Cover photo for Ernestine "Tina" Copeland Viars's Obituary
Ernestine "Tina" Copeland Viars Profile Photo

Ernestine "Tina" Copeland Viars

August 3, 1935 — July 27, 2023

Charleston, SC

Ernestine "Tina" Copeland Viars

Ernestine "Tina" Copeland Viars, 87, of Charleston, SC, passed away on Thursday, July 27, 2023. 

Born on August 3, 1935 in Lee County, SC, she was  the daughter of the late Lonnie M. Copeland and the late Lucille Peebles Copeland. 

Ernestine graduated from Hillcrest High School in 1954. She worked for Harvin packing Co. as an office manager in her early years. She then sold real estate for a few years before going to work for the Department of Agriculture in Columbia SC in 1976, where she stayed until she retired in 1998. Other work interest over the years include a partnership in a beauty shop in Sumter SC in the late 60's, owning and operating Viars Tri-mart, a convenience store in Summerton S.C. in the late 90's, and living on a farm, raising goats in Summerton SC for over 20 years with her husband, Bently H. Viars until he passed away in 2008. It was then that she moved to Charleston and lived the next 15 years with her daughter and son-in-law.  During this time, she enjoyed numerous cruises with family and her long time friend, Grace Broadway of Sumter. She loved being able to spend more time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren while in Charleston. She loved shopping and learning the city of Charleston and fell right into her new social life in Shadowmoss where she made many wonderful friends. Her Shadowmoss family and friends lovingly called her "Tina"or "Mom" and she loved every opportunity to spend time with them.

In addition to her parents and husband, Ernestine is preceded in death by two brothers, Herman Copeland and Arthur Wayne Copeland and a sister, Barbara Copeland Green.

Ernestine is survived by her daughter, Donna Barrett Woodward (Ralph); two grandchildren, Lonnie Daniel Dix (Nadia) and Courtnay Barrett Dix; three great grandchildren: Kimberlynne Smith, Isabella Dix, and one on the way; two sisters, Margaret Fletcher of Sumter SC and Bernice Slider of Maryland; a brother, Kenneth Copeland (Bobbie) of NC; and many nieces and nephews.  

The family would like to thank the staff at the Palmettos of Charleston and Crescent Hospice for the loving care they provided during her last months.

As she wished, in lieu of a formal service, her friends and family will gather to share memories and celebrate her life on Wednesday, August 2, 2023, from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at McAlister-Smith Funeral Home, 2501 Bees Ferry Road, Charleston, SC 29414.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Crescent Hospice, 4401 Belle Oaks Drive #105, North Charleston, SC, 20405.

Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to McAlister-Smith Funeral Home, 2501 Bees Ferry Rd, Charleston, SC 29414, 843-722-8371.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ernestine "Tina" Copeland Viars, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Gathering

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

McAlister-Smith Funeral & Cremation

2201 Bees Ferry Road, Charleston, SC 29414

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