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In loving memory of the late John Thomas ( Jack ) Copson who sadly passed away on 23rd September 2014
John Copson was born on the 18th January 1927 to Arthur and Beatrice Copson, known from a very early age as Jack, he had two brothers Arthur and Fred, and three sisters Doris, Alice and Dinah, Jack was the youngest, they were raised in Ladywood in Birmingham.
At 14 Jack left school and joined Joseph Lucas, one of the biggest companies in Birmingham at their Great King Street headquarters, he joined as a boy runner, taking materials to the machine shop, at this time he also became a fireman at the site, as this was during the second world war, he experienced putting blazes out from the incendiary bombs dropped from the German bombers.
At 18 Jack was called up to the Army, he did his training over in Ireland for eight weeks before joining up with the regiment the 1st Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers at Fort William in Scotland, more training took place before he was shipped out to India for more training before being sent to the Burmese border to engage with the Japanese, at this time America dropped the two bombs and the war was over and Jack was sent to guard the Red Fort in Delhi under the command of Lord Mountbatten.
When Jack was demobbed he returned to Great King Street and carried on working for Lucas until his retirement in 1988, where he progressed to a section leader in the Automatic Tool Shop, he was respected and liked by all his colleagues.
On a night out to Nuneaton with his friends on a coach from Birmingham, a young Irish girl fell into his lap, Jack had found the love of his life Sheila Crowe, within 6 weeks they were engaged and on the 29th July 1950 they were married at St Catherin’s church in Birmingham. Sheila and Jack lived in a flat in Pershore Road, they then moved to a modern high rise flat in Erdington Birmingham.
In 1966 they had a son also called John, Jack introduced football and fishing to his son, he taught his son how to fish at Harvington on the River Avon on the Lucas club waters, and also took him to his first football match in 1974 at Saint Andrews to watch Birmingham City play Norwich City.
In 1979 the family decided they wanted a house, and moved to Aston to live in a two bedroom house, Jack was looking forward to this as he liked gardening and for the first couple of years grew fruit and veg before landscaping the garden.
Jack was very talented with his hands, he built a patio and wall and also internally built a stone fireplace and knocked down an internal wall and built an alcove for a dining area, he obviously took after his dad Arthur who was a carpenter and also very talented.
Jack put this talent to good use when two stray cats came into the garden, he built them little houses with carpets, but when the snow came, both cats came indoors, and were adopted as pets, both lived the life of luxury and lived to a ripe old age, Jack loved animals as did Sheila.
As you will have gathered from the processional music today, Jack was a huge fan of Laurel and Hardy, he loved the slap stick comedy and would sit there laughing uncontrollably much to Sheila’s amusement..
Jack was one of the last people to leave Great King Street in 1988, he had worked there for 47 years, he was offered a number of jobs with other companies, but he decided he wanted to take early retirement and enjoy life with his wife Sheila.
In 2000 John junior decided to buy a house and moved Jack and Sheila in with him, this was the first time Jack had lived outside of Birmingham, he liked Tamworth but didn’t like driving around Tamworth as there were too many islands, after John junior had met his future wife Sarah in 2007, Jack and Sheila moved to an apartment in Sutton Coldfield in 2010, in June 2011 Sheila passed away after a short illness, they were just one month short of their 61st wedding anniversary.
Jack was devastated and his health started to deteriorate, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease that same year and after a fall moved into a care home, even though he was happy there, the glint had gone from his eye, only to appear now and again when he was in a mischievous mood.
He never mentioned Sheila and when others did he had a tear in his eye, the only time he mentioned Sheila was when he was in his final weeks, but it was for very brief moment thinking that she would bring his things up to the hospital.
Jack was liked by all that met him, and he was popular amongst his son’s friends, they would ask John junior how his parents were before asking how he was, he was also popular with the staff in the care home as he was never a problem.
Jack didn’t eat in his final two weeks of life; he probably knew he needed to be hungry to eat the huge meal that awaited him when he went upstairs to be reunited with Sheila. Jack was a brilliant husband and father and will be sadly missed, he is now at rest with Sheila.