Obituary: Matilda LaDonna Penning Copelin



Matilda LaDonna Penning Copelin, 80, of Westfield, died Oct. 16, 2014.  Born July 23, 1934, in Jefferson City, Mo., she was the daughter of Henry Leland and Erma Ethel Foster Penning.

She was a graduate of Northeast High School in Kansas City, Mo., where she lettered in basketball, field hockey and volleyball.  She also was a member of the Olympics Club. She was employed as a bookbinder and was a union member.  She then worked for Western Electric (AT&T) in Lee’s Summit, Mo., for 20 years and was a CWA union member.  Following retirement from AT&T, she worked for the Internal Revenue Service in Kansas City for five years. She enjoyed leather tooling, ceramics, baking and trying new recipes.

Survivors include her daughter, LaDonna Jean Crain; grandchildren, Carlie Jean Crain and James Thomas Crain; sister, Mary Lee (Floyd J.) Patten; and nieces, Mary Alberta Lasek, Sherry Lynn Kempfer and Becky Jo Kempfer.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, James Thomas Copelin; and son, Walter Stanley Crain.

A memorial service was held Oct. 26 at Westfield Friends Church, 324 S. Union St. Online condolences may be made at

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