Annette Hickman Copeland, age 88, a lifelong resident of Pike County, Alabama, passed away Sunday, January 10, 2021. A graveside service will be held Friday, January 15, 2021, at 11 a.m. at Green Hills Memorial Cemetery with Reverend Earl Barron officiating. Serving as pallbearers will be Todd Copeland, Chad Copeland, Cam Copeland, Jay Copeland, Chris Campbell, and BJ Osborn. Honorary pallbearers will be Max and Marx Copeland and Cooper Campbell. Mrs. Copeland will lie-in-state one hour prior to the service at Green Hills Funeral Home.
Follow the beat…can you hear the clap on her leg…the rhythm is rolling along. Mrs. Copeland, best loved as “Bambama,” was moved—always—by life, love, fried chicken, and the Holy Spirit. There never was much to slow her down or have her rest a little; she would always just “be over in a minute.” Her whole story is in motion. The Copeland family legacy began with treks across her family’s pasture in Henderson, Alabama, where she and James Leo Copeland courted on horseback. That union carried them to some of the far corners of Pike County to call home to the Banks community for a while, then back to the heart in Troy, and often on Sundays, out toward the Goshen lines to worship at Good Hope Baptist Church. And, those ventures ignited a passion for wild flowery foliage, mostly honeysuckle and dogwoods, and her determination to successfully uproot and transplant “the woods” to her own backyard. While she thrived with a green thumb, Mrs. Copeland found that some things were just meant to stay wild. Mrs. Copeland maintained a steady work-pace, first retiring as an operative after more than 20 years with the Fruit of the Loom factory in Brundidge, then on as a cook in the Brundidge Elementary School lunchroom, and finally, part-time with Dairy Queen as, well, the queen of fried chicken and a sociable greeter. She was a notorious cook, true to her Southern raisin’ and knew the best unwritten recipes for chicken and dumplins’, collards, fried chicken (in case you hadn’t caught on to that yet), and dare we say, chitlins’. And just like her tendency to serve up chitlins’ at a family gathering, Mrs. Copeland was fearless and persuasive. She could often be found jumping on the trampoline or riding a horse with her grandchildren, traveling to the panhandle for a gospel sing or down the road for some bluegrass pickin’. And she had a way of coaxing her grandsons into an apron to wash the dishes and have them convinced that they were glad to help. The warmth of her presence may fade a bit, but her beat will long come in strong and up-tempo, and that will always be “okie-dokie”.
Mrs. Copeland is survived by her sons, Jimmy Copeland (Martha) and Buck Copeland (Karen); grandchildren, Todd Copeland (Michelle), Chad Copeland (Donna), Chris Campbell (Lee), Cam Copeland (Jerrica), Jay Copeland, and Beth Copeland Osborn (BJ); 11 great-grandchildren; sister, Becky Barron (Ed); and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, James Leo Copeland; parents, JB and Johnnie Bertha Hickman; brother, James “Jimmy” Nelson Hickman; and sisters, Miriam Bundy, Francis Aubin, and Jeanette Barron.
The family wishes to extend great appreciation to the staff of Encompass Hospice for their tireless dedication, compassion, and exceptional care. Flowers will be accepted or charitable memorial contributions may be made in her honor to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (322 Eighth Avenue 16th Floor, New York, New York 10001). Friends and family can sign the guestbook online at www.greenhillsfuneralhome.net. The staff of Green Hills Funeral Home is honored to serve the Copeland family.