Dale S. Copper

Dale S. Copper, 86, of Church Road, Slippery Rock Township, passed away at 2:51 p.m. Feb. 15, 2009, in the Butler VA Medical Center.

Born Nov. 3, 1922, in New Castle, he was a son of the late Ralph and Martha Jones Copper. He was married to the former Ida Mae Thorman. She preceded him in death in 2000.

Mr. Copper was a retired union carpenter, belonging to Carpenters Union Local 2274 for more than 50 years. He served in the Army in World War II as a tanker with the 743rd Tank Battalion. He survived the first waves of landings on the beaches of Normandy and also took part in the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded the Silver Star Medal for actions that took place Dec. 19, 1944, in Belgium.

An avid race car fan, he owned and drove many cars in the early 1950s at local tracks. He was also very actively involved with his horses, riding in the Bicentennial Wagon Train in 1976 and in many Christmas parades in New Castle. He was a member of the Sheriff's Posse for more than 30 years. His happiest days were spent in company with his many friends and his family. Mr. Copper attended First United Brethren Church.

Survivors include two daughters and sons-in-law, Linda and Charles Sonntag, and Amy and Dana Rung, all of New Castle; a grandson and his wife, Jeffrey and Melanie Sonntag of New Castle; sisters, Jennie Dicks of Missouri, Shirley Welker of Apopka, Fla., and Catherine Freed of New Castle; and brother, Ralph Copper Jr. of New Castle. In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by a brother, Gerald Copper.

Visitation is 4 to 8 p.m. tomorrow at the Turner-Myers Funeral Home, 208 N. Jefferson St. A service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home. The Rev. David Bell of the First United Brethren Church will officiate.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Cray Foundation.

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