John S. Copeland

Published 3:27 pm Monday, August 28, 2023

John Staley Copeland, 83, passed away on August 25, 2023 at Sentara Obici Hospital of Suffolk surrounded by loved ones. John was the son of the late Galvin Staley Copeland and Annie Virginia Babb Copeland. Predeceased by his siblings: Royce Copeland (Sue), Willie B. Copeland and Brenda Kennedy (Bill).

John was a lifelong resident of Windsor, Virginia. He graduated from Windsor High School, where he met his beloved wife and best friend of 62 years, Nelda Garris Copeland. John dedicated his life as a farmer tending to the fields of JNC Farms, a historic family-owned farm of 114 years. He was a lifetime member of Colosse Baptist church, where he served as a trustee, deacon and a member of numerous committees. He was a steward of the land and devoted his life to the Lord, family and friends. John made a lasting impact and will be greatly missed. He leaves behind cherished memories and a legacy that will be treasured by all those who loved him.

John is survived by his wife, Nelda; his children, Jenel Sterling (David), Gail Hunter (Victor) and John C. Copeland (Heather); three sister in laws, Emogene Babb (Jimmy), Nola Mumford (Roger) and Patsy Copeland; his grandchildren who lovingly referred to him as Papa, Amber Williams, Anthony Jones, Amanda Benton, Elizabeth Murry, David Hunter, Johnathan Copeland, Taylor Hunt and Christina Copeland; ten great-grandchildren; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

A graveside service will be held on Saturday, September 2, 2023 at 11:00am at Colosse Baptist Church Cemetery with Rev. Tim Webb officiating and assisted by Rev. Wayne Blythe. Friends may join the family at the Church Fellowship Hall following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to Colosse Baptist Church Building Fund at 6361 Rhodes Dr. Windsor, VA 23487. R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home and Crematory, Downtown Suffolk Chapel is serving the family. Condolences may be registered at