Rural 04

Verna (Bach) Copeland

May 14, 1946 ~ March 30, 2022 (age 75)


Verna Copeland passed away March 30th, 2022, due to complications of Cancer. She will be long remembered by family and friends for her gracious and gentle nature, and strong determination to Live Life to its fullest.

Verna was born in Alamosa, CO and was raised in her early years in Chevy Chase, MD. As a young family, the Bachs’ moved abroad when Verna’s father, “Ken” took US embassy assignments in Lebanon and Pakistan. As a young adult, and independent spirit she set out on her own, living in Israel and Munich, Germany, even attended University in Munich, Germany. She moved back to the states to attend University of Maryland, where her passion for teaching was ignited.

She met and married George Buehler and moved to Ogden, UT to raise her sister, Sharon. From there, Verna and George moved to Pocatello, ID, where they celebrated the birth of their son, Cy Buehler. George and Verna divorced in 1989.

Verna was a Master Potter, and successfully opened her own studio, “Portneuf Mud”. Her love and talent were received by many. The studio ultimately closed, and Verna took a teaching position at Indian Hills Elementary School for a time. In 1986, Verna decided to complete her Graduate Degree in Early Childhood Education & Psychology at Idaho State University (ISU) and worked as an Associate Professor at ISU.

Verna met Gary Copeland during this time in Pocatello, they married July 24th, 1990. The two moved to Great Falls, MT to begin their lives together. Verna took a teaching position at Longfellow Elementary and taught Early Childhood Education for 18 years. Teaching children brought Verna such joy and purpose. This was her calling, and she invested her heart and soul into her classroom. Sadly, Verna took a medical retirement in 2018. Verna was recognized by many as a “Teacher’s Teacher”.

Verna had an intense love of the outdoors. Together, Gary and Verna spent summers filled with running rivers and backpacking in Montana’s Wilderness areas. They made their home on the Ayrshire Dairy and cultivated an indomitable bond of love and companionship in the precious time they had together.

She continued her interests in pottery and was a ferocious reader of books. She had a tremendous spirit of contribution; participating in many community-based activities with the YMCA and Head Start Programs supporting educational and psychosocial needs of children and families.

Verna is survived by her husband, Gary Copeland and her son, Cy Buehler; along with her stepchildren Chad and Jackie and four step grandchildren. She is also survived by her sisters, Sharon and Liz; and brother Bill. She was preceded in death by her parents, Kenneth Bach and Verna Bach; as well as her step mother, Eleanor Bach.

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