Avery Clayton Copeland, 85, died Saturday at his home in Litchfield, CT with his family by his side.
Clayt was born on April 26, 1933 in Leicester, Massachusetts to John and Ebba Copeland. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1952 and served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. After his stint in the military, he travelled the world with Curtiss-Wright, then joined Aerotherm (eventually UOP Aerospace) in 1957, beginning as a salesman and rising through the ranks to become the company’s president. After his retirement, he served as a director of Litchfield Bancorp.
Clayt loved living near the water, and taught his children and grandchildren to swim, sail, and waterski. He was a kind and protective father and grandfather, and focused his free time on doing everything he could to support the dreams and goals of the children in his life. Almost to the end, he had a sharp mind and memory, with an encyclopedic knowledge of everything from home construction and car repairs to real estate and finance. Although homebound in his final years, Clayt was an avid Red Sox and UConn women’s basketball fan. He had been a Jets and Whalers season ticket holder for decades (but loved his daughter Cindy enough to share her delight when the Patriots won).
Clayt will be dearly missed by his wife of 60 years, Sharlene, and by his three children Cindy, John, and Gary and their families, including his nine grandchildren: Faye (and her husband Brandon), Alexandra (and her husband Shane), Aaron, Evander, Aidan, Ariana, Quentin, Chloe, and Carma. He also leaves his sister Janet, her sons Robert and Andrew, and many other loving relatives and friends.
The family will honor him in a private Celebration of Life later this summer. Donations will be gratefully accepted by the Harwinton Senior Center, 209 Weingart Road, Harwinton, CT 06791.