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In loving memory, Shannon Roger Copeland

In loving memory Shannon Roger Copeland

On Nov. 6, 2023, surrounded by loved ones, Shannon Roger Copeland took his final bow in life and slipped off his mortal costume to be with his wife, older brothers, and younger sister, as well as all those ancestors from both Irish and Native American heritages. One theater curtain closes, another opens.

On St. Patrick’s Day 1944, Shannon Roger Copeland came into this world on a naval base hospital in San Diego, Cal., born to John Henry Copeland and Catherine “Casey” Gordon. John, a member of the Klamath Tribes, first raised the family in Chiloquin, Ore., on the Klamath-Modoc Reservation, where Shannon spent his early years with his older brothers Charles and Gordon, older sister Catherine and younger sister Sharon.

Eventually, the family moved to Silverton, Ore., where Shannon would graduate from Silverton High School in 1963. After high school, he joined the Navy, serving in the Atlantic Fleet on the USS Tattnal. After an honorable discharge, he attended Mt. Angel College, where he pursued a degree in theater, performing in many plays before meeting, falling in love, and marrying Gayle McKenzie of Silverton, with whom he had his daughter Annette and son Adam. In 1975, Shannon co-founded The Silverton Community Players, a theater troupe going strong to this day, which frequently still performs “The Saga of Sylvie Creek,” a melodrama co-written and published by Shannon. As a recognized member of the Klamath Tribes, he kept close ties to the Reservation, making summer pilgrimages there with his children. Shannon’s last working years were spent with the Oregon State Lottery. After retirement, he stayed active with his family, the theater, and his shuffle-board league.

A beloved member of the community, it was not uncommon for him to be greeted to shouts of “Shannon!” upon entering his favorite pubs. In 2021, after the death of Gayle, his body began the long goodbye, culminating in a stay in Salem Hospital.

Shannon is survived by his sister Catherine Manion of Eureka, Calif.; his daughter Annette Dettwyler of Silverton; his son Adam Copeland, of Vancouver, Wash.; his grandchildren Sarah Dettwyler, Casey Rauda, May Schwabauer, Jacob Dettwyler, Talitha Dettwyler, Marie Dettwyler, and Josef Dettwyler; his great-grandchildren Raymond, Rodney, Maxine, and Vivien Clare; and a tribe of nieces, nephews, in- laws, and countless friends.

You will be missed, Shannon.