Obituary: Ann Lindstaedt Copple

Grandmother, polyglot, teacher, choir director

Ann Lindstaedt Copple was born January 6, 1927 to Arthur and Erma (Smith) Lindstaedt in Indianapolis, Indiana.

In 1949 she earned a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College in Massachusetts. This was followed in 1951 with a master’s from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a PhD in romance languages from Evanston, Illinois’ Northwestern University in 1956. Her studies and research for the doctorate included post-graduate work in Russian language and literature, and were supported by a Northwestern University fellowship.

She married David Roy Copple in Indianapolis on Christmas Eve, 1953. The couple welcomed their children, Robert Roy and Anne in 1963 and 1965, respectively. For 54 years, the family thrived in Claremont, and through their association with Claremont United Church of Christ and its Chancel Choir. For 16 years, with Mr. Copple’s assistance, she directed the church’s three children’s/youth choirs and a bellringers’ group for teenage boys.

Ms. Copple taught French language and literature on the secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels at Claremont High School, Pomona College and Claremont Graduate School, and was an interpreter and manager of information kiosks at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. She also taught Russian at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, California, and Russian, Latin, Spanish and beginning German at Claremont High. As part of her teaching assignments, Ann accompanied student exchanges to France and Germany, and in 1977 directed a three week USIA/AFS high school students’ research project exchange in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.

In pursuit of language mastery, Ms. Copple spent her first postgraduate academic year teaching English on a Fulbright travel grant in Montpellier, France. In the summer of 1992 she returned to France in a National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminar at St. Michel de Montaigne.

Her immersion in Russian was acquired through two summer institutes in St. Petersburg, Russia, as well as one in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and during a 1990 sabbatical in Moscow, where she lectured on American language teaching methodology. In Spanish, she profited from a summer scholarship for intensive immersion at Claremont’s Pitzer College.

With the goal of the promotion of international cooperation, in 1987 Ms. Copple and a new Russian friend, Dr. Vitalina Koval, recruited a group of professional women for two conferences in each country in 1989 and 1993, supported in Russia by the Russian Women’s Committee.

She served on panels in New York and Washington, DC for grant awards by the US Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and as a clinical supervisor and teacher trainer for the Cal State University system and Claremont Graduate School. She also published articles on foreign language teaching, resources and technology.

She retired from full time teaching in 2000, but continued part time at Claremont Adult School through 2007, where she taught French, Russian, and Latin. She also taught Latin at Indianapolis’ The Oaks Academy in 2008.

In 2007, the Copples returned to their family roots in Indianapolis and became residents of Franklin United Methodist Community, now Otterbein SeniorLife Franklin. Having retired from their careers, the couple embraced new roles as volunteers in the community.

Ms. Copple was preceded in death by her husband David in 2015.

She is survived by her son, Robert, of Los Alamitos, California; daughter, Anne and grandson, David Purdy, of Franklin, Indiana; twin brother, Bill Lindstaedt of Franklin; sister-in-law, Marilyn Lindstaedt, also of Franklin; niece, Carolyn Kirby of Indianapolis; and nephew, Bill Lindstaedt Jr., of San Francisco.

A gathering of family and friends was held last week in Franklin.

Donations in Ms. Copple’s memory may be made to Claremont United Church of Christ, 233 Harrison Ave., Claremont, CA 91711.


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