James L. McCoy, Sr., of La Loma Village in Litchfield Park, died February 13, 2012, at the age of 90. In 1939, Mr. McCoy graduated from Fruita Union High School in Colorado and served overseas in the U.S. Army Corps during World War II. On November 6, 1943 he married his wife, Anna Belle Wright, and they had seven children. Mr. McCoy earned a teaching degree from Mesa College in 1941, and his teaching career spanned decades. He began teaching in a one-room schoolhouse in Colorado and went on to work at every level of education, from principal to the first male kindergarten teacher in Arizona. His love of teaching continued after his retirement from Madison School District in Phoenix, and most recently he was an adjunct professor at Estrella Community College. Mr. McCoy also had a passion for writing and storytelling, and in the last years of his life wrote and published 10 children’s books.
Mr. McCoy began playing golf at the age of 44 and was completely captivated by the game. He was an avid golfer for the remainder of his life and won multiple medals for golf at the Senior Olympics. Mr. McCoy went on to sponsor an annual charity golf tournament in Goodyear, Arizona, that honored local community leaders, with the proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Club of Avondale, Arizona.
In addition to his love of golf, Mr. McCoy was socially conscious and
fascinated with politics and history. He was an active participant in many organizations including the Knights of Columbus and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Throughout his life, Mr. McCoy was very proud to be an American. He lived each day to the fullest and was a great friend to everyone he met. He often referred to himself as “Shanty Irish” and, as a true Irishman, had an endless supply of blarney.
Mr. McCoy is survived by daughters Analee Emery, Mary Helen Kelley, and Jean McCoy Colasanti, and sons James L. McCoy, Jr., John McCoy, and Jeff McCoy; son Joseph McCoy is deceased. He also has 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Funeral services for Mr. McCoy were held February 16th at his parish, St.loans for payday Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, and donations in his name can be made to the Avondale Boys and Girls Clubs of America, 301 East Western Avenue, Avondale, Arizona, 623-932-1154.