Monday, September 22, 2008

my father

I Am Standing Upon The Seashore
By Henry Van Dyke

I am standing upon the seashore.

A ship at my side spreads her white
sails to the morning breeze
and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until at length
she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come
to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says;
"There, she is gone!"

"Gone where?"

Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull
and spar as she was when she
left my sideand she is just as able to bear her
load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone
at my side says, "There, she is gone!"
There are other eyes watching her coming,
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout;
"Here she comes!"
And that is dying.
John Wilson Copeland, longtime resident of Madison, died Sept. 9, 2008 at Garden Terrace Nursing Home in Chatham, NJ. Born to Samuel Bruce Copeland and Margaret Wilson Copeland on Sept. 13, 1922 in New Castle, PA, John attended Linsly Institute in Wheeling, Muskingum College, and Oberlin College. He served three years in the US Navy Reserve from 1943-1946, returning to Oberlin to finish his bachelors degree in 1947. There he met Alice Tear of Youngstown whom he married in 1949 and who survives. John received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Cornell University in 1953. He taught philosophy at Boston University (1951-55) and at the University of Pittsburgh (1955-65) before joining the faculty at Drew University where he taught until his retirement in 1990.
John was passionate about photography. An avid photographer himself, he advised the Drew Photography Club for many years, and served as the Director of the Drew University Photography Gallery from 1974 to 1996, bringing exceptional exhibitions to Drew by photographers such as Philippe Halsman, Imogen Cunningham, Berenice Abbot, Edward Weston, Bruce Davidson and Arnold Newman. He took courses in New York at the International Center of Photography (ICP) and elsewhere, and enjoyed colleagues he met through photography. He was deeply committed to the spirit of Drew University where he continued his affiliation as emeritus professor after his retirement.

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