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Roy and Dorothy Copeland of Nashville celebrate 70 years of marriage on Aug. 6. They are the grandparents of David Tomlinson of Chickamauga.

Roy and Dorothy Copeland of Nashville will celebrate 70 years of marriage on Aug. 6.

The couple married in Franklin, Ky., on Aug. 6, 1949, when they were both just 16 years old. Neither finished high school, but both earned GEDs later in their lives. They chose the East Nashville area to start a mission and Mr. Copeland began preaching in 1952. The Copeland’s started a church on South Third Street in Nashville on the property where Nissan Stadium now stands.

Mr. Copeland worked for and ultimately retired from Harcros Chemical, where he was a warehouse manager, while Mrs. Copeland worked as a proof-reader for a printing company before retiring from the Nashville Rehabilitation Center.

Mr. Copeland is currently battling Parkinson’s disease and is living in an assistance center in Lebanon, Tenn., while Mrs. Copeland is living with her children in Lebanon. She spends time with her husband every day so that when he goes to sleep each day, hers is the last face he sees.

The couple, known to everyone in the church and outside of the family as Nannie and PaPaw, was blessed with five children (one child died of leukemia at 18 months old and another died of cancer three years ago). The couple have also been blessed with more than 30 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, including four great-grandchildren belonging to a grandson, David Tomlinson, in Chickamauga.

Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.