Copeland, Ross W. Jr.
Born and raised in Seattle, Ross W. Copeland Jr. attended the University of Washington from 1935 to 1938, but received no formal degree. In 1938, he began work in the office of Harry Nordquist (1938-1939) where he gained valuable, on-the-job practical experience. With WWII looming, he took a job as a draftsman in the Todd-Pacific Shipyards in Tacoma (1940-1945). After the war, Copeland worked for a variety of firms including George Stoddard & Associates; Bain, Overturf & Turner; and Young & Richardson. During this time he received his formal architectural license (No. TL-331) on January 10, 1946.
The next year he formed a limited partnership with fellow architect, Marvin Patterson. The firm Copeland & Patterson recieved a limited about of press in the Seattle Times and the Pacific Northwest Book of Homes for several smartly designed starter homes. However, the partnership was short-lived and by 1949, Copeland was out on his own. In 1954, he joined the firm of William R. Grant & Son. After the death of William Grant, his son Austin formed a new partnership with fellow classmates Robert Chervenak and Ross Copeland. Together, the firm of Grant, Copeland & Chervenak made a significant impact on the built environment in the Seattle area.
The firm specialized in religious structures and designed a number of award-winning projects including St. Peterís Episcopal Church (1962) in Seattle, a 1963 Seattle Chapter AIA Honor Award winner; and Our Saviorís Lutheran Church (1968) in Everett, also an Honor Award winner. Other churches include Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (1969) in Olympia; Pilgrim Lutheran Church (1968) and Christ the King Lutheran Church in Bellevue; and St. Paulís of Shorewood Lutheran Church (1956) in Seattle.
In 1966, the firm received a National AIA Merit Award for their design of the Hugo Winkenwerder Forest Science Laboratory at the University of Washington. The heavy timber, multi-story building was a celebration of wood construction. Other works by the firm include the Myron Carroll House in Seattle; Oroville State Bank in Oroville; an elementary school (1957) and post office in Tonasket; Dagís Drive-In (c. 1956); Manson High School; and the King County Medical Service Corporation Building (1964 Ė Seattle AIA Award Winner) all in Seattle.
Copeland passed away in Issaquah at the age of 82 on February 8, 2002.
-Michael C. Houser