"He knew everything," his son said. "He could talk on anything, from women's shoes to something like an 1816 pirate attack in the Indian Ocean.
"And he could talk with anybody, from a president to a man sleeping on a grate. He liked Shakespeare and would use lines from Shakespeare to make a point.
"He was extremely generous - with money or time. Anything he could do for you. He would really give you the shirt off his back.
"When he was sick in the last few months, he would call people to find out how they were. He never wanted attention on himself."
Bill's law practice, William H. Copperthwaite Jr., had offices in West Chester, which doubled as his home, and Cherry Hill. He was an assistant professor of business at Chestnut Hill College and assistant professor of commercial and contract law at Rider University College of Business.
He also was formerly assistant professor in the graduate tax program at the Temple University School of Business.
Bill was also involved in charitable activities, and served as president of the Mid-Atlantic District of the Exchange Club, which seeks to prevent domestic violence and child abuse.
"He was always willing to help people," said Patricia Belz, longtime friend and business associate. "If you asked him for advice, he'd say, 'Let me check my endless Rolodex.' He was a very kind man, very generous. He was a real gentleman.
"He could really work a room, and remember everybody's names. He was a good soul, and his wit was unbelievable."
Bill was born in Red Bank, N.J. His late father was a prominent New Jersey dentist for whom the William H. Copperthwaite Dental Hygiene Clinic at Camden County College is named.
He graduated from Camden Catholic High School and earned a bachelor's degree from Villanova University in 1983. He received a master's in business administration from Drexel University in 1985, and a master's in taxation from Drexel in 1989. He received his law degree from Temple University School of Law in 1995, and a master's in taxation from Temple in 1997.
He was associate director of financial aid for Drexel from 1983 to 1995.
Besides his son, he is survived by his mother, Helen Copperthwaite; two sisters, Nancy Copperthwaite and Linda McDonald; and his former wife, Margaret Sincavage.
Services: Mass of Christian Burial 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Thomas More Church, 1439 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill, N.J.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Exchange Club, Box 0222, Pocopson, PA 19366.