Johnnie Roberta Brockman Copeland, 85

Johnnie Roberta Brockman Copeland, age 85, passed away peacefully after a long illness on May 4, 2023.

Johnnie was born in the Halls community of Knox County to John Henry Brockman & Mabel Monroe Brockman and was raised in Blount County, TN. She was a 1955 graduate of Everett High School in Maryville.

Johnnie married David Lee Copeland of Oak Ridge in 1955. They would have celebrated 68 years of marriage on July 1st. Johnnie & David began their lives together in Gainesville, GA (where Terry was born), then moved to Dalton, GA (where David, Jr. was born), Crossville, TN (where Jean was born), and Athens, TN (where Mark was born). After residing in Athens for several years, the Copelands resettled in David’s hometown of Oak Ridge in 1970.

Blount Countians of Johnnie’s age or younger might remember her as the pretty lifeguard at the historic Alcoa Swimming Pool in the 1950s. She loved flying and was one of the first women to solo in a plane in McMinn County. In Athens, Johnnie was president of the Newcomer’s Club, sang in the Trinity Methodist Church choir, and during the elections of the late 1960s was the co-campaign chair for the McMinn County Republican Party. In Oak Ridge, she was active in Beta Sigma Phi, serving as president, and in the Ladies of the Elks. Johnnie began working for the Bank of Oak Ridge as a teller in the early 1970s. Eventually, she became assistant to the bank president, Don Maxwell. Before retiring in the late ’80s, she was manager of the Jackson Square branch of the bank (then called Energy Bank). Afterwards, she began working alongside David at Copeland Auto Supply until the store closed in 1992. She & David were fortunate to travel much of the world together. In addition to traveling (she kept every map!), Johnnie loved swimming, cooking, clowns, hummingbirds, playing board games, and hot air balloons.

Johnnie was preceded in death by beloved son, Mark Douglas Copeland; parents; and older sisters, Alice Effler, Lucille Durant, and Eleanor Morris.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by daughter, Terry Pfeiffer & husband, Robert, of Oak Ridge; son, David Copeland, Jr. & wife, Kandi, of Oak Ridge; and daughter Jean Wells & husband, Barry, of Gallatin; grandson, Matthew E. Miller of Gallatin; granddaughter, Kelly Copeland Williams of Edmond, WA; step-grandson, Michael Pfeiffer of Knoxville; brother-in-law & sister-in-law, Bill & Pat Copeland of Pearl River, LA; one great-granddaughter; two step-great grandsons; and several nieces & nephews.

The family wishes to thank the staff of Canterfield Assisted Living Facility for the care they have shown Johnnie. Any donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the “Employee Fund” at Canterfield of Oak Ridge, 200 Bus Terminal Road Oak Ridge, TN 37830.

The family will receive friends 1-2 pm Friday, May 19, 2023, at First United Methodist Church of Oak Ridge. A memorial service will be held at 2 pm with the Rev. Jenny Caughman officiating. Online condolences may be left at

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