RWB Terry Coppotelli was born in East St Louis, Illinois, the son of Eugene and Shirley Coppotelli. He attended Parks College of St. Louis University and graduated in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics. By the time he graduated, he held his Commercial Pilot License and was rated Certified Instrument Flight Instructor with multiengine ratings. In 1984, he completed the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School in Quantico, VA, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. Following the Marine Corps Basic School in Quantico, he was sent to NAS Pensacola to begin flight training in the T 34 Mentor Aircraft. Selected for “Intermediate and Advanced Strike” training, he was transferred to Kingsville, Texas where upon completion of jet training and carrier qualification aboard the UUS Lexington in the T-2 Buckeye and A-4 Skyhawk, was designated a Naval Aviator in 1987.
He reported to VMO-2 at Camp Pendelton, California where he flew the OV-10 Bronco aircraft. There, he held numerous designations including Forward Air Controller-Airborne; Tactical Air Coordinator-Airborne; instructor pilot; division leader; check pilot; and NATOPS instructor. He completed the Naval Aviation Safety course in Monterey, California and was designated Squadron Safety officer. Besides Camp Pendleton, he did two deployments in the western Pacific, including the Philippines, Okinawa, and Korea.
He left the Marine Corps in 1991 as a Captain. He returned home and started Graduate School at Webster University, receiving an MBA with management emphasis in 1993. At the same time, he began working for Edward Jones Investments and earned his Series 7, 9, 10, 24, and 63 securities licenses. He spent almost 30 years at Edward Jones, first as a leader in the New Advisor training program, then in the Associate Relations department where he attained his Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification. After leading a team of Associate Relations managers for almost 20 years, he retired in September of 2021.
His Masonic journey began when he returned to St. Louis after the service. He was Initiated, Passed and Raised in Morris Lodge 787, Waterloo, Illinois. After moving to Washington Missouri, he petitioned Hope Lodge 251 where he served as Worshipful Master in 2000, 2001, and 2005. He served the Grand Lodge of Missouri as Grand Orator in 2021-22, Grand Chaplain in 2022-23, and is currently a member of the Grand Lodge Ways and Means committee. He enjoys ritual, and currently holds a Sub 2 Part 3 proficiency card.
His Masonic affiliations include the York Rite, where he is Past High priest of Mt Nebo Chapter 148, Past Illustrious Master of Jeremiah Council 48, and Past Commander of Ascalon Commandery 16; Past Sovereign Master of Ray Vaughn Denslow 102 Allied Masonic Degrees; Past Excellent Chief of Limerick Councill 88 Knight Masons; Past Governor of Bruce Harmon Hunt York Rite College 162; current Puissant Sovereign of the St Louis Conclave of the Red Cross of Constatine; Lord of Lords Tabernacle 51 Holy Royal Arch Knights Templar Priests; and St Louis Preceptory Yeoman of York.
He is a member of the St Louis Valley of the Scottish Rite; Moolah Shrine, Past President of St Louis Chapter 22 National Sojourners; Alhambra Grotto; and the Masonic Order of Athelstan.
His Masonic honors include: the Knights Templar Cross of Honor; Order of the Purple Cross; and the Knights of the York Cross of Honour. He is currently the Grand Captain General of the Grand Commandry of Knights Templar of the State of Missouri.
Terry has been married to the love of his life, Maureen, for over 35 years. They have three children (Brittany, Stormy, and Mark), three grandchildren (Brooklyn, Harper, and Renlee) and two dogs. They still reside in Washington, Missouri.