Tooele Transcript Bulletin

Jay Don CoppersmithFree Access

Jay Don Coppersmith of Murray, Utah passed away Oct. 24, 2016, at age 75. Jay was born July 21, 1941, at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He was the son of Marie A. Merritts and Joseph D. Coppersmith (stepfather George Reilly). Jay grew up in an Army family and resided as a young person in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania; Long Island, New York; Mannheim, Germany and Olean, New York. A descendant of early settlers of southeastern Pennsylvania, he was a bright and precocious child who grew up to be a scientist of faith and a revered father and grandfather. He attended university at Cornell and completed degrees at SUNY Empire State and received an M.A. in English literature from the beloved family alma mater, St. Bonaventure University. In 1983, Jay and his family relocated to Utah, first settling in Pleasant Grove, later moving to Orem, Tooele and then Murray. He worked in various fields as a chemist, software developer and teacher, retiring from his last position as a contractor at the Tooele Army Depot. His greatest avocation was serving for over 40 years as an adult leader with the Boy Scouts of America. As a Scout leader, he fulfilled many roles as a Scoutmaster, merit badge instructor, committee member and adult leader trainer. His lifetime work in Scouting in western New York and Utah resulted in recognition of his exceptional service to Scouting with the Silver Beaver Award in 2008 and Doctorate of Scouting award earned in 2015. Jay was also a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in many church capacities as a teacher, branch president, ward counselor, high priest leader, Sunday school teacher, and as a service missionary for the LDS Employment Services. The greatest gift he bequeathed to his children was his sense of humor, his love of learning, and his love of exploration, adventure and wilderness travel. He was a gifted storyteller and writer. Jay is survived by his wife of 41 years, JoEllen Stangle Coppersmith of Murray, Utah; his brother Gary Reilly (Dianne) of Hilton, New York and aunt Dona Jean Savine of Altoona, Pennsylvania. He is also survived by his seven children: Clifford Patrick (Kathleen) of Billings, Montana; Leslie Salmon of San Jose, California; Catherine Marie (Brad) of Pleasant Grove, Utah; Brian Keith (Sheri Lynn) of Montclair, Virginia; Dale Edward (Naomi) of Olean, New York; Laura Southway (Thomas) of Phoenix, Arizona and Kurt Joseph (Jessica) of Kaysville, Utah, as well as 30 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Visitation will be held on Friday, Oct. 28 from 6-8 p.m. at the Wasatch Lawn Mortuary at 3401 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 11 a.m. at the Chevy Chase LDS Chapel at the corner of 5227 S. Wesley Road and 5290 South in Murray, Utah, with an hour visitation prior to the services. Interment to follow at the Pleasant Grove City Cemetery, Pleasant Grove, Utah. The family would like to express their appreciation to Dr. Blake Beazer of Tooele and to the doctors and nurses of IMC, Huntsman Cancer Institute, Rocky Mountain Hospice and the Cottage on Vine for their ongoing attention and care of our beloved husband and father during the past three years. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Boy Scouts of America or the American Cancer Society.

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