Michael David Copeland was buried Tuesday at a Silo cemetery, nearly a month after he passed away in Iraq at the age of 37.
The funeral and burial, complete with full military honors and escorted by a contingent of Patriot Guard Riders, provided some closure for the Copeland family. But the saga is not quite over.
The family is now awaiting word on autopsy results, to determine what caused Copeland to die in his living quarters in Baghdad. He was found dead on June 9, just a few hours after speaking to family members. He was working as an aircraft mechanic for a US contractor at the time of his death.
Nearly 100 people attended the funeral at Brown’s Funeral Service chapel in Durant. Kenneth Mott read an obituary detailing an adventurous life, noting that Copeland’s passing “leaves a hole in many lives.”
For the moment, Copeland is being known as the Colbert native whose body was stranded overseas for nearly a month as US and Iraqi authorities haggled over which government would perform an autopsy.
In time, Copeland should be remembered as “a loving son with an adventurous spirit and a caring heart,” as Mott said Tuesday. He spent 13 of his 37 years in the US Marine Corps and Oklahoma Air National Guard, receiving his honorable discharge on Dec. 31, 2009.
Copeland graduated from Silo High School in 1994, and from Southeastern in 2006. He leaves behind his parents, a brother, a wife and stepdaughter, as well as many other relatives and friends.