, Port Arthur, Texas

January 26, 2013

Elva M. Riley Copas

— Elva M. Riley Copas, 83, formerly of Groves, Texas peacefully passed away January 22, 2013 in Connecticut.

She was born July 24, 1929 in Port Arthur, Texas to Clara Mae Stanley Riley and Carl Thomas Riley. She had resided in New Canaan, Connecticut for the past 11 years near her daughter, Patty Franklin.

Elva graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School, Port Arthur, Texas in 1948. She graduated from the Brackenridge Hospital School of Nursing, Austin, Texas and was licensed as a registered nurse in 1951.

She returned to the Port Arthur area with her family and worked at various nearby hospitals. Elva helped set up and supervised the intensive care and cardiac units at Park Place Hospital. She later was employed by Dr. W.D. George, Jr. as a R.N. and under his tutelage became certified to practice as a Physician’s Assistant (P.A.). Elva worked for Dr. George as a P.A. for several years and also worked at St. Mary Hospital. In December 1984, she was awarded a B.S. in Nursing from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

During her career, Elva was very active in the American Heart Association at the state and local level and served in  leadership roles for both. In 1981, she received from the Texas affiliate the Mildred C. McIntyre, R.N. Award in recognition as nurse volunteer of the year.

Elva loved her medical career and helping people. Before the onset of her lengthy illness she loved to travel, to garden, to engage in various art projects, photography and to tinker with her computer. She especially loved her family, friends, cats and the great state of Texas.

Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at Levingston Funeral Home in Groves with Reverend Jesse Brannen of The Methodist Temple officiating. Burial will follow in Greenlawn Memorial Park.

A visitation for family and friends will be Tuesday afternoon from 1:00 p.m. until service time at the funeral home.

Elva was preceded in death by her parents, ex-husband, brother, Arthur T. Riley, and nephew, Dean V. Newman.

She is survived by her daughter, Patricia L. Franklin, son-in-law, Robert S. Franklin, granddaughter, Allison C. Franklin of New Canaan, daughter, Jo Ann Copas, sister, Sandra Riley Newman, and brother-in-law, Charles Newman of Port Neches, niece, Roxanne Newman Guest, two great nephews and two great nieces.