Bayfield resident Emily Anne Coppinger died of causes related to her disability Thursday, May 16, 2013, at her home. She was 11.
Affectionately called “Em-Silly,” she was born to Kirk and Susan Coppinger on Aug. 31, 2001, in Baltimore. The Coppingers moved to Southwest Colorado in 2006.
Emily was in the fifth grade and a special-needs student in the center-based program at Riverview Elementary School. She also attended elementary school in Bayfield on Fridays and made many friends there, her family said.
“Emily was a ‘Disney Tea Cups spinning,’ ‘roller coaster’ kid who loved being on the go,” her family said. “She loved climbing up into a new person’s lap and getting them to clap for her. Emily was a light in a dark room. She always brought a special spirit to a room that always made people happy.”
Emily was a participant with Adaptive Sports Association in Durango. They provided opportunities on a full scholarship for her to get outside and participate in skiing and rafting that would generally have been inaccessible for a person with her disabilities.
“Emily loved skiing, the faster, the steeper and more snow she got in her face, the more she liked it,” her family said. “Emily loved bright lights, loud noises and speed. Although Emily could not talk we always knew what she wanted. She was a strong-willed kid who simply loved everyone.”
In addition to skiing and rafting with Adaptive Sports, she enjoyed swimming at Fort Lewis College.
“Emily also enjoyed music,” her family said. “She loved to listen to her mom sing and play the guitar (while screaming like the Beatles were just getting off a certain airplane) and participated in the music programs at both Riverview and Bayfield Elementary school. Emily’s special talent was bringing out the good in everyone she met; it was truly a privilege to know and raise Emily.”
Emily is survived by her parents, Kirk and Susan Coppinger of Bayfield; twin sister, Olivia Coppinger, and older brother, Michael Coppinger, both of Bayfield; grandparents Del and Pam Coppinger of Mancos and Maurice and Judy Humphrey of Richmond, Vt.; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 23, 2013, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Chapel, 1690 U.S. Highway 160B in Bayfield. This will be a child-friendly memorial service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Adaptive Sports Association, P.O. Box 1884, Durango, CO 81302; or www.asadurango.com.