James "Jim" Lawrence McCoy, 71, of Arlington, Texas, passed away Aug. 1.
He was born on June 15, 1946, to Frank Lawrence and Edna Faye McCoy in Findley Township, Mercer County, Pa.
Jim grew up in Wolf Creek Township on a small farm outside Grove City. As a young boy his days began early with a walk to fetch the day's milk from the dairy farm down the lane before heading off to class in the one-room country school. He attended Grove City Junior High and Grove City High School through his junior year. He was active in 4H and played trumpet in the marching band. Jim spent his senior year of high school in Argentina as an exchange student, where he became fluent in Spanish.
After graduation, Jim returned to Western Pennsylvania and enrolled in Grove City College in the spring of 1965. He earned a bachelor's degree in Spanish in three-and-a-half years while working in a machine shop and a local drug store to pay for school. He also joined the Air Force ROTC, Blue Crusaders glee club and the Inter-American Spanish Association.
In addition to these many commitments, Jim managed to meet and fall in love with Kathy Clepper along the way; the two were married upon Jim's graduation in 1968, beginning a 49-year journey together.
Jim was a patriot who dearly loved his country. He served in the Air Force for 10 years, including two years in Vietnam during the war, achieving the rank of captain. During this time, he also studied nights and weekends to earn a master's degree from Northern Colorado University in social science, public administration. After leaving the Air Force in 1978, Jim's corporate career included various roles in the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Surgikos Corp., and the Justin Boot Co. Jim gave the last 10 years of his career to his local church, serving as the facilities manager until his retirement in May 2017.
Jim was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, faithfully supporting Kathy, his children and grandchildren in whatever activities or goals they pursued. His strong convictions were matched with a thoughtful compassion that set a good example for others to follow. He was an encourager who took notice of people as individuals and made it a point to compliment them on what he saw. Jim was a sage whose wise counsel was often sought out and always appreciated. He served as an elder in his church and often showed his faith in practical ways, taking the initiative to help others through thoughtful acts of service. He treated people in need with compassion and dignity, listening to their stories, praying with them and often finding practical ways to help them.
Jim is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Kathy McCoy of Arlington; one daughter, Suzanne McCoy of Arlington; one son, Bill (Carol) McCoy of Arlington; two sisters, Linda (Eric) Jamison of Poland, Ohio, and Mary Kay Goering of Grove City; and three grandchildren, Caleb McCoy, Luke McCoy and Grant McCoy.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents and one brother-in-law, Michael Goering.
A Celebration of Life service will be held in Arlington, Texas.
Published on August 3, 2017