Murl E. "Gene" Coplin Jr., a Korean War veteran who worked for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for three decades, died Wednesday at St. Agnes Hospital of heart failure and complications from diabetes. He was 74.
A lifelong city resident, Mr. Coplin was born in Harlem Park in West Baltimore and graduated in 1950 from Frederick Douglass High School, where he competed in track. In 1960, he graduated from what is now Morgan State University with a degree in business administration.
Mr. Coplin served in the Army in Seoul, South Korea, at the end of the Korean War. After returning to the United States he met Anna Mimms, and they were married in 1957.
After taking several government jobs, Mr. Coplin was hired as a parole and probation officer for the state corrections department in 1963. He stayed with the department, working his way into management, until he retired in the early 1990s, family said.
Mr. Coplin was an avid tennis player and continued the sport into his 70s, often playing on the courts at Druid Hill Park. He enjoyed jazz music and had an extensive collection of vinyl records of musicians such as John Coltrane and Miles Davis.
A memorial service will be held at noon tomorrow at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial United Methodist Church, 5114 Windsor Mill Road.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Myron Mimms Coplin of Baltimore.