Gilbert Earl Copeland
Gilbert Earl Copeland
  • May 28, 1934 - August 12, 2017
  • Folsom, Louisiana

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Gilbert “Gil” E. Copeland passed away on Saturday, August 12, 2017, at the age of 83. Gil was born on May 28, 1934 in New Orleans.

At an early age, Gil worked as a carhop for Morning Call and as a short order cook in the French Quarter. He eventually learned the doughnut business as a teen in Chicago. And in his early twenties, he returned to New Orleans, opening his own doughnut shop, Tastee Donuts. Gil became a franchising pioneer, developing nearly 50 stores throughout the country. He later sold Tastee Donuts and became a minority stockholder in Popeyes Fried Chicken, which he helped found with his brother Al Copeland. Gil saw great growth potential on the north shore of West St. Tammany Parish where he began investing in real estate. He then developed retail shopping centers and many other commercial real estate ventures. As a result, he became one of the area’s most respected developers and property management entrepreneurs on the north shore. Gil was passionate about collecting and restoring antique cars and street rods. Gil is preceded in death by his parents William A. Copeland, Jr and Augusta Marie Comeaux Copeland; brothers William A. Copeland, III and Al Copeland, his first wife Catherine Wells Goldstein; dear friend and cousin Sterling “Buddy” Comeaux, Jr.

Gil is survived by his beloved wife of 30 years, Laura Bergeron Copeland; his sons Gilbert E. Copeland, Jr., Brad Allen Copeland, Austin William Copeland and Wade Adam Copeland; his sister in law Jean O’ Steen Copeland, (Mrs.William A. Copeland) and Pookie Rouiter Comeaux, (Mrs. Sterling Comeaux, Jr.) his father in law Emile A. Bergeron and mother in law Sandra F. Bergeron; 30 nieces and nephews, 30 great nieces and nephew and 12 great great nieces and nephews of the Copeland, Comeaux and Bergeron families.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Funeral Mass on Monday, August 21, 2017 at 12:00pm at St. Angela Merici Catholic Church, 901 Beverly Garden Dr., Metairie, LA. There will be a visitation beginning at the church at 10:00 am. Interment will follow in Metairie Cemetery.

For those so desiring, donations may be made in Gil’s memory to Al Copeland Foundation,

The family invites you to share your thoughts, fond memories and condolences online at