Angelo George Coppola, Sr.I am a Veteran.

of North Little Rock, AR

July 18, 1938 - January 28, 2024

Angelo George Coppola, Sr's life did not come to an end when he passed on Sunday, January 28, 2024. He was a forever young 85 years old. Angelo loved his life. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, cousin, uncle, in-law and friend. We are heartbroken to no longer have him with us physically but joyful in the knowledge his spirit is with us still. He was surrounded by loved ones who will continue to live their lives to the fullest.

Angelo was born in Carlstadt, NJ on July 18, 1938 to Rosa Lorusso and Giorgio Vincenzo Coppola, from Cisternino and Postiglione, Italy respectively. He had two brothers, Anthony (Sonny) the oldest and his identical twin, George. Angelo was known as the Golden Toe at East Rutherford High School in New Jersey because in his senior year he kicked the ball that won the Thanksgiving Day game. Angelo's father died when he was 16 years old and he always said his Boy Scout leader saved his life. Angelo then became an Eagle Scout.

After high school, he joined the US Navy and served in Hawaii at Pearl Harbor from 1958 to 1961. After his Navy service he moved to Beebe, Arkansas. It was there, while enrolled in Arkansas State College, that he met his future wife of sixty years, Evelyn Griffin. Evelyn was editor of the Arkansas State newspaper and interviewed Angelo. One month later they were engaged and married the following summer. At Arkansas State, they both received their Bachelor's degrees and teaching certificates. Evelyn taught History while Angelo taught Social Studies and later was curriculum supervisor at Des Ark High School.

Angelo desired to expand his education so the family moved to Oxford, Mississippi where he received his Master's in Education at Ole Miss. There, he and Evelyn began Mother Goose Kindergarten, Little Lerner School and Rebel Sporting Goods, while raising Dawn and Angelo, Jr. During the time they lived in Oxford, he served as Camp Director at Camp Yocona, as well as Scoutmaster for his local troop. Despite living in exile in the heart of Rebel country, the family remained fierce Razorback fans.

In 1979, the family moved back to Arkansas, settling in North Little Rock. He took his love for scouting further, working as a Professional Scout for the Thunderbird District in Little Rock. He then began his career at the Department of Education, but continued to work with Scouts as Camp Director at Cove Creek. During this time, Angelo and Evelyn started a small Razorback memorabilia store called Hog Heaven which grew to five locations across the state.

In 1986, Angelo and Evelyn sold their house and Hog Heaven and moved to Fayetteville to pursue their advanced degrees. After earning his Doctorate in Education and Evelyn her Master's in History at the University of Arkansas, they moved back to Central Arkansas. He rejoined the Department of Education. Later he became superintendent of schools. Moving back to Central Arkansas, Angelo became Assistant Director of Arkansas Teacher Retirement System and served there in several capacities. He then retired from education. He then trained with his minister, Fred Holmes and worked to become a licensed contractor where he, Angelo Jr and Buzzy Snow (Angelo Jr's father-in-law) started a construction company. All the while, he continued his involvement with the Masons and Boy Scouts.

Angelo joined the Masonic Lodge with his father in-law, Henry Griffin. He was an active Mason his entire adult life. He served his lodge as worshipful master, was Chaplain of the Grand Lodge, active in the York Right, a past High Priest, served as governor of Arkansas College and Sovereign of the Red Cross of Constantine. For the Scottish Rite, he served as Master of one of their bodies and was coronated a 33rd Degree Mason. At the time of his death, he was serving as secretary of his lodge, Albert Pike 714.

In Scouting, Angelo served as Camp Director for Camp Quapaw in Arkansas and Camp Yocona in Mississippi. He then became the Thunderbird District Executive in North Little Rock. He was awarded the NESA's Outstanding Eagle Scout Award, the District Award of Merit, the Silver Beaver, was a Wood Badge Course Director, was on the properties committee for Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, NM and the Gus Blass Scout Reservation (Cove Creek), was a Vigil Honor Member of the Order of the Arrow, Advisor to the Order of the Arrow Lodge, on the Executive Board for the Quapaw Area Council, was very involved with the Alumni of the Quapaw Area Council, was liaison between Eagle Scouts of the Quapaw Area Council and the Masonic Lodge and was one of the founders of the first co-ed Scout troop at Miss Selma's School, Pack 33.

He remained in the Navy Reserves reaching the rank of Chief Petty Officer. In 1985, Angelo was commissioned as an officer and retired as LCDR US Navy (Ret) Commander Selectee with 28 years of service. During his time in the Navy, he served on numerous ships and submarines. After retirement from the US Navy, he was a professor for PACE and an adjunct professor for Arkansas State University, Beebe, in the Department of Arts and Sciences under his colleague and beloved friend, Jeannie Meyers of Des Arc, Arkansas.

Angelo's faith in God was strong. Along with Evelyn, Angelo helped start a church in Oxford, Mississippi and he continued to live a life of faith.

Angelo is survived by his wife, Evelyn; his daughter, Dawn; son, Angelo, Jr., MD (Beth); grandchildren Jude, Gabrielle and Vy and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, in-laws and wonderful lifelong friends.

Angelo was preceded in death by his parents, Rosa Lorusso and Giorgio Vincenzo Coppola; his brothers, Anthony (Sonny) and wife, Jeannette and George Coppola; aunts and uncles; a sister-in-law; brothers-in-law; many cousins; a nephew and a niece.

There will be two memorial services. The first is on February 12, 2024 at the Arkansas State Veteran's Cemetery, 1501 W. Maryland in North Little Rock. Those who wish to attend, please arrive at Roller-Owens Funeral Home on JFK in North Little Rock at noon for the procession to the Arkansas State Veteran's Cemetery for a service at 1pm. The second memorial will be a celebration at the Albert Pike Masonic Center, 712 Scott Street in Little Rock from 5pm to 8pm on Thursday, February 15, 2024. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Natural State Council of BSA (Quapaw Service Area) and/or the Arkansas Scottish Rite Foundation.

Service Information
Procession for Graveside Service
Roller-Owens Funeral Home
5509 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
North Little Rock,  AR 72116
2/12/2024 at 12:00 PM
Graveside Service
Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery
1501 West Maryland Avenue
North Little Rock,  AR 72120
2/12/2024 at 1:00 PM

Celebration of life
Albert Pike Masonic Center
712 Scott Street
Little Rock,  AR 72201
2/15/2024 at 5:00-8:00 p.m.

Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery
1501 West Maryland Avenue
North Little Rock, AR 72120

Memorial Contributions
Natural State Council of BSA

Arkansas Scottish Rite Foundation.


Obituary Provided By:
Roller-Owens Funeral Home
5509 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
North Little Rock, AR  72116