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In Memoriam

Phillip Copeland – May 16, 1945 – January 1, 2021

Phil Copeland, longtime labor leader and elected official, former business manager of Local Laborers 500, former Toledo City Councilman, current Lucas County Recorder died on January 1, 2021.

The Lucas County Democratic Party issued the following statement:

“The Lucas County Democratic Party mourns the passing of Phil Copeland. Phil devoted his life to serving working families in this community. That service included as a respected labor leader, a member of Toledo City Council and as a Lucas County Recorder. Through it all, he taught us about resilience, decency and the power of personal change. We extend our condolences to his family and friends. He will be missed.”

Phil Copeland

A Toledo native, Copeland was born May 16, 1945 and attended Gunckel Elementary, Robinson Junior High School and Scott High School. He dropped out of high school but later earned a GED and worked his way up the Laborers Local 500 ladder, the same union his uncle, Bill Copeland led for many years.

Copeland began his career with Local 500 in 1966 and served on a variety of committees before being elected to secretary/treasurer in 1985.

He has served on the boards of the Toledo Branch NAACP, TARTA, the Open Door Ministry, the Lagrange Development Corporation, the Lucas County Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services and the Toledo Board of Community Relations.

Phil Copeland was appointed to Toledo City Council in 2005 while he was secretary-treasurer of Local 500 and was elected business manager of the union in 2007 after a scandal left the top office vacant.

In 2012, Copeland won his race for the Lucas County Recorder position and has served in that office ever since, winning re-election this past November.

Copeland’s friends were stunned by the sudden, unexpected death of their friend. Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken, said he was shocked and described Copeland, during his tenure as leader of Local 500, as being responsible for helping thousands of Toledoans to start their careers.

Copeland’s replacement will be appointed by the Lucas County Commissioners after considering recommendations from both the county Democratic and Republican parties.



Copyright © 2021 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 01/06/21 09:50:41 -0500.

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