Reverend W. Eugene Copenhaver, age 81, died Sunday, August 16, 2020 at his home in Marion, Va.
He was born September 20, 1938 in Marion, Va. the son of the late Glenn Edward and the late Ethel Virginia Coulthard. He lived in Marion from birth to 1956 and was an active member of Ebenezer Lutheran Church. He and his wife, the former Martha McDonald, resided in Roanoke, Va. until he graduated from Roanoke College in 1960. Gene received his Master's degree from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, S.C. and was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1964. He served as pastor of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Pulaski, Va.; University Lutheran Church and Lutheran Campus Center at Clemson, S.C; Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church, Arlington, Va.; and Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Manassas, Va. He retired in 2000 after 36 years of ministry. In 2013, he was named Pastor Emeritus of University Lutheran Church and Lutheran Campus Center in Clemson, S.C.
Pastor Copenhaver served on many boards, but he had special interest in helping to establish the CCIT (Clemson Congregations in Touch), the Literacy Council for Pickens County, S.C., Pickens County Council for Drug and Alcohol Abuse, serving as chair; and the council on Aging in Clemson, S.C. He served on the Board of Directors for the National Lutheran Home for the Metro-Washington area, the United Way Board of Directors for Arlington County, Va. and the Year of the Child Commission in Manassas, Va. His home was always open to family and friends who needed support during transitional or challenging times in their lives. He was an avid supporter of campus ministry throughout his life.
Pastor Copenhaver is survived by his wife of 62 years, Martha McDonald Copenhaver; daughter, Rebecca Lynn DeLegge and husband, Dr. Mark DeLegge of Awendaw, S.C.; son, Dr. Michael McDonald Copenhaver and wife, Charlotte of North Haven, Conn.; brother, Donald Edward Copenhaver and late wife, Mary Lou of Pulaski, Va.; sister, Joyce Copenhaver Freed and late husband, John of Roanoke, Va.; 7 grandchildren, Elizabeth Frias, Dr. Kevin Tkaczibson and wife, Emily, Taylor DeLegge, Garrett DeLegge, Madison Gibbs, Nicholas Copenhaver and, Emily Copenhaver; special family friends, Blair B. Brockmeyer and wife, Toni of Pittsburgh, Penn., and Linda Gross and Susan Wygal, both of Marion, Va.
There will be a private family service for the distribution of the ashes.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Ebenezer Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 1799, Marion, Va. 24354.
To share memories of or express condolences for Reverend W. Eugene "Gene" Copenhaver, please visit www.seaverbrown.com. Care for Pastor Copenhaver's family has been entrusted to Seaver-Brown Funeral Service & Crematory, 237 East Main Street, Marion, Va. 24354.