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Paul Copeland

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Paul Copeland passed away from complications of bile duct cancer, in La Jolla, Calif., on January 18, 2012. He was born on July 18, 1952, in Chico, Calif., he was the fifth generation of a pioneering Chico family.

 

In his 20s, Paul hitchhiked around the U.S. and up the ALCAN Highway to Alaska. He worked for eight summers in Alaska and traveled widely in Alaska, Europe, and the Middle East. In later years he traveled widely in Spanish speaking countries. His children never heard the end of all his stories of being chased by bears and being arrested by Palestinian terrorists, and many more. Eventually he worked his way through U.C. Santa Cruz as a logger, commercial fisherman, dishwasher, and farm laborer, emerging with a degree in Economics and a concentration in math and computer science. One of his courses was Introduction to Programming taught by a young long haired professor named Jim Clark (who later founded Silicon Graphics and Netscape).

 

In 1978, Paul was a financial consultant, writing business plans for S.B.A. loan applications. At that time an Apple II arrived on his desk and he was tasked with programming it. He never looked back. From that point he was engaged for over 30 years with successive waves of leading edge Silicon Valley technologies. His software consulting clients included Lotus, Etrade, EBay, Bell Labs, Xerox PARC, and every variety of project, from garage stage startups, to Hewlett Packard, United Airlines, and Wells Fargo (where he was on the team that developed the bank's first internet banking application). He recently wrote Android smartphone applications for Sun, T-Mobile, and Fandango.


In Ashland, Ore., Paul was involved in local politics for a time, leading a drive to overturn the Ashland High School zero tolerance expulsion policy for drugs and alcohol. Later he led a coalition to pass an anti-Patriot Act resolution for the City of Ashland, which was adopted unanimously by the City Council. He went on to advise several school board and city council candidates in successful election campaigns.


Paul was married to Margaret Hemphill Copeland for nearly 30 years until his death. They lived in Ashland, Ore., where they built a house and raised two children, Stella and Audrey Copeland.


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