Horace Otis Copley, 90, former principal at Thalia Elementary School

Horace Otis Copley
Horace Otis Copley

Horace Otis Copley, 90, the son of Horace Otis Copley Sr. and Nell Hurt Copley, died Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. He was born June 24, 1928, in South Hill and spent his early years in Blackstone.

He attended Blackstone High School and lettered in several sports. He graduated from Hampden Sydney College and was a member of Theta Chi Fraternity. After graduation, he began his career in education in Virginia Beach as a mathematics teacher and coach. He took time off to get an M.A. at UVA and served two years in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. After returning to Virginia Beach, he became principal of Thalia Elementary School and later coordinator of mathematics. Otis was a charter member of the Virginia Beach Ruritan Club.

Otis is survived by his son, James Otis Copley of New York City; stepchildren, Thomas Speight of Chandler, Arizona, and Mary Charlotte Speight of Chester; as well as many loving nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Carolyn Story Copley; sisters, Mary Copley, Nan Copley Manson and Nell Copley Irby; and brother, Waverly Copley.

Otis was a member of Williamsburg United Methodist Church for 26 years. A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 27, at Williamsburg United Methodist Church with a reception following. Burial will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 28, in Rosewood Memorial Park, Virginia Beach.

In lieu flowers, donations may be made to Respite Care of Williamsburg UMC or Williamsburg UMC, 500 Richmond Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185.

Share online condolences with the family at Nelsen Funeral Home.

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