Alton James Coppridge, M.D., 87, died Tuesday, May 6that the Pavilion at Croasdaile Village Retirement Community. He was born on December 8, 1926 in Roanoke, VA but lived in Durham most of his life. Dr. Coppridge was the son of the late Dr. William Maurice and Ferrie Choate Coppridge. He was in the original class of Calvert Method School in Durham (forerunner of Durham Academy), attended Fishburn Military School in Waynesboro, VA and graduated from Durham High School in 1944.
Dr. Coppridge served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was among the first troops to occupy Japan following the surrender. He was a 1949 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. He attended the two year program at UNC Medical School and was a 1953 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Medicine.
After medical school, he completed an internship at N.C. Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill, a two-year surgical residency at the University of Iowa, and a three-year urological residency at the University of Michigan. He practiced medicine in Durham from 1959 to 1989 with the Coppridge Urologic Group. He was chairman of the Urology Department at Durham County General Hospital from 1978-1984.
Dr. Coppridge was a member of the N.C. Medical Society (President of the UrologySection in 1978), Carolinas Urologic Society (President, 1985), American Medical Association, American College of Surgeons, American Urological Association (AUA), the Southeastern Section AUA (Executive Committee member, 1983-1986), and the Durham-Orange County Medical Society (President, 1978). He was on the teaching staff at both Duke and UNC Schools of Medicine.
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Dr. Coppridge was a former member of First Presbyterian Church and a founding member of Westminster Presbyterian Church and served as a deacon at both. He was a life member of UNC Alumni, the National Rifle Association, Safari Club International, and served as its’ North Carolina Chapter President from 1979-1980. He was a member and past President of the Durham Pistol and Rifle Club and a charter member of the Tobaccoland Kiwanis Club. He was a member and past President of the Associated Investors of Durham and was a former member of the Hope Valley Country Club. Dr. Coppridge is listed in Who’s Who in Medicine and Science in America and Who’s Who in America.
His two main hobbies were hunting and caring for his farm in Person County. He hunted throughout the United States, Canada, South America and Africa.
Surviving are his son, William Allen Coppridge of Timberlake and his daughter, Virginia Coppridge Hayes of Durham; his brother and sister-in-law, Dr. James Wendell Ligon and Linda of Franklin, N.C.; a sister-in-law, Phyllis Burnett of Hillsborough and several nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Duke Homecare and Hospice at 4321 Medical Park Drive, Suite 101, Durham, N.C. 27704. Online condolences may be submitted to www.howertonbryan.com, select obituaries.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, May 9that 11 o’clock at Few Chapel in Croasdaile Village Retirement Community, officiated by the Reverend Haywood Holderness, following a private interment at Maplewood Cemetery. The family will receive friends in the parlor of Howerton Bryan Funeral Home on Thursday, May 8th from 6-8 p.m.