Fredna Ann Copelin, a retired school teacher and long-time resident of Orange, passed away in her home on the morning of Thursday, June 23. Ann was known as a determined yet sweet lady who focused on the positive. She believed a person could accomplish almost anything she wanted as long as she put her mind to it.

She tried her best to relay this message to her students throughout her 36-year teaching career. Ann truly enjoyed teaching and believed being surrounded by children kept her young. Ann grew up on a farm with three sisters and five brothers near Jacksonville, Texas.

The red dirt of East Texas was a source of strength for Ann. She felt revived after trips back home to visit with family over fried chicken, purple hull peas and Jacksonville tomatoes. She was part of a close family with siblings who provided support throughout her life. Her love for her family helped build her determination to have a career and family and to be a contributing member of her community.

Starting at the age of 16, Ann had a steady job. She worked at the local variety store and bowling alley. While working the ticket office at the Palace Theater, she met Bill Copelin who ran the projector. They shared 49 years together, working and saving until they could buy a home on several beautiful green acres. After retirement, they still worked but they also enjoyed a few long road trips across the country.

Ann had great friends. She loved her co-workers and maintained close contact through regular “lunch bunch” meetings and shopping trips. Ann valued her friends and the moments they shared together – ringing the Salvation Army bell on cold days, leading school children through the Stark Museum of Art, or walking through an estate sale. Ann stayed busy, always.

She was a member of the Theta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma and served as the local chapter president for three years and coordinating council chairman of three local chapters for two years. She was the first person from Orange to be appointed Area II Coordinator and served in the position for two years. Ann also served as president for the Orange County Unit of Texas Retired Teachers for three years.

No matter where she went – to the classroom, to an organizational meeting, even to the hospital for treatment – Ann wanted to look her best and she always accessorized. She hoped her two daughters would inherit her sense of style. It is certain they inherited her love for animals. Living in the country, Ann almost always had a dog. When she went out to lunch or dinner with her husband or daughters, she made a point to bring a take-home container back to her dog or her daughters’ dogs. She believed her four-legged friends expected to see a little white box when she returned.

Whether you were her daughter, husband, family or friend, you knew Ann loved you.

Ann is survived by her daughters Deborah Ann Boyd and her husband Ellis of Orange and Kimberly Copelin of Houston; granddaughter Sophie Elissa-Ann Boyd; three brothers and two sisters-in-law, Wayne and Valerie Chancelor and Robert Chancelor, all of Jacksonville, and Don and Lena Chancelor of Lufkin; three sisters and brothers-in-law Mary and Sidney Danner and Jan and Alan Heidbreder, all of Jacksonville and Nita and Don Gresham of Nacogdoches. She is also survived by nieces and nephews she loved greatly.

She was preceded in death by her husband William Copelin; her parents, John Revis Chancelor and Ruby Sides Chancelor and brothers J.R. Chancelor and Bruce Chancelor.

Pallbearers are her nephews David Danner, Lee Chancelor, Shane Chancelor, Jeff Chancelor, Ryan Hoechten, and Chris Chancelor.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday June, 26 at the First Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Junior Drive, Orange.

Funeral services will follow at 6 p.m. Burial services will be held at 3 p.m., Monday June 27 at Antioch Methodist Church Cemetery, 2681 County Road 3111 in Jacksonville.