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Mr. Illya Stephen Copeland, 48

Mr. Illya Stephen Copeland, 48, of Chatsworth, formerly of Hazlehurst, passed away  July 10 at AdventHealth in Chatsworth.
A private service was July 14 in the chapel of Albritton Funeral Directors with the Rev. Michael Marchant officiating.
Mr. Copeland was born Feb. 9, 1972, in Savannah to Don Copeland and Nancy Murray Copeland of Tifton. Mr. Copeland was of Baptist faith and a graduate of Tift County High School where he was a member of the Tift County High School Marching Band. He attended ABAC and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economic Development. He was Executive Director at Murray County Industrial Development Authority, served as interim president at Chatsworth-Eton Murray County Chamber of Commerce, former Executive Director at the Joint Development Authority of Jeff Davis County, Hazlehurst and Denton, former board member at Southeast Georgia Regional Development Authority, former Community Development Director and Main Street Manager of Ashburn. He loved music and his favorite band was Metallica. Illya loved the outdoors especially hiking and rafting in the North Georgia mountains. His favorite hobbies were golf and riding his motorcycle. His favorite activity was spending time with his friends Jason and Ashley Gordy and Billy Russell. Illya loved people and never met a stranger. He was a personal friend of Governor Brian Kemp.
In addition to his parents, he is survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Neil and Stephanie Copeland of Powder Springs; nieces Olivia and Sara Copeland; aunt Sharon Mihalek of Chula; uncle Thomas Murray of Springfield and cousins Tiffany Emsweller, Patricia Murray and Leslie Mihalek.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a favorite charity.
Albritton Funeral Directors was in charge. You may sign the online guest register at

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