“They were just on a great family vacation”
Among the 84 people killed in the Nice terror attack were an American father and son from Austin, Texas.
The two American fatalities from Thursday’s terror attack in Nice, France, were a father and son from this Hill Country enclave who bonded through baseball and were on a family trip through Spain and France.
Sean Copeland, 51, was vacationing with his wife, Kim, 39, and their son, Brodie, 11, along with two of Copeland’s children from a previous marriage: Maegan, 29, and Austin, 22.
. . . . Copeland and Brodie died in the attack, sending ripples of shock and disbelief through their family in Texas.
“We are heartbroken and in shock over the loss of Brodie Copeland, an amazing son and brother who lit up our lives, and Sean Copeland, a wonderful husband and father,” the family said in a statement. “They are so loved.”
Brodie was an active 11-year-old who loved baseball and being with his family, and his father Sean was a loving family man who enjoyed coaching youth baseball.
USA Today continues:
Brodie had just completed fifth grade at Lakeway Elementary School and was an avid baseball player and dabbled in theater. Last year, he played Michael in a school production of Peter Pan, according to Kim’s Facebook page.
Copeland worked for Lexmark Corporation, where he was vice president of North and South America for Lexmark’s Kapow Software Division.
James Brodsky, a former co-worker, said Sean Copeland “brought a balance of fun and professionalism” to the workplace, often bringing Kim and newborn Brodie along to team-building exercises.
“Sean was genuine, honest, caring, and fiercely loyal to his employees,” he said. “I am shocked, saddened, and angry to hear of his passing.”
The family lived in a large sandstone home in a sprawling affluent community here spread over the hills about 20 miles west of Austin.
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Expressions of grief and condolences are pouring in as friends and strangers reach out to offer their support to the Copeland family during this time of such profound loss.
Hill Country Baseball, where Brodie played baseball, posted the following on their Facebook page:
This evening we would like to ask that the HC family keep the Copelands in your prayers. This afternoon our very own Brodie Copeland, as well as his father Sean Copeland, were killed during the terrorist attack in Nice, France. This photo was sent to me earlier today from the French Riviera…Nobody deserves this type of fate, especially not such a wonderful family. You are in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers. Rest in peace, Brodie and Sean, you will be remembered by many.
Tejanos Ball also posted condolences on its Facebook page:
Tejanos Baseball 11u would like to give our condolences to the Copeland family as well as the Hill Country organization. Although we didn’t know them personally, we will show support to our baseball family in time of need. In memory of Brodie, the boys will have HC stickers with the #8 to stick on their helmets. We the Tejanos, before we start our first game will have a small prayer for Brodie, father and all affected by this.
In an interview with NPR, Bill Bishop, a family friend whose son played on a baseball team with Brodie, called the Copelands the kind of family that did everything together — and especially athletics. In their community of Lakeway, just outside Austin, Texas, Bishop says they would spend hours on the baseball diamond.
“They were on a three-week European vacation,” Bishop says. “Sean and his oldest son, Austin, had run with the bulls, and they’d just been touring Europe. I think they had a week left, they were just on a great family vacation.”
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to support the Copeland family, created by Hill Country Baseball Club coach Jonathan Paiz, according to a spokesman for the crowdfunding site. “Brodie has been playing baseball at Hill Country since Fall of 2014,” the campaign page reads. “He made an impact on all of the coaches at HC.”
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