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Val Ven Cope

Val Ven Cope, 77 of Forsyth, MO, passed away on Thur., Oct. 10 at his residence. Val was born May 17, 1942 in Shattuck, OK., son of Virgil and Margaret (Fleming) Cope.


Val Ven Cope

Val was a longtime resident and contributor to many families, businesses, and communities in Taney County.


Val moved to Taney County during high school and graduated from Forsyth High School.

Soon after graduation, Val began his work in the excavation business, in a time that he would say was much simpler. He would often tell the beginning story of him loading up his equipment, making a slow and arduous heavy equipment loaded drive from Forsyth to Cedar Creek, put in a full day’s work and then make the return trip home to Forsyth. With the day’s pay of twenty five dollars in his pocket, he made his first real investment by marrying his future business partner Shirley Brittain. This investment proved to be an exceptional family blueprint and foundation for lifelong success and happiness for 57 years.

Val was successful because he had his own way of doing things. He would begin a conversation of asking how a specific job should be done and then gracefully tell you how he was going to do it, which in the end, was exactly what was needed. This knack for knowing what was really needed and providing an honest solution, became a calling card for many opportunities to follow.


If we could connect the dots in Taney County of all the locations Val has pulled his equipment up to and completed his work, we would see an insightful map of impact he had on his community. It could be said his work contributed to a full circle of life for many families. He initiated many of the area family home’s foundation, water, and septic work while assisting in updating/repairing the same for existing families. He assisted businesses in getting their start by providing excavation work of all kinds depending on what he was called upon to do. And at times of sorrow, he was always there to dig a grave for families or even a horse or two.


But his business was not his only success. With his business partner Shirley, the love of his life, they initiated their family legacy with Rick and Candy and that legacy continues with four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. His family also extended to the Lone Star Church, where he saw the simple parallels to his life. But his life also included a bit of adrenaline spirit.


Val was a licensed scuba diver, an avid water skier, made a successful attempt at skydiving, and had a passion for flying. In fact, many people can probably attest to calling Val for some work to be done on their property and within a few days this property would be visited by an unannounced, very low flying Cessna aircraft, with a trail of Easter eggs left behind. Many of his aircraft passengers would scratch their heads after seeing the backseat full of these plastic eggs. It could also be said Val had a passion for fireworks also. But Val’s life wasn’t always full of successes and orneriness.


After two bouts with cancer, Val’s greatest nemesis was his inability to continue with the things he loved. All that knew Val, can attest to his physicality and quickness from dump truck to backhoe to shovel. But near the end, the loss of these abilities and the ability to provide to his community grew heavy on his heart. His idea was to beat these cancers and to continue to be with all of us. We could say that he did not succeed. But then again if we smile, just a little, and remember Val as he was, we would all agree he did.


Val is survived by his wife, Shirley Cope of Forsyth, MO.; son, Rick Cope and wife Mona of Forsyth, MO., daughter Candy Lapour and husband Jerry of Ozark, MO., 4 grandchildren; Matthew, Samantha, Avery and Sophia; and two great-grandchildren.


He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Van Cope , Veryl Eisler, and VenaV Rapps.


Funeral services will be held at Whelchel Grace Funeral Home, visitation will be on Mon. Oct. 14, 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Service will be on Tues. Oct. 15 at 10:00 AM. Burial will be at Ozarks Memorial Park in Branson. Memorial donations may be made to Lone Star Church % D. Koenig 2708 Hulls Ford Rd., Taneyville, MO 65759.

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