Deb Copenhaver passes away at 94
Written by: Courtesy< Back to Articles
Thursday February 7th Deb Copenhaver went to his eternal home.
He peacefully passed in his sleep following a full life of living and giving back.
He was born January 21, 1925 in Wilbur, Washington. At the outbreak of WWII at the age of 16 he enlisted in the Navy and was deployed to North Africa serving in the SeaBee’s construction battalion building air strips.
Upon returning home he began a successful career in Professional Rodeo where he achieved two Worlds Championships in 1955 and 1956.
His record of accomplishments is listed in the Cowboy Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City and the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, Colorado Springs among others including the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane.
He was named Inland Empire Athlete of the Year in 1955.
The American Quarter Horse Association honored him for his contributions for over 60 years to the quarter horse industry. During those years, he started Sunrise Quarter Horse Race Track in Spokane, Rimrock Meadows Race Track in Ephrata, WA and Meadow Creek Race Track in British Columbia.
Following his retirement from rodeo, he established Deb’s Café, a country music restaurant and dance hall in Creston WA that drew patrons from all over the Northwest. Simultaneously he formed Copenhaver Construction with his sons Guy and Matt. Through their management skills the company has expanded throughout the Northwest.
Deb joined his son Pastor Jeff Copenhaver (1975 World Champion Calf Roper) in a dream to build a log church in Granbury Texas. He helped finance and facilitate Frontier Cowboy Church in 1994.
In 1999 he and his wife Cheryl built the Roadside Chapel in Creston Washington on Hwy 2 where travelers stop to contemplate and pray. For 25 Years they held an annual Christian Cowboy Camp Meeting in their indoor arena. Hundreds were baptized in the water trough.
For the last 9 years he has supported his daughter Kellie, founder of Grace So Amazing Ministries in Haiti.
His impact on his daughter Deborah Fellows helped shape her love of horses and the west that can be seen in her art.
He is survived by elder sister Norma Echelbarger,
his five children
Deborah Copenhaver Fellows and Fred
Jeff Copenhaver and Sherry
Guy Copenhaver and Vallesha
Kellie Copenhaver Hurt and Fred
Mat Copenhaver and Kalo
and nine grandchildren
Fabienne Fellows Averill and Brian
Shandy Copenhaver Stromberg and Cody
Madeline Hurt Recker and Jeff
FP Hurt and Colleen
Machaella Copenhaver and Justin
Savanna, Elizabeth and Beau Copenhaver
and eleven great grandchildren.
Services with will be held at 11:00 Feb 16th
1202 West Government Way,
Memorial donations can be sent to:
Copenhaver’s Road side Chapel Preservation Fund
P.O. Box 109
Creston, WA 99117