Alderson-Roy Lee “Ross” Copenhaver, 76, of Alderson, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, at home.
He was the son of the late Mollie Gale Copenhaver and “Mr. Fuller.” Ross was born on Nov. 8, 1946, in the Raiders Valley of Williamsburg, WV. Very few people except his family knew Roy was his real name. Ross was a nickname to him like nicknames he gave everyone else. He drove around a man named Ross all the time “when he had a little too much to drink.” So, Ross, underage, drove him home, a lot.
Ross was raised during hard times by “grandma,” Lota Copenhaver. He went to work “so they didn’t starve” and quit school in the eighth grade. During his life, he had a several nicknames based on different things. His uncle Llyod used to call him “Rock” because he worked for Rocco Feeds. He worked for Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of Alderson for 17 years, so many people knew him by “Pepsi.”
He was a founding member of Tri-County Volunteer Fire Company. He served as Chief of the department many years until he opened his store. They were renegades because their firetrucks were yellow and Snoopy was their mascot. Tri-County was formed as a split over the decision to purchase a new pumper instead of a tanker in 1974-1975. Hence why Tri-County has the tankers and Alderson has only ever had pumpers. He was a member of Alderson Volunteer Fire Department before splitting to Tri-County. He later went back to Alderson and was a driver for Travis and others.
While he was not proud of not completing high school, he was proud of his accomplishments and his hometown. In fact, he was “Alderson Proud!” In the early 1980’s he revitalized the Alderson Business District by refurbishing the old Exxon station and opening Ross’s Express Mart. Soon after, he added a deli and car wash to the convenience store. Next, to fit the needs of visitors to the prison, he opened the first ten units of Riverview Motel. Later adding another five units to the motel and Waterfront Sporting Goods Store. After selling the motel and sporting goods store, he and Travis opened R&T Feed and Supply.
Ross retired for six months. During that time, he moved back to the farm he loved, built a garage, and deck. Then he went back to work. He worked at True Value and then retired again from the hangout for the old folks – the feedstore. Over the past few years, he has been a sworn member of the “Alderson Park Rangers.”
Although Sam Bennett put the “Alderson Proud!” words on his laundromat and barber shop, he and Ross were neck and neck to get the signs up. Ross was so proud of Alderson he used “Alderson Proud” on almost all of his advertisements and buildings. Over the past few years his health has declined and he enjoyed sitting and talking with his friends at the store. He was a friend and mentor to many over his years.
Anyone close knows that he reaffirmed his faith in the Lord and was a founding member of Cross River Country Church. His church family was so important to him. Especially the “Hoke boys.” Over the past couple of years Ross has started enjoying hunting more with Brayden. Peyton was his go getter and shopper. Bailey enjoyed his nightly calls starting out “hey, Roy!”
Ross was preceded in death by his parents; grandparents; brother, James Armentrout; sister, Linda Armentrout Haynes; his favorite Blue Heeler, Biscuit; and his beloved Percheron, John Boy.
Travis, Elizabeth, Brayden, Peyton, Bailey, Ally, Alilah, and Brenda will have a huge hole in their hearts as they move forward. His brother Ray and sister Pattie will as well. The community will forever remember their friend and buddy.
Visitation was held Wednesday evening, Feb. 22, at Cross River Country Church, 511 Nash Lane (on the way to “the Red Barn”) on Route 3,” Alderson, WV. His funeral was on Thursday, Feb. 23, at the church.
In lieu of flowers the following groups would have been approved by him for contributions:
Alderson Main Street – Hanging Basket Flower Fund, PO Box 117, Alderson, WV 24910
Cross River Country Church, 511 Nash Lane, Alderson, WV 24910
National Barrel Horse Association WV-04, 816 Highland Park Road, Second Creek, WV 24974
Ross’s friends and family at Lantz Funeral Home will be taking care of all the arrangements.
The first obituary Travis wrote after he started mortuary school Ross was not pleased with. I am hopeful that this one would meet his approval.
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