James Edward Copenhaver, “Squeak” was born on October 29,1939; after a 57-year battle with multiple sclerosis, Squeak won the battle and went to be with the Lord on June 16, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. He was preceded in death by his parents Charles Curtis and Tressie Opal Copenhaver, his brother Charles “Pete” Copenhaver and Granddaughter Lisa Maria Copenhaver.
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James was survived by his lifelong wife, Nancy Loraine Copenhaver, (Daughter) Cherryl Copenhaver-MacFawn, (Sons) James Alan Copenhaver (with wife Wanda) and Michael Wayne Copenhaver, (Granddaughters) Steffanie Evenson and Brittany Stanley (Grandson) Tanner Copenhaver and 3 Great Grandchildren. Also survived by his sisters Donna King and Betty Sampson (Nephews) Ronald Curtis Crede, Rodney Sampson, Beth Palmer and Joni Bailey, as well as his furry companion Sugar.
Squeak grew up on Aarons Fork and graduated Elkview High School in 1957 where he met his lifelong bride, Nancy Loraine Perry. During his high school days, Squeak earned the title of Mr. Athlete as he played and lettered in all sports. He held several school records in football and basketball. He attended West Virginia Tech on a football scholarship and continued to excel in football. During one game Squeak returned a kickoff for a 97-yard touchdown. Following his college days, he went on to try out for pro football that was impacted by his MS diagnosis.
He then worked for Union Carbide and for a Coal Company as the Public Relations person; later making a career change into politics. He began his political career because he absolutely loved West Virginia and the people of Elkview and surrounding areas. Squeak ran and was elected State Committeeman where he served the people in his district. Later he decided to serve more West Virginians and ran for the West Virginia Legislator. He was elected and served the people well by introducing several pieces of legislation into law; including the police, coal industry as well as the roadway infrastructure.
Squeak was an avid horseman, where he proudly competed in horse shows for many decades. He continued to serve his community as he was on several horseshow committees, dedicating most of his time to helping improve horse shows and fundraisers.
Honoring James’ wishes a service will not be held. A Celebration of Life for family and friends will be announced at a later date.
Online condolences may be sent to www.haferfuneralhome.net.
Arrangements in the care of Hafer Funeral Home, 50 North Pinch Road, Elkview.