Richard “Dick” McCoy, born 31 Aug 1921, passed away Saturday, February 6, 2016 at the Alliance Center for Health Care where he lived in skilled nursing since October 5th, 2015, at the age of 94. Dick had adjusted from his independent living to skilled nursing during this time while also suffering numerous physical setbacks. He succumbed to these on Saturday and passed into the presence of the Lord, his faith sustaining him into his very last breath. He is survived by two sons, Jim and Bill.
Dick McCoy was born in Marvell, Arkansas, the oldest of three sons to Finis and Lucy McCoy. He grew up in Little Rock Arkansas and enlisted in the United States Army war effort in 1941 as a Private, making the rank of 1st Sergeant within two years. He was commissioned to the Army as a 1st Lieutenant in the Infantry and subsequently transferred into the Armor Branch. He deployed into Europe arriving at Cherbourg, France, in December 1944 with the 44th Tank Battalion, the 11th Armored Division, of the 3rd US Army and was thrust into combat in the now infamous Battle of the Bulge, as part of Gen Patton’s relief Armor columns, and follow-on operations in Europe until the cessation of combat operations in the summer of 1945. During the war he was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Purple Heart with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster.
Dick and Jo-Rean (Griggs) McCoy were married just after World War II. Their early marriage was filled with the excitement of Company Command where Dick Commanded the Delta Company, 3rd Infantry, the Tomb Guard, at Arlington National Cemetery. After his command assignment, he deployed again to combat in Korea for two years as part of the Army’s Intervention Campaigns in Korea during 1950-1951 advising the Korean Army’s Combat Operations while his young bride stayed at home with their young son. Returning home, Dick was assigned as an instructor at the Armor School, and graduated from the Army’s Command & General Staff College. He worked at Operations, US Army Europe Headquarters and afterwards took Command of the 3rd Squadron, 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Bad Hersfeld, Germany, from 1961-1963. He was afterwards promoted to Colonel and retired from active duty in 1969 with 28 years of service. His few are known as the “Mustang Colonels” who enlisted and rose to that rank without college education. He graduated from the University of Maryland while stationed at Pentagon G4, and earned his MBA at Rollins College, Winter Park, Maryland in his retirement.
His life was shaped by many influences, the greatest of which was the death of his oldest son Donnie, who died as a young boy of nine, in the Army’s Heidelberg Hospital in Germany, in 1958. This shook Dad greater than any of his military operations to date. Dedicating his life to his faith in Christ, Dick began on his Christian journey with the same dedication as he had given to his military career. He became an active member of the Officer’s Christian Fellowship. His wife Jo was engaged along with him in Army Chapel programs helping to shape the faith of many military families and children at Army installations where they lived. For years growing up in the Army, both sons Jim and Bill were exposed to military officers and their spouses having Bible Studies in their home. Dick led his family in faith and without any formal education than self-study, taught Sunday School and became an Elder in the First Christian & Missionary Alliance Church in Orlando, Florida. He also began a Bible Study in his home in Deltona, Florida, which eventually grew into the current Deltona Alliance Church.
During Retirement, Dick and Jo were active both in the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church and in the Gideon’s International. Dick spent the past 15 years of his life living in Deland, FL, where he continued his leadership as President of the Gideon Camp. He and his camp served at the County Jail where during this period they logged over 25,000 prayers of faith by inmates. Dick was always engaged in his work of faith until health failed him and he curtailed his role due to health at the age of 92. He is survived by his two sons; Jim and spouse Nancy from Tennessee, and Bill and spouse Carol from South Carolina, and by five grandchildren, Nathan and Joel, Ian & spouse Liz, Chad and spouse Jess, and Brenna and spouse Victor. Eight Great Grandchildren follow from these parents.
He will be buried at the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, where his wife Jo Rean is currently buried and where he once Commanded as a young Captain.
Condolences may be sent to 50 Veranda Lane, Blythewood, SC 29016