In memory of
Larry Steven Copeland
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In memory of
Larry Steven Copeland
Larry Steven Copeland July 17, 1947 - Sept. 5, 2017 Larry Copeland passed away as he lived, with humor, grace and calm impatience. Eager for adventure, Larry was attracted to the exotic, romantic and the classic, in people, art and especially through frequent travel to Italy, his spiritual and artistic home. Once, Larry purchased an olive grove near Florence, so he could return to tend his trees. Born in Terrebonne, Ore. to parents Jack and Nora Copeland he graduated from Redmond HS and attended Lewis & Clark College in Portland. He left after two years, impatient to "start his real life." Leaving his country roots, he "came out" as gay and moved to San Francisco, where he, too, left his heart! He relished the culture, sculpture, architecture, galleries, music and fine food. He loved all dance, and studied ballet for years. Returning to Portland in 1974, he developed his leadership skills, co-founding Portland Town Council, Oregon's first mainstream advocacy group for gay equality. He raised funds, awareness and political influence, as well as recruited volunteers to spur legislative action to end discrimination, and he helped establish a crisis line and legal services for the LGBT community. Larry ran for Portland City Commissioner in 1982, as the first openly gay candidate in Oregon. In 1999 he received the Shepherd Award from the Equity Foundation, honoring him as "the pioneer in gay and lesbian civil rights in Oregon." He served with pride, passion and humility. Larry supported what he loved, serving on arts and community boards. He produced fundraisers, musicals and concerts and was especially delighted in bringing Eartha Kitt to Portland. His career was eclectic – banker, black jack dealer in Reno, masseur, proprietor of a pub. He was the butler for a winery ranch in Napa. Back in Portland, he was a gardener, owner of a coffee shop and an antiques store. He loved the camaraderie of planning and managing events for two major Portland caterers. At 70 he was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. Choosing hospice support over chemotherapy, Larry lived his life fully appreciating his many friends, enjoying the river view and peaceful silence at home with the tireless care of his friend and partner of 17 years, Frank Blas. Larry helped care for his mother, Nora and stepfather, George Trout until their deaths. Also predeceasing him were his father, Jack and nephew, Richard Copeland. Larry leaves behind his partner, Frank; brother, Mike of La Grande; nephew, Kelly Copeland; stepsiblings, Diana Barker, Rob (Linda) Trout and Don Trout of Redmond; plus many enduring friends who loved him for his laughter, loyalty and generosity. We'll celebrate his life from 1-4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, at Castaway 1900 N.W. 18th. To honor Larry, delight someone with a random kindness, as he often did, and contribute to Pride Foundation, Oregon Ballet Theater or Cascade Aids. Please sign the online guest book at www.oregonlive.com/obits
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opt299:
In memory of
Larry Steven Copeland
Larry Steven Copeland July 17, 1947 - Sept. 5, 2017 Larry Copeland passed away as he lived, with humor, grace and calm impatience. Eager for adventure, Larry was attracted to the exotic, romantic and the classic, in people, art and especially through frequent travel to Italy, his spiritual and artistic home. Once, Larry purchased an olive grove near Florence, so he could return to tend his trees. Born in Terrebonne, Ore. to parents Jack and Nora Copeland he graduated from Redmond HS and attended Lewis & Clark College in Portland. He left after two years, impatient to "start his real life." Leaving his country roots, he "came out" as gay and moved to San Francisco, where he, too, left his heart! He relished the culture, sculpture, architecture, galleries, music and fine food. He loved all dance, and studied ballet for years. Returning to Portland in 1974, he developed his leadership skills, co-founding Portland Town Council, Oregon's first mainstream advocacy group for gay equality. He raised funds, awareness and political influence, as well as recruited volunteers to spur legislative action to end discrimination, and he helped establish a crisis line and legal services for the LGBT community. Larry ran for Portland City Commissioner in 1982, as the first openly gay candidate in Oregon. In 1999 he received the Shepherd Award from the Equity Foundation, honoring him as "the pioneer in gay and lesbian civil rights in Oregon." He served with pride, passion and humility. Larry supported what he loved, serving on arts and community boards. He produced fundraisers, musicals and concerts and was especially delighted in bringing Eartha Kitt to Portland. His career was eclectic – banker, black jack dealer in Reno, masseur, proprietor of a pub. He was the butler for a winery ranch in Napa. Back in Portland, he was a gardener, owner of a coffee shop and an antiques store. He loved the camaraderie of planning and managing events for two major Portland caterers. At 70 he was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. Choosing hospice support over chemotherapy, Larry lived his life fully appreciating his many friends, enjoying the river view and peaceful silence at home with the tireless care of his friend and partner of 17 years, Frank Blas. Larry helped care for his mother, Nora and stepfather, George Trout until their deaths. Also predeceasing him were his father, Jack and nephew, Richard Copeland. Larry leaves behind his partner, Frank; brother, Mike of La Grande; nephew, Kelly Copeland; stepsiblings, Diana Barker, Rob (Linda) Trout and Don Trout of Redmond; plus many enduring friends who loved him for his laughter, loyalty and generosity. We'll celebrate his life from 1-4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, at Castaway 1900 N.W. 18th. To honor Larry, delight someone with a random kindness, as he often did, and contribute to Pride Foundation, Oregon Ballet Theater or Cascade Aids. Please sign the online guest book at www.oregonlive.com/obits
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