Cover photo for David Tyson Copenhafer, Jr.'s Obituary
David Tyson Copenhafer, Jr. Profile Photo

David Tyson Copenhafer, Jr.

d. May 7, 2010

David Tyson Copenhafer, Jr., 92, of Lancaster, PA died Friday, May 7, 2010.

He was preceded in death by his first wife Helen Beal Copenhafer and his third son William Clark Copenhafer. He is survived by his devoted and loving wife of 54 years, and wonderful stepmother to his sons, Nina Hill Copenhafer; his two sons, David T. Copenhafer III and wife Youngnan, and Robert A. Copenhafer and wife Diane; as well as his daughter-in-law Ann Copenhafer; his five grandsons, Robert B. Copenhafer (wife Shirley), David T. Copenhafer IV, Michael A. Copenhafer, James E. Copenhafer (wife Carrie), and Paul W. Copenhafer (wife Katie); his granddaughter Emily D. Copenhafer; and his two great grandsons, Hayden L. Copenhafer and Eliot J. Copenhafer.

Born and raised in Washington, D.C., he graduated cum laude from American University in 1938 and earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Brown University in 1942. At Brown and then as an employee at the Mallinckrodt Chemical Co., in St. Louis, he worked on uranium extraction and purification under the Manhattan Project. He was a long time employee of RCA in Lancaster and was singularly responsible for inventing the etching process that allowed the precise manufacture of the masks used for phosphor deposition for color TV screens. He served for many years in various capacities for the First Presbyterian Church of Lancaster, including Elder, Deacon and Trustee. He and Nina traveled extensively for many years, visiting numerous European, African, Central and South American countries, including Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Iceland, Kenya, Honduras and Peru. He was an excellent cook and master house remodeler and craftsman. He remained a lifelong lover of science – especially chemistry – and of learning in general. He volunteered many years to the North Museum Planetarium to help create and project its shows. He thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated his extended family throughout his life and was very proud of the accomplishments of each of his children and grandchildren.

A Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 10:00 A.M. at the First Presbyterian Church, 140 E. Orange St., Lancaster, PA with the Rev. Dr. Randolph T. Riggs officiating. Friends may call at the church on Tuesday from 9:00 A.M. until the time of the service. Entombment in Conestoga Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Hospice of Lancaster County, 685 Good Drive, P.O. Box 4125, Lancaster, PA 17604-4125.
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