Obituary of Evelyn Olivia (Bishop) Coupe
Livvy slipped away from us on Dec 5, 2023. The moment passed, but the memories hold. She is up there on the bank of the river, reading with her night light, waiting patiently for her husband to return from fishing. They will stop on the way home for chowder and chardonnay at the Allenbury Inn on the Yellow Breeches and warm themselves by the fire. She is with her children going to school, swim meets, and summer jobs. She is taking care of soldiers and their families at military installations worldwide. She is laughing with book and bridge groups and welcoming new neighbors. She is setting an example of honesty and compassion in all her actions.
Throughout her life, Livvy brought immense joy and love to family, countless friends and all who knew her. Our present sadness is diminished by the joy she brought us and numerous others. Livvy had a remarkable life. She was born on May 19th in Oakland, CA, on the same day of the month as her mother, Evelyn, with whom she shared a special bond. Her father, Paul, was a POW in Stalag 17 during WWII. She cherished her early childhood in Portland, Oregon, especially trips to the beach for digging clams, picking blackberries, and camping in the mountains. She often said, “You can take the girl out of Oregon, but you can’t take Oregon out of the girl.”
After her family moved to California, Livvy graduated Los Gatos High School and attended UOP and San Jose State University, where she met her husband, Dennis, in a French lit class. During the Vietnam draft, her husband was commissioned as a regular Army Infantry (Airborne) lieutenant. Their first duty station was at Fort Hood, TX, where Livvy raised their newborn son, David, before her husband was sent to Vietnam to join the 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning). Livvy returned to her parents home in Los Gatos, awaiting the birth of daughter Jenny. After Vietnam, the family moved to Fort Story in Virginia Beach, where Dennis was a company commander and Livvy made lifelong friends, as she did wherever her family settled. About to be sent back to Vietnam, Dennis was selected by the Army to attend law school at UC Hastings Law School (now UC Law San Francisco), with a commitment for further Army service as a JAGC officer. During law school, the family lived in Marin County, where Livvy worked as a dental assistant while continuing to raise the children and attend college classes.
Next for Livvy was Schofield Barracks, HI, where Dennis was an Army prosecutor. The family was fortunate to find a beachfront home on the north shore of Oahu, near Mokuleia, owned by a Korean American who only rented it to American soldiers for their paltry housing allowance, because “You guys saved my family during the Korean War!”
After Hawaii, Livvy was looking forward to civilian life back in the Bay Area, but Dennis was involuntarily extended for an additional year due to the “national emergency” in Vietnam. She reluctantly agreed with Dennis to decline his law firm offer in San Jose and commit to a year of LLM study at the Army JAGC law school in Charlottesville,VA, where Dennis later joined the faculty. For the next five years in Virginia, Livvy worked as a substitute elementary teacher and dental assistant, while also actively supporting Army social events and sponsoring foreign students. After a year in Kansas at Command and General Staff College, the family spent three years in Germany, where Dennis was the Staff Judge Advocate for 2d Armored Div (FWD) and Norddeutschland, while Livvy taught GED classes to soldiers and served as president of the German-American Club. Then came four years in the Pentagon, where Dennis was Chief of the Army Criminal Law Division and Livvy worked in the Town Clerk’s office in Vienna, VA, continuing to make many more enduring friendships.
With their two children off to college, Livvy and Dennis were next assigned to Carlisle Barracks, PA, where Livvy worked as a librarian at Dickinson College and the Boswell Library, and Dennis attended the Army War College before joining faculty there for the next four years. While in Carlisle, Livvy earned many commendations for hosting senior national and foreign leaders visiting or attending the College. She was not enthusiastic about leaving for South Korea, where Dennis was next assigned as Judge Advocate for US Forces Korea, the UN Command and Eighth Army. Ever the good trooper, off she went on another adventure, working with soldiers and their families at USO Seoul. Their final Army assignment was to the Presidio of San Francisco, where Livvy was President of the Spouses and the Soldier of the Month Clubs and enjoyed quarters that overlooked the Golden Gate Bridge and the entire SF Bay.
After the Army, Livvy and Dennis remained in the Bay Area. Dennis first took a chief counsel position with the City of Berkeley, then became the first in house Trial Counsel for the CA Commission on Judicial Performance in San Francisco. Three years later, Dennis was appointed US Immigration Judge, first in Long Beach, then in San Francisco. After their second retirement, Livvy and Dennis moved to Grass Valley for two years before settling in Granite Bay.
Throughout her travels, Livvy was a beacon of affection for all people of good will. She was as loving a mother as ever existed. She had a special bond with her own mother, her children and grandchildren, William and Lindsay Coupe, along with many life-long friends. Wherever she lived, Livvy always found time to help others. Even after a series of illnesses, she chaired social and newcomers committees in her Los Lagos community. What better legacy than to bring so much happiness to so many?
Livvy always had a loving interest in people, no matter their station, but she had little tolerance for insincerity or pretension. She was also known for her feistiness and speaking her mind, as well as her delight in sharing friendships. She loved spending time in the mountains and at the beach with family and close friends. She enjoyed reading biographies, histories, and well written fiction, usually finishing two or three books per week, and always anxious for recommendations from her friends at Granite Bay Library (but no bodice rippers, please). She belonged to several book, social and dinner groups. She loved southern cooking and conversation over a glass of good wine.
During her life, Livvy got to meet and chat with many world leaders, including George HW and Barbara Bush, Colin and Alma Powell, Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev, and Ambassador Don Gregg. On several occasions while in Korea, she insisted on accompanying her husband to male dominated Korean social gatherings, and quickly won over the guests.
Livvy’s extended families, all dear to her, include those of Linda and Doug Lanterman, Jeff and Patti Coupe, Dean and Kathy Coupe, daughter in law Stephanie Tom Coupe, her many nieces and nephews, including the children of her late brother, David Bishop. In her final days, Livvy and her family were especially grateful for the outpouring of love and support from life friends Gayle Ames and Barbara and Tucker Spolter, her many Army JAGC soulmates, her book club and bridge groups, and her neighbors in the Los Lagos and Granite Bay communities. A private celebration of life event is being scheduled. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Granite Bay Library.To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Evelyn Coupe, please visit our Tree Store