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Gil Copley

Pause The Wondrous Cross by Charles D. Denler
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Message from the Family

We thank you for your condolences & ask that you continue to lift up our family in prayer as we deal with the loss of our beloved husband, father, & grandfather. All praise be to God because we know that he is alive & well again in Christ Jesus.

Gil Copley Obituary


Memories & Candles

“My sympathies to Gil's family. I just now learned of Gil's passing. We were in the same Public Health Leadership class and I greatly respected Gil....Read More »
1 of 47 | Posted by: Susan Jenkins - Jefferson City, MO

“Such a kind soul. I was honored to call him a partner during work for our community. My deepest sympathies to your family. ”
2 of 47 | Posted by: Denise Liebel - St. Charles, MO

“I worked with Gil for many, many years in the St. Louis Health Department. He was always a cheerful inspiring person. His encouragement has...Read More »
3 of 47 | Posted by: Cynthia Dixon - st louis, MO

“We offer our condolences to Gil's family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and will be for the many years to come. Gil is unforgettable. He...Read More »
4 of 47 | Posted by: H. DOuglas and Hilda (Chaski) Adams - MO

“May your soul, Gil, and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen...until we meet in the next life. ”
5 of 47 | Posted by: Mary Grau - St Charles , MO

“Gil was one of my favorite people at the County. He was always so soft spoken, a quiet leader and always a team player. He will be missed by so...Read More »
6 of 47 | Posted by: Debbie Salvo - St Charles, MO

“I was saddened to learn of Gil's untimely passing, and I offer my deepest sympathies to his family. For 40 years I knew him as a friend, colleague...Read More »
7 of 47 | Posted by: Barry Drucker - Oceanside, CA

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the Copley family. Gil will be truly missed by co-workers and public health professionals. He was an avid and...Read More »
8 of 47 | Posted by: Linda Bell - New Port Richey, FL

“Gil was an exceptional public servant who exemplified compassion and integrity in all he did. He undoubtedly was one of the top public health...Read More »
9 of 47 | Posted by: Joe Ortwerth - St. Peters, MO

“I was deeply sadden to learn of Gil's death and my sincere sympathy to his wife and family. Gil was the consummate Public Health Official as well as...Read More »
10 of 47 | Posted by: Wayne E. Black, Ph.D. - MO

“I first met Gil in 1999 when I moved to Missouri. As a newcomer to the state, Gil taught me much about the history of how our public health system...Read More »
11 of 47 | Posted by: Stephanie Browning - Columbia, MO

“Jan... Our hearts go out to you and your family. We share all the happy memories from Ascension Lutheran Church and thank God for the times we...Read More »
12 of 47 | Posted by: Robert & Diana Pieske - FL

“Gil has been a loved a respected colleague for many years, and all of us at MoALPHA will miss his voice of experience. He has mentored and given...Read More »
13 of 47 | Posted by: Mahree Skala - Columbia, MO

“I worked on projects with Gil through the years when I was an Assistant Director at the County Jail. He always went out of his way to help us and was...Read More »
14 of 47 | Posted by: Linda Gillies

“Gil Copley is one of the greatest influences on why I serve in public health in the City of St. Louis today. I know his friends, family, colleagues,...Read More »
15 of 47 | Posted by: Jeanine Arrighi - St Louis, MO

“Gil was my boss, my mentor, my friend. I feel overwhelmingly privileged that I was able to work and learn from him for so many years. He saw...Read More »
16 of 47 | Posted by: Hope Woodson

“Gil was truly a fine person and mentored me through my public health internship. I have always thought of him as a friend in these last 15 years. ...Read More »
17 of 47 | Posted by: Glenna Schindler - St. Louis, MO

“I have known Gil for many years through public health. As the Administrator of the Stone County Health Department, and a retired employee for the...Read More »
18 of 47 | Posted by: Angela Ford - Galena, MO

“In Life Stories, I explained how I knew Gil. Seeing the msg from Gil's family, I know they'll understand these lyrics from Newsong's "God & Time." ...Read More »
19 of 47 | Posted by: Chae Li Yong - Hamel, IL - Friend

“Honoring Gil, a gentle man and a true gentleman. When I started work at St. Charles County, he was one of the first to welcome me and offer any...Read More »
20 of 47 | Posted by: Bettie Yahn-Kramer - St. Charles, MO

“Gil was in every sence of the word, a gentleman, professional and one of the most caring individuals I have known. The many , many people he has...Read More »
21 of 47 | Posted by: Harold Bengsch - Springfield, MO

“My best wishes to Gil's family. Gil and I worked together on many different projects and levels. He and I worked closely during the 2009 influenza...Read More »
22 of 47 | Posted by: Les Hancock - Jefferson City, MO

“Gil was one of the original members of the St. Louis Area Regional Response System (STARRS) Board of Directors. His expertise helped to create this...Read More »
23 of 47 | Posted by: Nick Gragnani - St. Louis, MO

“Gil, you were one of the smartest and kindest person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and working for, thank you. Some people may not know...Read More »
24 of 47 | Posted by: Scott Green - St. Peters, MO

“It truly is an honor to have known Gil. He was an inspiration to all those who met him, especially within the public health world. His smile, calm...Read More »
25 of 47 | Posted by: Sara Evers - St. Louis, MO, MO

“Gil always called me his favorite Public Health Nurse because he knew that I cared about Public Health as he did. He was always happy and had...Read More »
26 of 47 | Posted by: Lynne Sanderson - St. Louis, MO

“Gil was my Boss, then a colleague but most of all my friend. What a wonderful person, in all respects including work, family, friends and life in...Read More »
27 of 47 | Posted by: Dennis Diehl - Hillsboro, MO

“I have known Gil for many years and worked with him while he was the Commissioner of Health for the City of St. Louis Department of Health. He was a...Read More »
28 of 47 | Posted by: Melba R. Moore - St. Louis, MO

“My deepest sympathy to your family. I had the opportunity to know and work with Gil for many years when I worked at the state health department. I...Read More »
29 of 47 | Posted by: Tricia Schlechte - Jefferson City, MO

“I feel blessed to have worked for Gil the last 5 years. He had a passion for Public Health and an impact on Public Health that reached far beyond St....Read More »
30 of 47 | Posted by: Alison Tucker - St. Charles, MO

“Gil was a wonderful man. I never saw him with out a smile on his face. He will be greatly missed! Many prayers to your family! ”
31 of 47 | Posted by: Ashley Lewis - St. Charles, MO

“Gil was a great friend and a very special person. As an IT technician, I worked with him on his first day at the County Health Dept. and we...Read More »
32 of 47 | Posted by: Frank Noto - St. Peters, MO

“A kind and gentle man who brightened our days at St. Charles County Government. He will be sadly missed. ”
33 of 47 | Posted by: John Sonderegger

“Gil first made an impact on me when he spoke to my graduate class at SLU. He was clearly passionate about local public health and I knew he was...Read More »
34 of 47 | Posted by: Kristy Baumgart - Chesterfield, MO

“Gil was such a wonderful friend and comrade. Public health and the community at large will miss his spirit and drive to always work collaboratively...Read More »
35 of 47 | Posted by: Jackie Meeks - Fort Worth, TX

“Gil was one of the nicest men I have ever known. I always enjoyed visiting with him when I was at the health department and working with him on state...Read More »
36 of 47 | Posted by: Judy Alexiou - Jefferson City, MO

“Gil was a truly wonderful person. He had such a caring, sincere, gentle manner and spirit. He was an excellent boss and mentor and I always admired...Read More »
37 of 47 | Posted by: Julie (Burkemper) Simmons - MO

“Gil was a leader and mentor for many of us in Public Health. His guidance and knowledge were only surpassed by his passion for his work. Our...Read More »
38 of 47 | Posted by: Cheryl Eversole - Buffalo, MO

“Thoughts and prayers are with your family, Mark ”
39 of 47 | Posted by: Mark Pethan - Jefferson City, MO

“I have known Gil for many years and have consulted and worked with him on regional public health and preparedness issues. He was a true leader in...Read More »
40 of 47 | Posted by: Michael W Thomas - St. Louis, MO

“The loss of Gil is one of tremendous impact. He was a friend, a colleague and a very dedicated public health professional. He always found time to...Read More »
41 of 47 | Posted by: Bert Malone - Kansas City, MO

“Gil did so much for so many people. He was such a selfless and giving man. He was a caring mentor, a leader with direction and purpose, a fierce...Read More »
42 of 47 | Posted by: Shelly Reynolds - St. Charles, MO

“Gil was one of my best friends. He really understood and loved public health. He worked many years fighting for the residents of St. Louis City as a...Read More »
43 of 47 | Posted by: Pamela Rice Walker - St. Louis, MO

“I will always remember Gil as a smart, kind, thoughtful and humorous gentleman. He was a true professional and cared deeply for the people he worked...Read More »
44 of 47 | Posted by: Tom Stiefermann - Jefferson City, MO

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Copley family. I’ve had the privilege of working with Gil on public health preparedness issues. Through our...Read More »
45 of 47 | Posted by: Bruce Clements - Austin, TX

“I had the honor of working with Gil during several years in public health service. He was totally committed to finding the best and right solution...Read More »
46 of 47 | Posted by: Glenda Miller - Marshfield, MO

“I worked with Gil on public health related issues specific to BJC HealthCare hospitals in St. Charles County. Gil was not only a good collegue but...Read More »
47 of 47 | Posted by: Debbie Mays - St. Louis, MO


Copley, Gil, of St. Charles, Missouri, died on Sunday, November 18, 2012 at the age of 67. Loving husband of Janet D. Copley NEE: Loeffler; beloved son of the late Charles M. and Phoebe Copley; devoted father of Jessica (Aaron) Lucero, Elizabeth (Aaron) Hargrave and Robert Copley; treasured grandfather of Dane, Alexandra, Maya, Peyton, and Ava; dear brother of Harry Copley. He is preceded in death by his son, John Copley and his sister, Ann Probst.

Gil grew up in Kirkwood, Missouri as the oldest of 3 siblings. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America, where he earned the highest advancement rank, Eagle Scout. His hobbies growing up included photography and sailing. His first job was at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard. Gil Copley was a 1963 graduate of Kirkwood High School.

Gil served his country as a member of the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He fought during the Tet Offensive (active duty from May 1967 through April 1969) as a member of the 2nd Battalion, 27th infantry regiment, "The Wolfhounds." While in Vietnam, Gil was wounded and was awarded a Purple Heart. He also received a Combat Infantryman Badge and a Bronze Star. After returning home, he completed four years in the reserves.

Gil graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. It was there, in October 1970, that Gil met the love of his life, Janet. They were married on June 5, 1971 and had 4 children together. Later, Gil returned to school and earned a Master of Arts Degree in Health Service Management from Webster University.

Gil was Director of the Department of Community Health and the Environment for St. Charles County, Missouri since April of 1996. He had been a practicing public health professional for 33 years. Prior to his St. Charles tenure, he was Deputy Health Commissioner for the St. Louis City Health Department. Gil also served on the adjunct faculty of the St. Louis University School of Public Health. He was a member of the Board of Directors of STARRS (St. Louis Area Regional Response System). Gil was a past elected chair of the Missouri Association of Local Public Health agencies, an appointed member of the St. Charles County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), and Co-Chair of the Governor's Lead Poisoning Advisory Committee. He represented local health departments on the State Department of Health and Senior Services Bioterrorism Preparedness Committee and the Missouri Hospital Association's Disaster Preparedness Steering Committee. He also represented the St. Louis Area on the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Directors' Advisory Council for Local Public Health.

Memorials may be made to Zion Lutheran Church.