Dr. Jack Winfield Cope, age 68, of Baxter, KY passed from this life on Friday, May 18 at the Harlan Appalachian Regional Hospital from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.
Born to the late James and Beatrice Cope on October 1, 1949 in Benham, Kentucky, he is survived by two aunts, Pearl Cope of Benham, KY and Mary Cope of Medford, Oregon. Even though an only child, he was raised with a large, loving extended family. A host of special cousins, his ARH Tri-City Medical Center family, countless patients, and friends are left to mourn his passing.
The 1967 Lynch High School Valedictorian graduated from the University of Kentucky’s College of Medicine in 1974 with honors. Following a residency and post-graduate training at the Maricopa County General Hospital and Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, Jack Cope began his career in medicine at the Valley View Community Hospital in Benham, KY. He went on to work for Lonesome Pine Hospital, Harlan Appalachian Regional Hospital, and the Cumberland Valley Medical Group in Lynch where he demonstrated his love and passion for rural healthcare in the mountains.
In 1989, he made the move back to Arizona where he worked for more than 14 years. During that time, he received renowned recognition and was named as one of the Top Ten Doctors in Phoenix. A member of the Kentucky Academy of Family Practice and the American Academy of Family practice, he became a certified Diplomat with the American Board of Family Medicine in 1999.
After the death of his father, Dr. Cope returned to Eastern Kentucky in 2003 to complete his career as the lead physician at the ARH Tri-City Medical Clinic and to care for his mother. A devoted son, he spoke to his mother daily and had weekly dinner dates which they both deeply enjoyed. A sense of responsibility brought him back home, but his love for the community and the people, kept him here even after her death.
Recently semi-retiring, he worked only part time in order to devote more time to doing the things he loved including travel. With a bucket list to visit 100 countries, his last trip to Ecuador locked in number 98 on the map. But no matter how far he traveled, he would tell you the best part of the trip was returning home.
From caring for his patients to traveling the world, from arranging golf outings and fishing trips to family functions, from sharing a meal with friends to sharing a story of his travels with a child who he inspired, Jack Cope loved life. He was full of love and laughter. His smile lit up a room.
Jack Cope was proud of who he was, where he was from, and the people he loved. He instilled that same passion in younger family members and encouraged them to pursue education and their dreams.
His passing is a tremendous loss to the family and our community. A graveside service will be held at the Monte Vista Cemetery on Monday, May 28 at 11:00 a.m.¬¬¬¬ with Dr. Darlene Litton, CLP officiating. A Celebration of Life will be held immediately afterward at the Benham Schoolhouse Inn.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to the charity of your choice in Dr. Cope’s honor.