On Monday, December 3rd, 2018, Terry Lee Cope was called home after an arduous and valiantly fought battle with cancer. He was 67 years old, a beloved husband, father, and grandfather; a talented vocalist; a Vietnam veteran; and a friend to all who knew him.
Terry was born on January 22, 1951, to Avey LaVern Williams and Furman Easthorn (Bud) Cope in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was the 4th of six children, with 3 older sisters, and 2 younger brothers. At the age of 2, his parents divorced and the family moved with his mother to Cedar City, Utah. In junior high, he went to live with his Uncle Art and Aunt Jen Maxwell in Farmington, Utah. It was during that time that he first started developing his singing abilities, as he enrolled in choir and began taking voice lessons. After high school, he attended Southern Utah University where he continued with his vocal studies until he joined the Army in the fall of 1971. With the country at war, he soon found himself in Vietnam disassembling communication towers. Following his service overseas, he returned to Fort Carson, near Colorado Springs, where he met his future bride, Jeri Lee Kofford. The two were married in August of 1974 by Jeri’s father, Rex Kofford, in the same chapel where the funeral services are being held. They were later sealed in the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The two of them decided that Colorado Springs was the perfect place for them to settle down and raise a family.
Some of Terry’s most remarkable characteristics are his hard work and resiliency. Much of his early work was with his father-in-law, Rex Kofford. The two became fast friends and singing partners. He began as a door-to-door salesman for the family-run business of Royal Farm Dairy (now Royal Crest Dairy), where Rex was the owner and Jeri ran the office. After 4-5 years, he moved on to become co-owner and manager of Executive Car Wash, again working with Rex. Next, he spent a few years as a manager of a Midas Muffler shop. His entrepreneurial spirit was not to be denied, however, and he started a business that he named TLC Window Fashions. It was run by Terry and Jeri out of their home, with the children helping distribute flyers, perform installations, and much more. In those times when money was tight, Terry worked long hours in multiple jobs, ensuring that he could care for his family. Those odd jobs included working at a paint store, PACE warehouse (similar to Costco), cleaning grease from commercial cooktop vents in the middle of the night, and even modeling and doing commercials. Eventually, he took an opportunity to become an insurance agent, staying with the insurance business for 20+ years, until the effects of his illness finally took their toll. He loved working with people and genuinely wanted his clients to feel taken care of.
Terry had a great attention for detail in his work and at home, a trait which was seen in all areas of his life. He was meticulous in things as diverse as lawn care, car maintenance, and even how to clean a toilet. He frequently instructed his children on the importance of doing something right the first time and was very passionate about whatever he did.
Perhaps the most memorable trait for which Terry will be remembered is his jovial nature. Both Terry and Jeri loved to laugh, tease, and joke with friends. He was easy to talk to, could make you laugh, and quickly made you a friend. His family will remember their summers with Terry water skiing, his ability to fall asleep anywhere, his daily breakfasts, and his skill in grilling a steak.
Terry is a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in which he served throughout his life. He was an enthusiastic choir director for over 10 years where he shared his melodious tenor/baritone voice, he held leadership positions in the church's high council and bishopric, and served honorably in various other positions. Even during his most difficult times, Terry steadfastly leaned on his faith in God to support him.
Music was an integral part of Terry’s life, it was how he felt and showed his emotions. As a talented soloist, he was often asked to sing for funerals. He was also a part of a close-knit quartet with Jeri, mother-in-law Alene as accompanist, father-in-law Rex, sister-in-law Sheila, and other talented sopranos. This quartet sang for over 20 years at events throughout the area. He loved to sing humorous duets with Rex, and their ad-libbing would leave people in stitches.
Terry is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Jeri; their five children, Cassidee (Jared) Whatcott of Draper, UT, Codee (Hapaki) Franco of Mililani, HI, Kira (Elijah) Ricks of Chesterton, IN, Taber (Rebecca) Cope of Fort Smith, AR, Keely (Aaron) Glade of Roy, UT; 22 grandchildren (with two more soon to come), his mother LaVern McDaniels of Cedar City, UT, and siblings Marsha Rosenberg, Jill Reuter, Marva Rupp, Kim Cope, and Tracey McDaniels. In addition to his posterity, he leaves behind a legacy of enduring faith, service, hard work, and smiles for all that interacted with him.
A public viewing will be held Friday, December 14, at 6:00-8:30 pm, at the Stetson Hills Building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on 5485 Hopalong Trail, Colorado Springs, CO 80922. An additional public viewing will be held Saturday, December 15, at 9:00-10:30 am, at the Murray Building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on 1705 North Murray Blvd., Colorado Springs, CO 80915. Funeral services will follow at 11:00 am, at the same location. Interment will take place Monday, December 17, at 10:00 am, at the Pikes Peak National Cemetery, on 10545 Drennan Rd., Colorado Springs, CO 80925.
Arrangements are under the direction of Return to Nature Funeral Home, Colorado Springs, Colorado www.returntonaturecolorado.com