Dr. Dennis Cope passed away on June 27, 2017 at home in Simi Valley, California in the arms of his wife and daughters.
Dr. Dennis Cope passed away on June 27, 2017 at home in Simi Valley, California in the arms of his wife and daughters. He had struggled with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.
Dennis was born in Denver Colorado on June 8, 1941 to Wesley M. and Grace E. Cope. He grew up in Leavenworth and was destined to become one of America’s leading physicians and medical educators.
He graduated from Leavenworth High School in 1959. Initially, he considered the ministry graduating from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago where he was senior class president. After his mother’s death, he was led to pursue a career in medicine. He transferred to Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California where he met his future wife (Mary Jean Cook) and became student body president. He studied medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center graduating at the top of his class in June 1970. He completed internship and residency in Internal Medicine and then a fellowship in Endocrinology, all at UCLA School of Medicine. Dennis remained as a member of the UCLA Medical School faculty until 1995 when he accepted a position as Director of Internal Medicine for the Medical University of South Carolina. In 2002, he returned to UCLA as Chief of Medicine at the Olive View-UCLA Medical Center where he remained until his retirement in 2013. Dennis was also Vice Chair of Internal Medicine for the Multi-Campus UCLA Department of Internal Medicine.
During his career, Dennis received numerous teaching awards and honors including the prestigious Mellinkoff Faculty Award in 1994 as the most outstanding teacher and faculty member at the UCLA School of Medicine. This past February, Dennis was honored by UCLA with an annual lectureship in his name: The Dennis W. Cope Professorship in the Doctor-Patient Relationship.
(Dennis was always a great listener!)
He held many national leadership roles. He was one of the elected Regents of the American College of Physicians and previously the ACP governor for Southern California. Dennis was also President of the Association of Chairs and Chiefs of Departments of Internal Medicine. He was honored by Westmont College in 2005 as its Alumnus of the Year.
Dennis’ focus and love remained the doctor-patient relationship, in which he mentored a generation of physicians
Dennis was preceded in death by his son, Kevin Wesley Cope, last August 2016. He is survived by Mary Jean, his wife of 52 years, his daughters Kari Cope and Kristina Cosart, son-in-law Shannon Cosart, daughter-in-law Jacqueline Cope (Kevin), and his five grandchildren, Carsen and Evan Cope and Kyle, Clay and Keaton Cosart.
Dennis requested that memorials be sent to Westmont College, Office of College Advancement, 955 La Paz Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93108.
He will be deeply missed, but he leaves a lasting legacy of faith, hope and love.