Robert Bodine Copeland, MD

Published 4:39 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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On April 21, 2024, the legendary life of Robert Bodine Copeland, MD, ended peacefully at home surrounded by his family.

Born and raised with humble beginnings in Arab, Alabama, Bob grew up with a love for hunting and fishing, activities he greatly enjoyed.  His father was a minister, and from him and his mother he learned the values that shaped him into the man he was.

After attending Harvard Medical School, he and his wife Jenny moved home to LaGrange in 1967 so he could start his cardiology practice.

He often said the best thing that ever happened to him was meeting his sweet dear Jenny Trammell in the library at Auburn.  They were always a good team together and he always referred to their relationship as a lifelong love affair.  Their ability to work together as a team–as partners and Board members, left a profound impact on the city of LaGrange.

By 1972, Dr. Copeland had founded with strong support of Fuller Callaway, Jr. and in conjunction with the Callaway Foundation, the Georgia Heart Clinic.  This clinic has matured to the current level it is today with 2 Interventional Cardiac Cath Labs, Electrophysiologic capabilities, cardiac rehab (the 3rd in the state of Georgia) and was instrumental in the C-Port studies (1 of 10 hospitals in the state of Georgia) which provided  groundbreaking research for rural hospitals to provide earlier intervention on myocardial infarctions and thereby saving a tremendous number of lives that used to have to be transported to urban facilities with Open Heart backup capabilities.    Dr. Copeland was the catalyst and the originator of all these advances for our area and indeed changed the way cardiovascular care has been delivered across the U.S.  The Robert Copeland Center for Cardiovascular Care at Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center will forever memorialize him and his many contributions.

Along the way, he also founded and was President of Southern CardioPulmonary Associates.  He was a former President of Georgia Chapter of American Heart Association and Governor of the Georgia Chapter of the American College of Physicians.   He later became a Regent of the American College of Physicians and former Chair of the Board of Regents.  Was also on the Board of Trustees of the Joint Commission, a national hospital and nursing home accreditation organization headquartered in Chicago and Board of Trustees of LaGrange College.  He was also selected by former President Bill Clinton to be a part of an esteemed international work group that created a new charger for medical professionalism in 2000.   He taught at Emory University Hospital and University of Alabama at Birmingham and co-chaired the International Echo Conference with UAB for over twenty-five years.

Practicing medicine for over fifty years, he nurtured the hearts and souls of this community, not just with his medical expertise but with his unending compassion.   He took care of his patients like they were family.  He had the skills to talk to patients with caring, compassion and empathy.

He also demonstrated excellent teaching skills for many years by having medical and nursing students and medical interns spend time with him in his private office and hospital rounds.  He encouraged others to think about how they can impact and shape their future and enjoyed bringing out the potential in others.  He took delight in helping young people start their own careers.   

He looked at the big picture – seeing not how things are, but how they should be.  He was always there for nurses and hospital employees as an advocate for them and always teaching, encouraging them to learn more and do their best.

Troup County and surrounding area were so blessed to have a physician so well informed, rock solid and dependable.

His personal character, professional attainments and positions of honor and influence were second to none– a brilliant mind, generous soul, and heart of gold.  Dr. Copeland loved LaGrange, Georgia, the South and America.

The late artist Lamar Dodd once said, “If everyone were a Bob Copeland, what a wonderful world it would be.”

He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 62 years, “Jenny” Virginia Trammell Copeland and son Hayden McTyiere Copeland, parents Haden Paul Copeland and Jimmy Alice Bodine, sisters Mary Jo Cochran and Faye Markham, and brother Paul Copeland.

He is survived by son Robert Theodore Copeland and granddaughters Maclain Copeland Davies and Savannah Copeland and great grand son “Jack” John Robert Davies whom he loved dearly.  Two sisters Ruth Young and Jane Walley.  Two beloved Boykin Spaniels, Sweeney and BooBoo.   As well as multiple loving admiring generations of Trammells and Copelands.

The visitation will take place on Wednesday, April 24th, at First Presbyterian LaGrange in the Fellowship Hall from 11 12:30 P.M.

The service honoring the life of Dr Robert B. Copeland will begin at 12:30 P.M. in the sanctuary.

There will be a graveside service to follow at Shadowlawn Cemetery.

Donations can be made in his memory to the Robert Copeland Center for Cardiovascular Care at Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center.

Checks should be made out to West Georgia Health Foundation in memory of Dr. Bob Copeland or  website: and the donor can click on donate now on the web page.

Those wishing to share a condolence or remembrance with the family may do so by visiting

Arrangements are by Striffler-Hamby Mortuary, 1010 Mooty Bridge Road, LaGrange, GA 30240 (706) 884-8636