A traffic accident west of Royse City, TX, claimed the life of James David Lehr, Jr. Coppa on the morning of August 19, 2017. He was 38 years old.
David was born in St. Louis, MO, on Christmas Eve, 1978 and raised in Manteca, CA. He attended Brock Elliott School and graduated with the Silver Buffalo Award from Manteca High School. He was a Life Boy Scout and a member of the Order of the Arrow.
Joining the Army in 1997, he was a Blackhawk helicopter mechanic, stationed in Hawaii and Ansbach, Germany. Back home, David was employed by JB Hunt and the City of Lodi. He returned to his aviation roots working for DynCorp, Vertex, and Presidential Airways, among others. He lived all over the States, Germany and Iraq. Settling down in Greenville, TX, he worked for L3 Aviation, attended Texas A&M Commerce, made the Dean’s List, and was awarded his Bachelor’s Degree. He was hired by GOGO Aviation and spent the next year travelling for work and continuing his education, graduating with honors and his Master’s degree from A&M.
David was brilliant, fun, and a deep thinker. He accomplished muchin his short life. Gifted with unique abilities in art, mechanics, and construction, he was plans and ideas. Much of it he realized. He was not afraid of a challenge and used stubborn perseverance to succeed. Hard-working, trustworthy, and self-directed, he possessed a generous nature, a huge heart, and compassion for others. Davis was well-spoken and a master of legalese. A natural leader, he was comfortable talking with everyone from babies to CEO’s. He was thoughtful, meticulous, and sometimes a perfectionist. A job done poorly drove him crazy. His sense of humor was wickedly sharp and he kept us in tears laughing. A devoted son, brother, uncle, and friend, he tried his hardest and gave his best. We will never get over his loss.
David is deeply mourned by his parent Richard Coppa, Jr and Margaret (O’Neal), sister Bridget (Donald) LeBlanc and baby Christopher, brother Richard (Mandy), his beloved pit-bull Lucy, grandmothers Patricia O’Neal and Donna Coppa, uncles Christopher (Diane) Lehr, Robert O’Neal, William (Jean) O’Neal, James (Jan) O’Neal, Greg (Susan) Coppa, Kevin (Melody) Coppa, Martin (Theresa) Coppa, Daniel (Kelly) Coppa, Matt (Susan) Coppa, aunts Mary Bryant and Kathy (Paul) Witsch, numerous cousins and countless friends all over the world. He is preceded in death by his father James Lehr, Sr., grandfathers Russell Lehr, William O’Neal, and Richard Coppa, and grandmother Willa Dean Lehr.
Celebration of David’s life will be held at the Manteca Transit Center on Saturday, February 17, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Anyone wishing to make a donation may send it to the Greenville Animal Shelter, 5800 Joe Ramsey Blvd., Greenville, TX 75402.
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Friday, February 2, 2018