Neil’s community service spans decades. His love of community was unquestioned. He served 17 years, first as an EMT for Rostraver West Newton Emergency Services, Inc. and then as the dispatch supervisor. He joined Fayette City Volunteer Fire Company and became the safety officer. While serving with Fayette County, he received recognition from the Fayette County Firemen’s Association for heroism at Dainty’s Personal Care Home on September 13, 1999.
He was also a firefighter for Monessen Fire Department #1 for a short while. His love for the community of North Belle Vernon brought him to the North Belle Vernon Volunteer Fire Department. He joined for two years in 1993 and then came back in 2017, becoming 3rd lieutenant. In 2018, he became recording secretary and treasurer and received the President’s Award, and in 2019 he became 1st lieutenant.
While busy with the North Belle VFD, he became the bingo chairman and was on the bingo finance committee and other boards and committees. If he was not working as a school bus driver for Belle Vernon Area School District, he was working on getting ready for that week’s bingo. Neil was the bingo caller for the Roscoe, Collinsburg, and Washington Township Fire Departments. He also helped with the organization of the Bikers Helping Others Food Drive, which was renamed Bikers Helping Others Neil Cope Memorial Food Drive.
Neil was married to Kimberly Thomas Cope for 23 years. They have three children, Ryan Fiem and wife Charlotte, Brittany and husband John Morrison, and Caitlin Bean; and six grandchildren, Samantha, Sean, and Mackenzie Morrison and Izabella, Xavier, and Lilliana Bean. When it came to his grandchildren, he was “Poppy.” He was involved with dance for Samantha, soccer for Mackenizie, and baseball for Sean. He enjoyed going to Texas to see Izabella, Xavier, and Lilliana and taking them to the pool, Sea World, Six Flags or just being silly with them. Neil is also survived by his parents, Michele Baron Cope and Brian Cope; his brother, Dan Cope, wife Nicole, and niece, Halley; and his sister, Christie Cope Thompson, and nephew, Aiden Thompson.
He loved his Pittsburgh Penguins, and when it came time for hockey season you would hear him say, “It’s a hockey night in Pittsburgh!” He enjoyed going to the casino, battling a bar-top poker machine, or snagging some scratch-offs while enjoying a McDonald’s large Coke and peanut M&Ms.
Neil was a husband, father, Poppy, son, brother, friend, and firefighter.