Cover photo for Melvin Copeland's Obituary
Melvin Copeland Profile Photo
1931 Melvin 2021

Melvin Copeland

November 29, 1931 — August 27, 2021

Melvin Copeland, 89, Walters, OK

Funeral Services at the First Christian Church, Walters, Thursday, September 2, 2021 at 10:00 a.m., Rev. Jeff Hooser officiating with burial in the Walters Cemetery under the direction of Hart-Wyatt Funeral Home in Walters.

Melvin Howard Copeland was born November 29, 1931 to Margaret Lou (Barbe) Copeland and Oral Jack Copeland, on the Copeland home place west of Walters, OK and departed this life August 27, 2021 in Burkburnett, TX.

Melvin grew up in Walters and at age 12, after losing his mother, he began custom harvesting with his father. In high school he played football and continued to follow the sport, particularly the Oklahoma State Cowboys, throughout his life. He married Wyva Rheu Minnich June 6, 1952 and to this union five children were born. 10 days after marriage, with an old school bus converted into a trailer house in tow, the honeymoon cottage referred to by Wyva Rheu’s mother, they took to the road to continue the learned trade of custom harvesting.

In 1953 Melvin rented a section of land from the Herring Estate in Dimmitt, TX and farmed for several years. In 1957 he bought his first truck and hauled produce, wheat or machinery for his father and later moved to Enid where he worked for Pickett Bros. hauling road oil. In 1963 they made their home back in Walters where they would raise their children, and Melvin worked as a yard foreman for Copeland Equipment and later returned to farming. In 1970 Melvin bought the Seldon Cain farm and later built a home where he farmed and raised cattle until his retirement in 2013.

At the age of 59 Melvin successfully ran for Sheriff and served for 8 years. He was the first Sheriff in Oklahoma to house state prisoners and with this revenue he was able to hire more deputies and make improvements. In 1997 he shared the honor of “Sheriff of the Year” with Richard McPeak.

Through his life, Melvin served his community on many boards including the Walters School Board, Rotary Club and was a member of the First Christian Church where he served as Chairman of the Board for several years. He helped wherever he was needed, and enjoyed the fellowship with family, friends and members.

Melvin and Wyva Rheu enjoyed traveling in the summer to Colorado and the Texas Valley in the winter.

Melvin was preceded in death by his mother Margaret, his father Jack and step-mother Estelle, his brother Dean Copeland and wife Carolyn, his sister Sylvia Edgmon, his son-in-law, Robert “Bob” Rezner, and great-granddaughter Ryann Breanne Bradford.

Survivors include his wife of the home, Wyva Rheu; his children, Stanley and Brenda Copeland of Dalhart, TX, Juree Rezner of Duncan, OK, Cyrena and Junior Frye of Burkburnett, TX, Clay and Lisa Copeland, Patra and John Linderkamp all of Walters; a brother, Jackie and Pam Copeland of Coppell, TX; 12 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Oklahoma Medical Research Center.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Melvin Copeland, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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