Fulkerson - Stevenson Funeral Home It's all about saying goodbye. Springan - Stevenson Funeral Home
Fulkerson - Stevenson Funeral Home
Springan - Stevenson Funeral Home
It's all about saying goodbye.
Evelyn A Copes
August 22, 1935 - September 3, 2021

Place of Birth: Plaza, North Dakota
Residence: Tioga, North Dakota
Age: 86

Evelyn A. Copes, 86, of Tioga, ND, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Friday, September 3, 2021. She was blessed to remain in her home and passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving husband and her two daughters.

Evelyn A. Peterson was born on August 22, 1935, to John and Lillian (Erickson) Peterson in Plaza, ND. She attended grade school at Mountrail Country School and graduated from Plaza High School in 1953. She studied one year at Minot State Teachers College and then received a rural scholarship and taught at Lunds Valley southeast of Powers Lake in a one room school house in 1954-1955. Through that experience she discovered her true love of teaching first grade. She returned to Minot State and obtained her two-year teaching standard in 1956 and then began her life-long teaching career in the Tioga Public Schools. Evelyn always had the desire to graduate with her 4 year teaching degree so returned to Minot State in 1973-74 for 2 summers of summer school along with many correspondence courses. She graduated with her cap and gown in July of 1974 with Gerald, Carolyn and Nancy proudly cheering her on!

For 38 years Evelyn never lost her love of teaching first graders how to read and write. Each Fall she eagerly awaited the first day of school and welcomed her new classroom of excited first graders! Even in these last years she treasured the positive comments and letters from many of her former first graders, telling her how much they enjoyed having Mrs. Copes as their wonderful first grade teacher.

Evelyn married the love of her life, Benjamin Gerald Copes, on July 19, 1959, at her sister’s home in Williston, ND, with Pastor John Strand of the Free Lutheran Church officiating. In May 1960 their first daughter, Carolyn, was born and in August 1961 their daughter, Nancy, was born. She was very involved in the Zion Free Lutheran Church including being an active member of WMF, serving and bringing food when needed, singing in the church choir, trios and cantatas. One of her greatest joys was playing piano/organ duets in church with her dear friend, Karol Jean Wolla. She is remembered by her family for her pecan pies, apple pies and her homemade buns, lefse and flatbread.

Evelyn loved traveling to many parts of our United States and admired God’s beautiful scenery. One particular highlight was taking an Alaskan cruise in 2015 with Gerald, her sister Merilyn, her two daughters and their husbands along with the entire Jerome and Ardis Rice family. Their annual summer trip driving to Gerald’s home in Louisiana and spending time with the Copes family was what they always enjoyed doing together.

Evelyn leaves behind her loving husband, Gerald of 62 years of marriage; her 2 loving daughters, Carolyn (Kermit) Berge of Larimore, ND, and Nancy (Brian) Rice of White Earth, ND. Her nine grandchildren: Christina (Jeff) Winslow, Williston, ND; Micah (Julia) Berge, Reynolds, ND; Josh (Rachel) Berge, Hutchinson, MN; Andrew (Brenna) Berge, Kindred, ND; Cathryn (Chris) Papillon, Larimore, ND; Carrie Eder, San Antonia, TX; Ben Eder (special friend, Rachael Ritzke), Minot, ND; Gracia Eder, Moorhead, MN; and Greta Eder (fiancé Meriel Lora) Williston, ND. Her 10 great-grandchildren: David, Abby and Lauren Winslow; Johannes and Daniel Berge; Matthew, Joanna and Jeremiah Berge; Enoch Berge, and Titus Papillon. Three step-grandchildren: Tiffanie (Dave) Finstrom, Powers Lake, ND; Jeremie (Amber) Minot, ND; and Bethanie (Daniel) Letch, Powers Lake, ND. Ten step-great-grandchildren: Elijah, Isabel, Ezekial Finstrom; Caleb, Caden, Carson Rice; Cameron, Cabella, Hanah, and Hunter Letch. Her 3 sisters: Ramona Poeckes of Williston, ND; Ilene Orluck of Tioga, ND and Merilyn Grosshans of Las Vegas, NV; brother and sister-in-law, Lonnie and DeEtte Copes of Delhi, LA; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents, her one brother, Duane Peterson, sister-in-law, Helen Peterson, brothers-in-law, Anton Poeckes and Harvey Orluck and sister and brother-in-law, Lorraine and Lavell Nappier.

For everyone who knew Evelyn, it was evident to see that Jesus Christ was her Lord and Savior. Her faith was strong, and she was a continuous prayer warrior for her husband, her daughters and their families, her siblings, her church family and friends in the community. She will be missed by all who knew her. Blessed be her memory.

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Renae Schneider (Custer, SD)
Sep 3, 2021
Mrs. Copes was my first grade teacher and one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. Such a compassionate woman who will be greatly missed.
Louisa Johnson (Minot, ND)
Sep 3, 2021
Hard to believe this beautiful woman is gone. I still remember first grade with her. That smile was always to warm and welcoming. She will be greatly missed by all. My condolences to her family.
Carole Rohde (Tioga, ND)
Sep 4, 2021
My deepest sympathy to Evelyn’s family. I enjoyed teaching with her at Hillcrest. Son Paul had her for his teacher in first grade. She loved music and was always a blessing to have her play piano at church. Surely enjoyed when she was able to attend my teacher get togethers - always shared photos of her family and updated us on them. She will be missed tremendously, but thankful that we have such wonderful memories to comfort us and treasure in the days ahead.
Darren Iverson (San Francisco, California)
Sep 4, 2021
So very sad to hear of the passing of Mrs. Copes. She inspired so many people over the years. I am grateful to have had her as a teacher and our families also lived next door for many years. Condolences and prayers to all the family.
Patricia Lee (Williston , North Dakota )
Sep 5, 2021
Nancy, I am so sorry to see your mom passed away. Love and prayers to you all
Nancy Connelly (Fargo, ND)
Sep 6, 2021
May Evelyn's family find strength through the many wonderful memories of time they shared with her. She was such a sweet, caring person who extended kindness to others. She will be missed.
DebbieDallas (Chugiak, AK)
Sep 6, 2021
Another Tioga Pioneer woman who touched many lives throughout her career! Treasure your memories & hold Jesus’s love close!
Julie Grindy Rhodes (Jasper, GA)
Sep 6, 2021
There are no combination of words which describe how Mrs. Copes has impacted the lives of so many of us. I am only one of thousands Mrs. Copes blessed with a sort of kindness reserved only for God's most special children. I love you Mrs. Copes. Rest in peace.
Jeffery Moe Jr (Tioga, Nd)
Sep 6, 2021
I’m very sorry to hear of Mrs Copes passing, I was too one of her first grade students in the early 90’s. Her singing birthday cake that made a tune and spun for everyone’s birthday I will always remember. Along with her little purple car. God bless
Marcia Vedner-Smith (TEAGUE, TX)
Sep 6, 2021
I’m so sorry to hear of Mrs. Copes passing!!! I moved to Tioga at the beginning of my second grade year so I didn’t have the opportunity to be taught by Mrs. Copes although she was always sweet to me. She was also a bright light for me at church!!! She will be greatly missed!!! Sending my sincerest condolences to the family!!!
Evonne Johnson (Tower City, ND)
Sep 6, 2021
My heart goes out to Evelyn's husband, daughters and the rest of her family. She was always one of my favorite teachers. I will never forget her and her little blue car (Ford Falcon?) she drove to school almost every day. Heaven has a wonderful angel, may she rest in peace.
Rod and Rachel Pederson (Chandler, AZ)
Sep 6, 2021
Prayers with the Copes family during this difficult time. I will always remember Mrs. Copes smiling and enjoying playing piano at church. She was Rods 1st grade teacher as well. She was a gift to the entire Tioga community and positively impacted so many lives.
Kim Skramstad (Fergus Falls, MN)
Sep 7, 2021
I have known the Copes family for over 55 years. My sister and I were fortunate to have Carolyn and Nancy as our first Best Friends. I was in grade school with Carolyn, the classmates would love when Carolyn's birthday would come along, and Evelyn would send her famous Chow Mein bars to school for a treat.

I have so many memories of being at their home up the street. Words that come to my mind that describe Evelyn are kind, polite, lovely, gracious, gentle. I remember her always smiling. She gave of herself to all the children that passed through her door at school, she blessed her family and her Church with her time and talents. She loved her family, she loved her Lord, she served her Lord.

God Bless you Gerald, Carolyn, and Nancy and all your family. I miss you.
Connie L Powell (Tioga, ND)
Sep 7, 2021
So sorry to hear of Evelyn's passing. In the short time I was a caretaker for her I came to know her kind and loving ways with all she came in contact with. I can only imagine all the wonderful memories her students have of her. A beautiful and gracious lady. My condolences to Gerald, Nancy. and Carolyn and their families. Sincerely. Connie Powell
Lowell & Sonja Herfindahl (Georetown, Tx)
Sep 8, 2021
We are so saddened to hear of Evelyn's passing. Our hearts and prayers go out to you. God Bless the memory of Evelyn.

Lowell & Sonja
Jeanne Knudsvig
Sep 8, 2021
Nancy & family
So sorry for your loss of your Mother may you keep her memories close to your hearts to help you through the days ahead... sending prayers
Sincere sympathy
Joshua D. Molstre (Minneapolis, MN)
Sep 9, 2021
She was my first grade teacher as well as one of my best friends grandmothers. She gave me my first 'check mark' for bad behavior. I started singing 'Climb Every Mountain' from the Sound of Music in the bathroom. I was always a good student, but she explained to me that singing in the bathroom at such a high pitch was disruptive to silent reading time...

My thoughts are with everyone today.
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