Roger Fay Copper
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Roger Fay Copper, age 82, of Yankton, South Dakota, died Friday, July 31, 2015 at the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

A memorial service will be 11:00 AM on Friday, August 7, 2015 at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton with Reverend Jon Cooke officiating. Burial will be at a later date in the Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, South Dakota. Visitation will be one hour prior to the memorial service at the funeral home on Friday. There will also be a luncheon and additional visitation after the service.

Honorary pallbearers are: Earl Reese, Arden Trandahl, Robert Tolle, Mike Huether, Dean Christensen, Dan Christensen, Peggy Whalen, Lori Jones and the Yankton Lions Club.

Roger Fay Copper was born August 24, 1932 in La Crosse, Wisconsin, to Fay and Amanda (Jacob) Copper. He was baptized in La Crosse and moved to Fairport, Iowa, as a young child, where he was confirmed and finished the 8th grade. He then graduated from Muscatine High School in 1951. He attended Valley City State Teacher's College in Valley City, North Dakota, until he enlisted in the United States Navy. He served as a medical corpsman attached to the Marines during the Korean Conflict. After his discharge he attended SDSU in Brookings, South Dakota, graduating in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Wildlife Techniques and Conservation, with further specialization in fisheries biology. He began his long career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Fairport, Iowa, then became the manager of the fish hatchery in Hebron, Ohio, in 1964. In 1969, Roger was transferred to Yankton, where he served as the manager of the Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery until his retirement in November of 1990. Following retirment, he did consulting work for the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe in Sisseton, SD, helping with the establishment of their fisheries program.

He married Shirlee Heimerl, in The Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa. He was a member of the Lions Club for over 50 years in Hebron, Ohio and later Yankton, South Dakota, serving as past president of the Yankton Lions Club, and also past president of the Hebron Jaycees. He was instrumental in helping preserve the pallid sturgeon from extinction. Roger had a great sense of humor. He always had a joke and loved teasing his children and grandchildren. He was a passionate follower of The Ohio State Buckeyes athletics, as well as a Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers fan, which at times created self conflict! He was an avid hunter and enjoyed reading westerns, gardening, boating, camping and traveling to national parks with his family.

Survivors include his wife, Shirlee Copper of Yankton; four children: Robin (Kevin) Teichroew of Yankton; Hope Foster (Tim Olsen) of Lead, South Dakota; Renée (Travis) Walton of Palm Harbor, Florida; and Eric (LoriAnn) Copper of Irene, South Dakota; 8 grandchildren: April (Aaron), Amber (Travis), Justin (Priscilla), Brandon (Jennifer), Joshua, Ashlyn, Owen (Kelsey) and Kylee; 13 great grandchildren; three brothers: George (Jean) Copper of Bremerton, Washington; Jerry Copper of Bloomington, Indiana; and Don (Sharon) Copper of LaFarge, Wisconsin; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Yankton Lions Club or the Yankton Homeless Shelter.




Messages will be reviewed and posted within 1 business day.

Shirley and family so sorry for your loss!

Cindy Sage


Our deepest sympathies to you and your family Shirley. May your memories be a comfort.

Kyle & Jennifer Hansen & family


Shirlee & family:

Please accept my deepest sympathy on the death of Roger...... Thoughts & Prayers,

Loretta Kohles


i love you uncle roger always in my heart...... till we meet again..... i love you aunt shirlee, and cousins renee, travis, eric, lori, robin, and hope........

Eva Heimerl


Go with God Uncle Roger. Thanks for teaching me so much about our beloved outdoors. I Love you

Greg L


So very sorry for your loss. Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!

Debbie Young


Shirley and family, you are in my prayers. Will continue to keep you in my prayers.

Ann Martin


My deepest sympathy for the loss of Uncle Roger. I have the fondest childhood memories and will cherish them always. I am keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers.

Teresa Courtney


So sorry to learn of Roger's passing. I worked with Roger at the Fish Hatchery many years ago, he was one great boss! My sympathy to you Shirley and family. God Bless.

Marella Miedema

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