Leroy B. Copeland

Leroy B. Copeland of Felton, DE passed away at home on Saturday, December 25, 2021, he was 81. He was born in Bad Axe, Michigan to the late, Roy and Anna Copeland.

Leroy, a well-respected driver, trainer and owner of harness horses, raced at various tracks throughout the US, Canada and New Zealand, starting his career in 1958. He was leading driver at Foxboro, Rockingham, Wolverine, Hazel Park and Northville. Leroy also worked as a starter at Foxboro and in Maine. When talking horses, he once said that “His all-time favorite was Edgewood Creed, a winner of about $150,000.00.” Other horses that stood out for him included , Marvin-Crane ($250,000), After Five ($250,000), Goshen Cup winner Sir Carlton, Warfield, who set the track record at DRC and Charter Captain, the first son of Meadow Skipper to stand at stud in Michigan. He loved horses and the business and even at 81 made it by his son’s (Vincent Copeland) barn for a visit and to see the horses on most days.
Leroy had 4 surviving children with his first wife, Catherine Copeland Wozniak: Vincent (Teri) Copeland (driver / trainer and owner in DE and Michigan Hall of Fame Driver); daughters, Cheryl (Mike) Spencer, Brenda (Leo) Sucharski, Monica (Marty Albright) Copeland; his grandchildren, Nicole Copeland, Danielle Copeland, Sarah Spencer, Grant Spencer, Katelyn Stewart;

Leroy is survived by his spouse Phyllis Copeland, also a longtime horsewoman (trainer /owner DE) and stepsons, Roger Plant (driver / trainer in DE) and Christopher Plant.

He is also survived by his sisters, Joan (Glenn) Mittlestat (owners MI), Elaine (Dale) Hager; nieces and nephews, Melvin Mittlestat (driver), Mark Mittlestat (driver), Ruth Ann Matusik, Diane Sheridan, Mary L. Van Boven, Candie Hager and Nathan Hager;

Leroy enjoyed spending time with family, learning about new things, going to the barn, watching the races, baseball and football. He will be remembered as a likable person who was friendly and outgoing.

A Memorial service will be held on Friday, January 14, 2022, at the Melvin Funeral Home, 15522 South DuPont Hwy, Harrington, at 2PM, with a visitation for family and friends starting at 1 PM. A burial service will be held in Michigan at a later date.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Thomas E. Melvin & Son Funeral Home, please visit us at www.melvinfuneralhome.com to express or send condolences.