Longtime SeMo Lawmaker Dies

FEBRUARY 20, 2007 - Posted at 7:21 a.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - Former longtime Missouri House member Gene Copeland has died.

Copeland represented southeast Missouri in the House from 1961 to 1999 as a Democrat from New Madrid.  The House said he passed away yesterday morning.  Copeland was 74 years old.

He served for about a dozen years as the secretary of the House Democratic Caucus.  He was also a Navy veteran.

Governor Blunt praised his contributions on agriculture and water transportation issues.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)