Emma “Louise” McKee McCoy
Emma “Louise” McKee McCoy, 83, a crown jewel of Coronado, passed away on August 19. A veritable Coronado institution, she embodied all of its best features: patriotism, service to others, a commitment to family, community, and faith, and a drive to find the best in herself and others.
Born in Houston, Texas, on February 15, 1927, she was always proud of being a Texan and of her German ancestry with over 200 Dau family relatives around the world. She spent her early years in Texas and in California, and her teen years in Washington, D.C. She graduated from Mary C. Wheeler School in Providence, Rhode Island, and Pembroke College. Then she moved to New York City, where she became an assistant buyer at Lord and Taylor, an experience she always treasured.
In 1954, she married Roy Edgar McCoy at Turo Church in Fairfax, Virginia. She often said, “Life began when I married Roy.” They moved to Coronado in 1960 and began a 50-year love affair interrupted only by brief stints in Sacramento and Japan. A testament to her boundless energy and love of change, they lived in seventeen different houses on our island.
Louise was known for her generosity of spirit, her quick smile, and her service to others. A mover and shaker in the community and politics, she was always there to help others grow beyond themselves, demanding the best from everyone, whether family, friend, or foe alike. She was a force of nature, the very model of a strong woman, who left her mark on generations of Coronadans growing up with her children and grandchildren. Her door were always open, and for so many, a pivotal reference point in their formative years.
Louise held many leadership positions in service organizations: President of the Coronado Republican Women, President of the Crown Garden Club, and President of the Coronado Friends of Cerebral Palsy. She was also a Regent of the Oliver Wetherbee Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and membership chair of the Coronets. In recent years, she was an active supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project.
No one could throw a party like Louise McCoy. Her attention to matters of etiquette and protocol recalled a bygone era. Her impeccable sense of style and love of people would combine to create an “event” that always ended up being the talk of the town. She thrived on decorating, especially for the holidays. All this was carried off seamlessly — she was organized beyond all human scale. Her singing voicemails, for which she won a major award, were legendary and a treat for all to hear.
Louise was devoted to her beloved Roy, who called her “Sweet Lou” throughout their 56 years together. She inspired everyone by her unflagging support of him through an extended illness over the past ten years. “GG” and “Sir” as their grandchildren knew them were a true love story to the end. She never missed a day to affirm her love for him and they took great pleasure in each other’s company to the last. With her family around her as the end neared, one of the kids was heard to say to Roy “Sweet Lou is going to Heaven” to which he gave her one last gift. With his knowing look and famous wit not heard in recent years, he said, “Race you!” Louise then smiled and winked at him, “I think I’m going to win!”
As her final days closed, Louise took great joy in being surrounded by her family and friends. She held court and, one-by-one, dispensed invaluable “life tips” to everyone. On her last day, she was heard singing “New York, New York!” With impeccable timing, she passed away, precisely at sunset. Undaunted, Louise McKee McCoy bravely left this world with grace and style.
Mrs. McCoy is survived by her husband, Capt. Roy E. McCoy, USN Ret., their four children and large extended family: Loren and Maria McCoy of Redlands, CA, their children, Ian, Rachel, and Roy Diego; Nancy and Harry Blair of Coronado, their children, Sam, Sally, Susan, and Stuart; Gretchen and Moe McCoy of Annapolis, MD; Pastor Rob and Michelle McCoy of Thousand Oaks, CA, their children Molly, Kelly, Natasha, Daniel, and Michael; and Dinh and Lan Ngyuen of San Diego, and their children, Cibelle, Clouchette, Nichole, and Alain. Each one was important in her life and a source of great pride.