Etta Copps

Etta Copps, loving mother and wife, died Saturday, Nov. 12, 2005, at the age of 87.

Services were held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Miles City, MT, with Father Thomas Pittappilly officiating. Interment was in the family lot at Calvary Cemetery in Miles City.

Pallbearers were her grandchildren: Dan Hillner, Peter and Jamie Drakos, Edward Copps, Jr., Kurt, Shane and Katie Copps, Jeston Black, Kelly Jo Weber and Deanna Mydland. Honorary pallbearers were Ann Huschka, Irene Sloan, Margie Carlin, Catherine Whitney, Dorothy Doran and Frank Grasky.

Etta Peterson was born April 8, 1918, in Philip, SD, the youngest child of Minnie and John Q. Peterson. She graduated from high school in Wall, SD, in 1936. While in high school, she worked at the soda fountain of the now-famous Wall Drug. After graduation, Etta helped raise her nephew, Dale, who was orphaned when a house fire killed his parents, Mina and Thomas Galbraith.

Etta was an early-day telephone operator before marrying Dan Copps on Dec. 26, 1939, in Philip. He operated a store and meat market in Philip and four of their children were born there.

In 1945, the family moved to Miles City, MT, where two more children were born and they took Gail Murry into their hearts and home. Dan was a partner in the grocery business until the couple opened a Ben Franklin store in 1947. They operated the store until 1969.

Dan and Etta then moved to Helena, MT, traveling the state as auditors for the State Liquor Commission. They returned to Miles City in 1974.

The Copps family was active in the Sacred Heart Parish, and Etta was a member of the St. Joseph Division. After retirement, Etta volunteered as a bookkeeper at the parish office, a job she dearly loved.

Etta expressed her love for her family through her constant kindness, dedication and support. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dan, and daughter, Mary Etta.

She is survived by her children: DiAnn Copps and Jim Iverson, Mike and Marty Copps, Teresa and Jim Drakos, Ed and Jana Copps, Gail Nottingham and Steve Wurz, Kay and Bob Balmer; her brother and sister-in-law, James and Lucile Peterson, Philip, SD; along with 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to Sacred Heart School, Miles City, Montana.