Cover photo for Coach James "Jimmy" Joseph Copeland's Obituary
1946 Coach James "Jimmy" 2024

Coach James "Jimmy" Joseph Copeland

January 8, 1946 — June 7, 2024


We regret to inform you of the passing of Coach James Jimmy Copeland.  

Coach Copeland passed away on Friday, June 7, 2024, at home with his family by his side.

Family will receive friends at:

601 Birchleaf Drive,

Hartsville, SC  

from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

Arrangements will be announced by Davis Funeral Home, LLC of Hartsville, SC.

Yea, thought I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff comfort me.

                                                                                    Psalm 23:4 

James Joseph Copeland, affectionately known as “Jimmy”, was born on January 8, 1946, in Hartsville, South Carolina, James was the son of the late Joseph Copeland and Nora Davis Copeland. 

He was a devoted and dedicated member of Centenary United Methodist Church, where he found spiritual nourishment and community 

throughout his life.

James’ early education began at St. Joseph Catholic School, where he attended from kindergarten through eighth grade. 

He continued his academic journey at Butler High School, excelling both in the classroom and on the football field. 

During his high school years, he served as president of his senior class, president of the student

council, a member of the football team for three years, and was consistently on the

honor roll. He graduated with distinction from Butler High School in 1963.

James l earned a football scholarship to South Carolina State University, where he

demonstrated his commitment to both athletics and academics. He was on the

dean’s list for three years, played football for four years, pledged Alpha Phi Alpha

fraternity, and graduated with honors in 1967, receiving his Bachelor of Science and

Master of Education.

After graduating from college, James embarked on a career in education, sharing his

passion for knowledge and sports with countless students. He began his teaching

career at Granard High School, serving with distinction as a biology teacher. He

continued his journey as a mentor and motivator, coaching football at Gaffney High

School and East Junior High from 1967 through 1977.

James returned to his hometown and joined the faculty of Hartsville High School as a

biology and physical science teacher. He also contributed his expertise as a football

coach, inspiring many young athletes. In 2003, after a fulfilling career dedicated to

education and coaching, James retired, leaving behind a legacy of excellence and


James “Jimmy” Copeland’s life was a testament to his commitment to education,

community service, and personal integrity. He touched the lives of many through his

teaching, coaching, and mentorship. He will be remembered for his unwavering

dedication, and the positive impact he had on those around him.

James was preceded in death by his devoted parents, Joseph and Nora Davis-

Copeland, and his loving sister, Carolyn Copeland-Goodwin.

James is survived by his is devoted wife, Barbara Slater-Copeland, two sons: Craig B

Copeland of Jacksonville, FL, Joey(Crystal) Copeland of Chesnee, SC; two step children:

Lynnette(Ashante) Slater-Johnson, Leonard Slater Jr both of Hartsville, SC; three grandsons:

Craig Copeland Jr, Joey Copeland Jr, and Jamaal Copeland; four granddaughters: Sh’Kirra

Hough-Slater, Zaereona Slater, Calvita Slater, and Na-Riah Slater; four great-grandsons:

Jordyn Copeland, Kannon Slater, Zai’Rion Slater, Austin Slater; one nephew: Jason Goodwin;

a host of loving cousins, other relatives and dear friends.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Coach James "Jimmy" Joseph Copeland, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, June 12, 2024

2:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, June 13, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Thursday, June 13, 2024

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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