June 15, 1920 - January 8, 2017
Robert Milton McCoy died peacefully on January 8, 2017 in Dorchester at age 96 with his son by his side. Bob is survived by Joan McCoy, his wife of 60 years; his son and daughter-in-law, Bil and Paulea Mooney-McCoy; his daughter Dorothy McCoy; his grandchildren Caleb, Ethan, and Nyasha Mooney-McCoy; his great-granddaughter, Faith McCoy; and his cousin, Hester Cosby as well as a host of loving in-laws, nieces, and nephews. He is preceded in death by his siblings Frances, William, and Dolores. Bob was born on June 15, 1920 in Chillicothe, Ohio to Mac and Dorothy McCoy. He graduated from Chillicothe High School in 1938 while working part-time at a grocery store. Upon high school graduation, he worked as a delivery boy before then enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1942. There, he served in Hawaii (at Pearl Harbor during the infamous attack!), Okinawa, and Korea during World War II and was discharged in 1945. Bob then began his career as a scholar, enrolling at Ohio University from which he earned an AB in history and a BS in commerce. He later attended Hamma Divinity School and Ohio State University. In 1953, he came to Boston. While working at Massachusetts General Hospital, he studied at Boston University and received a Bachelor degree in Sacred Theology in 1955 (One of his classmates was Martin Luther King, Jr.). He went on to study at Harvard Divinity School and then Andover Newton Theological Seminary from which he received a Master of Sacred Theology in 1961. During this time, he worked at Raytheon and for the U.S. Department of Defense until 1964. While a student in Boston, Bob started attending Park Street Church. There, he was introduced by a mutual friend to Joan Way, a nursing student from Melrose, Massachusetts. Sparks flew, ignited in part by a shared a passion for world missions. At this time, a decision to marry interracially was extremely controversial and even dangerous. Nevertheless, Bob and Joan married in 1956, a choice condemned by their faith community and society at large, with expectations that the marriage was doomed to fail. #WannaRethinkThat? Two kids later, in 1965, Bob and Joan bought a home on Torrey Street in the Codman Square area of Dorchester, where Joan and Dotty still live. Looking at the neighborhood now, it’s hard to believe the McCoys were the first black family on the block. At this point, Bob worked for the IRS, helping tax-non-profit organizations process their exemption status (It was in this context that Bob became involved with Emmanuel Gospel Center; the relationship between the McCoys and EGC has continued since, now spanning three generations.). Retiring from the federal government in 1983, Bob worked at Eastern Nazarene College part-time and finally retired completely in 1987. For years, Bob's devotion to the Lord and to the church manifested itself in many different ways. He served at Park Street Church as a deacon, Sunday School teacher, and in other roles. Later, as the commute to a downtown church became more difficult, he and Joan became involved with Dorchester Temple Baptist Church, the Gathering Christian Fellowship, and finally with their beloved church family at Forest Hills Covenant Church for the past six years. Bob was a lover of knowledge. He was fascinated with languages (often reading his Bible in Spanish, Hebrew, Greek, you name it). He was a talented musician who loved Bach, spirituals, hymns, and half-diminished chords. An avid gardener, Bob spent hours tending to the variety of flora in his yard, his sunflowers becoming an unofficial Codman Square landmark. His family enjoyed fresh produce every summer as he marveled at his Creator’s botanical handiwork. And Bob loved and knew the word of God. Just two years ago, when Bil had to preach on a difficult passage of the Bible, Bob gave his son the insight needed on that text. Around the same time, he inspired the lyrics of one of his grandson Caleb's songs with one of his favorite stories about Jesus. Bob was a man of great compassion and grace. He loved to visit and pray for the sick. He knew how to "weep with those who weep". He enjoyed the fellowship of God’s people, and welcomed company with a smiling face. He has touched the lives of many and his legacy will continue through his children and grandchildren (actual and spiritual). In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Boston Project Ministries at 15 Elmhurst St, Dorchester, MA 02124 or Forest Hills Covenant Church at 455 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 (make checks out to Covenant Congregation Church). The family would like to thank staff at St. Joseph’s Rehabilitation Center for their care and dedication during the last few years of Bob’s life and the family at Forest Hills Congregation along with the larger community for the tremendous outpouring of support at this time.
Robert Milton McCoy died peacefully on January 8, 2017 in Dorchester at age 96 with his son by his side. Bob is survived by Joan McCoy, his wife of 60 years; his son and daughter-in-law, Bil and Paulea Mooney-McCoy; his daughter Dorothy McCoy;... View Obituary & Service Information
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