Shirley J. Coppick, 90, of Owensboro, passed away peacefully March 5, 2022 surrounded by her family, at the Heartford House in Owensboro, KY. She was born August 23, 1931, in Garden City, Kansas, to Ernest, a newspaper publisher and entrepreneur, and Lorene, a teacher and musician. From them she took her love of music and literature and her fierce devotion to family, faith, and friends.
Shirley spent much of her childhood in western Kansas until her family relocated to Grants Pass, Oregon. There she attended high school and participated in theater and choir. She earned a full scholarship to Mills College in Oakland, California, graduating with honors and as a member of the academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa. After graduation in 1952, she worked as the first female patrol officer of the Chino, California police department.
During a college social, she recruited a young seminary student to help her clean dishes in the kitchen. As the story goes, she handed him a dish towel and said "I'll wash, you dry." That partnership was a lasting one. She and Glendon Coppick were married in 1954 and were happily together until his death in 2017. They lived first in Dallas, Texas, where she and Glendon founded the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd holding prayer meetings in their living room and services at a neighborhood day school. Sixty five years later Good Shepherd continues to be a thriving congregation.
They moved to Owensboro in 1959 when Glendon became rector of Trinity Episcopal Church. During her six decades in Owensboro Shirley was always involved with multiple community organizations and non-profit charities, including AAUW of Kentucky, the Mary Kendall Home, Impact 100, and Habitat for Humanity. In 1985, at the invitation of the mayor, she served as an organizing member of the Owensboro Crime Commission crafting recommendations that guided the city's law enforcement and juvenile crime strategies.
Shirley enjoyed travel, especially to the southwest. An avid reader of any genre, she always had a book nearby and an extensive list, handwritten in her neat cursive, of titles to tackle next.
Shirley is preceded in death by her parents, Ernest, and Lorene Pederson, and her husband, the Rev. Dr. Glendon C. Coppick.
She is survived by her three children, Stephen, Chris, and Mary, and her grandchildren, Jennifer, and Leah.
A funeral service will be held noon Thursday at Trinity Episcopal Church – the parish where she devoted much of her life. Visitation will be from 11:00 am until time of service. Following the service, Shirley will be interred at the Owensboro Memorial Gardens beside her loving husband who, as in life, has been patiently waiting precisely where she told him to wait.
In lieu of flowers, the family invites friends to offer gifts in her memory to Trinity
Episcopal Church or to Owensboro Habitat for Humanity.
Condolences and memories for the family of Shirley Coppick may be left at www.glenncares.com.