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Nathaniel Hawthorne Copeland, M.D.

June 17, 1921 October 22, 2016
Nathaniel  Hawthorne Copeland, M.D.
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Obituary for Nathaniel Hawthorne Copeland, M.D.

Remembering the Life & Legacy of
Our Beloved


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Mt. Pisgah AME Church
428 N. 41st Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Viewing: 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Homegoing Service - 11:00 a.m.

Interment will conclude at
West Laurel Hill Cemetery

Life Story


was born in Newport News, Virginia, on June 17, 1921 to Eva Wynne Copeland and Lorenza Copeland. Nathaniel departed this life on October 22, 2016. Nathaniel was a product of the Philadelphia public school system and graduated from West Philadelphia High School. He received his Bachelor of Art Degree from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. Nathaniel then received his Doctorate of Medicine, from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and a Masters of Arts in Gerontology Services Administration, from Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia.
Under the pastorate of the late Reverend Isaac N. Patterson, Jr., Nathaniel accepted Jesus Christ and joined Mt. Pisgah A.M.E. Church with his sister, Ruth, when they were teenagers.
Nathaniel enlisted in the Army in (1943-1945) and served as Army Specialty - ASTAP College of Medicine Howard University, from which he was honorably discharged. He received a Good Conduct Medal on October 19, 1944. After the completion of his military service, he married, Inez Lewis (predeceased) from this union three children were born, Paulette, Nathan and Nathaniel, youngest daughter, Amber.
Later in his life, Nathaniel married, Yvonne Carson and they created wonderful memories as they spent quality time together on trips to California, Las Vegas, Mexico, Bahamas and Jamaica. He was very fond of going out to dine at his favorite restaurants and attending formal dances on special holidays.
Nathaniel, affectionately known as “Cope” could often be found on the golf course with his golf buddies in Philadelphia, New Jersey and exotic picturesque golf courses all over the continent. His many outstanding golf contributions included serving as president for two terms of the Greater Philadelphia Golf & Country Club and the Freeway Golf Course in Sicklerville, New Jersey which was one of the first Black-owned golf courses on the East Coast. Nathaniel also served as president of Delaware Valley Pro Duffers and was one of the founders of the Del Val Golf Club.
In his spare time, Nathaniel enjoyed playing poker until the wee hours of the night. With his poker face and bluffing skills, he always came out a winner!
Many summers were spent vacationing in Oaks Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard with other families such as the Joells, Johnsons, Dabneys and Williams to name a few. Cope spent many of his earlier years traveling and running his import export business; he and would make trips throughout the year to Africa for exotic and original and unique artifacts.
Nathaniel was an avid track and field enthusiast, attending many summer Olympics and track and field competitions on the East Coast. Cope also loved jazz music and traveled to the Newport Jazz Festival on a regular basis.

This past year, Nathaniel's caregiver, Sherri Williams was devoted in her daily care and was a friend, who gave him joy each day as she cared for him. Sometimes Cope could be found helping Sherri fold clothes. Just imagine Cope doing laundry! They shared a special bond, saying “Awesome Sauce” whenever Cope accomplished a task and they gave each other a high five!
MEDICAL SOCIETIES: American College of Physicians, American Geriatric Society, American Medical Association of Philadelphia, Philadelphia College of Physicians, Fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice, Medical Society of Eastern PA, American Medical Directors Association, Pennsylvania Medical Directors Association and American College of Health Care Administrators
MEDICAL RESEARCH: Significant Social Aspects of Sickle Cell Trait, Philadelphia Medicine, in December 1974, Consultant on a study on exercise and nutrition in a nursing home population, Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine in 1990, Consultant in the Study “Emotional Disturbances among Patients of Private non-Psychiatric Physicians in an Urban Neighborhood.” Leopold R.I. Goldberg D. P. And Schein. Division of Community Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatric Hospital of University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1971, Consultant in a study on the need for an infirmary section in a skilled nursing home, to reduce the need for transfers to the backup hospitals, Department of Geriatrics Hospital of University of Pennsylvania in 1990.
PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Clinical Director of Health District #5 at 20th and Berks Street, Philadelphia, PA and oversaw 3 other area health centers, Medical Director at 3 area nursing homes - Mercy Douglas, Tucker House and Stephen Smith. On staff at - Hahnemann Hospital, Saint Joseph's Hospital, Temple Hospital and Mercy Douglas University School of Medicine, Employed by the School District of Philadelphia County Medical Society, Clinical Assistant Professor, Drexel University School of Medicine, Clinical Associate and Department of Medicine Temple University.
COMMITTEES: Subcommittee for Aging, Subcommittee for Sickle Cell Anemia, Philadelphia County Medical Society, Board of Directors of Health Service Plan of Pennsylvania (Health America Maxicare) and Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Medical Directors Association.
CIVIC CONTRIBUTIONS: Board of Directors of Family Service of Philadelphia, Medical consultant to the Head Start Program, Channel 10 TV program “Horizons,” discussed problems of the elderly.
HONORS AND AWARDS: Sigma Phi Omega National Academic Honor Society for Gerontology 1985 and Outstanding Humanitarian Award DeMolay Consistory.
ORGANIZATIONS: Pride of Ethiopia No. 104, DeMolay Consistory No. 1,
Pyramid Temple No. 1, Alpha Phi Alpha, Delaware Valley (Del Val ) Golf Club, The Men, NNGA, the Philadelphia Guardsmen and the Philadelphia Commissioners.
BOARD CERTIFICATIONS: American Board of Family Practice 1973 and Long Term Care Medical Director in 1986.
In addition to his parents, Nathaniel was preceded in death by his son, Nathaniel Charles Copeland and one sister, Alyce B. Copeland.
Nathaniel leaves to cherish his memory: his loving wife, Yvonne; son, Nathan Lorenzo Copeland (Arlene); two daughters, Paulette Copeland Bolton and Amber Bean; eight grandchildren, Gregory C. Bolton, Jr., M.D., Carole Ramsey Young (Ellis), Safara Copeland Martinez (Eric), Quturah Abdullah Delima, Leah Copeland Horton (Bill), Saiyd Copeland (Angela), Zayn Copeland M.D., and Kristen Copeland Jason (Ryon); sixteen great-grandchildren; one sister, Ruth Maddox; one brother-in-law, Charles L. Lewis; his mother-in-law, Lena Brown; one daughter-in-law, Sheryl Warrington; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and associates.

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Previous Events





9:00 AM 11/3/2016 9:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 11/3/2016 11:00:00 AM
Mt. Pisgah African Methodist Espiscopal Church

428 N. 41st Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Mt. Pisgah African Methodist Espiscopal Church
428 N. 41st Street Philadelphia 19104 PA
United States

Cemetery Details


West Laurel Hill Cemetery Final Resting Place

225 Belmont Avenue
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

225 Belmont Avenue Bala Cynwyd 19004 PA
United States

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