Margaret “Jimmie” Coplon Semel

by | Apr 17, 2015 | Obituaries

Virginia Beach—Margaret “Jimmie” Coplon Semel, age 93, of the Beth Sholom Home, died early Tuesday morning, April 13, of kidney failure.

Daughter of the late Rose and Joseph Coplon, Jimmie was a life-long resident of Norfolk and the 1940 salutatorian of Maury High School.

Survivors include children Judy (Dr. Reuven) Rohn of Virginia Beach, Debbie (Mark) Evans of Norfolk and Bernie Semel (Patricia Pummill) of San Diego; grandchildren Karen (Avi) Alpert of Silver Spring, Md. and David Johnson of San Diego, and two great-grandchildren; and brother Sidney Coplon of Wheaton, Md. She was predeceased by siblings Sadie Leibowitz, Sylvia Benas, Selma Coplon, Ruth Fine and Marion Baydush, and Julius, Louis, Tilton, Oscar and Hersh Coplon.

During WWII , Jimmie and Selma, while both working full time, volunteered for the Norfolk Aircraft Warning Center’s 10 pm -2 am shift, each earning a 1,000- hour award. In later years, while residing at Suburban House, she made weekly trips to the Foodbank, bringing back 500 loaves of bread and vegetables to New Americans and other residents. After a long and varied employment career, she retired at age 70 from the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

Lifetime organizational affiliations included Beth El Synagogue and its Sisterhood, Hebrew Ladies Charity Society, Hadassah, Beth Sholom Home Auxiliary, Jewish Family Service Auxiliary, the Jewish Community Center and its Young at Heart Seniors Group, and the Ostomy Association. She was a loyal supporter of Red Cross blood drives, on call for emergencies and had earned a 7-gallon pin. Jimmie was a life-long tomboy and was still riding her bicycle until her move to assisted living at age 83.

Funeral services were conducted in the Norfolk Chapel of H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. by Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz and other area clergy, with interment at Forest Lawn. Memorial donations may be made to Congregation Beth El, Beth Sholom Village or a charity of choice.

The family wishes to thank the staff at Beth Sholom Village, especially the Blue Unit, for their support, care and friendship.