildren. He was the father of the late June B. Kangas.
A funeral procession will be formed Monday, May 21, at 10:15 a.m., at the Rand-Harper-Pickering Westborough Funeral Home, 62 West Main St., Westborough, followed by a graveside funeral service at 11 a.m. in Pine Grove Cemetery. Calling hours at the funeral home are Sunday, May 20, from 3 to 5 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Vintage Aircraft Association, A Division of EAA, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54902.