Thomas's Story

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NAPLES, Fla. - Thomas A. Coppens of Naples, Florida, passed away on Aug. 8, 2016.
He was predeceased by his parents, Dr. Philip Coppens and Evelyn vanCapelle.
He is survived by Sylvia, his wife of 72 years; daughters, Laura, Carole (husband, Matt), and Barbara; son, John (wife, Culest); and grandsons, Isaac, Sean and Graham.
Mr. Coppens was born in 1923 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
He was educated in Europe, and after moving to the United States, at the Tilton School in New Hampshire and McGill University.
He was a veteran of World War II, where he served in the 84th Infantry Division in France, Belgium, Germany and the Battle of the Bulge, finally ending in Berlin where he was in charge of the Armys medical supplies.
After the war, Mr. Coppens was initially employed by Sharp and Dohme Pharmaceuticals of Philadelphia as a foreign sales representative. This firm later merged with Merck and Company.
With his gift of languages, MSD took him with his family all over the world. They lived in England, Ireland, the Middle East, the Philippines, Holland, and Belgium. Other business travel took them to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and South America. Mr. Coppens retired in 1983 as vice president of Merck Sharp and Dohme Inc. (Europe).
Upon returning to the United States, the family lived in Harrington Park New Jersey, Ramsey, New Jersey, and Cooperstown. Mr. and Mrs. Coppens have lived in Naples, Florida, since 1982.
Expressions of sympathy may be made in the form of memorial contributions to the Thomas and Sylvia Coppens Scholarship Fund, Tilton School, 30 School St., Tilton, NH.
Online condolences may be made by visiting fullernaples.com.
Published on August 18, 2016
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