By Christopher T. Matthews
On Sunday May 29th Jim McCoy celebrated his 70th birthday at the Peacock Café. He welcomed numerous friends and family members in attendance in helping Jim commemorate the occasion. The actual day of Jim’s birthday was on Thursday June 2.
Turning 70 is something that I view as a lifetime achievement, and hopefully I can stick around to see 80 years of age stated a smiling Jim McCoy.
Jim was born in 1946 in Turrell, Arkansas through the union of the late Jim and Dorothy McCoy. His mother Dorothy, still active at 90 years young, along with her daughters and other family, attended her son’s festive affair. Jim Jr. parents relocated their family to Toledo when he was still in grade school, where he later attended Warren Elementary and Gunckel Jr. High in the public school system. After grade school, he enrolled and later graduated from the prestigious Macomber High in 1965, a former trade school, with him being certified to work on automatic transmissions.
After graduation, Jim and a high school friend, Nate Green, enlisted in the United States Marines under the buddy system. Jim served in the Marines from 1965 thru 1968 being deployed in Vietnam for 18 months when the war truly escalated. He retired with the rank of E-5.
Upon returning from the war to the United States, Jim enrolled at the University of Toledo majoring in accounting. He later was employed by SOHIO-BP in Oregon, Ohio. He worked there for 33 ½ years retiring in 2008 as a process supervisor.
Jim remarked at his party, “We are celebrating, and I am blessed to have lived this many years of life. I am glad that I can share this time with my family, and many of my friends, while entertaining this fantastic turnout. A lot of my family came from out of town, and five of my closest friends that have showed up. We all have been friends with each other for more than 50 years or better.”
“Some of my closest friends graduated from Macomber High School with me back in 1965, and afterwards we went into the Marines. Nate Green and I went into the military, under the buddy system; we have been friends since 1961. Throughout all of these years we never had any arguments, and that is a friendship that I view as a true friendship. Another childhood friend Mel Long, the former UT All American and NFL football star, who also enlisted in the Marine Corp and fought in Vietnam War with me, and I am grateful that my friends made it back home then, and to help me celebrate my birthday today,” Jim explained
Long stated, “James has been a good friend for many years. I can recall a time in our more adventurous youth days we set our land speed record driving from Toledo to Detroit in 29 minutes. I know that can’t be done by us again.”
Nate Green articulated, “Although I went to Woodward and Melvin and Jim went to Macomber, we all graduated the same year. Jim and I did go into the military under the buddy system. I’m just blessed to be around these guys for as many years as we have been together. I thank God he has kept us around for this long, and I hope to see us together for many more years. I would like to wish a happy birthday to my dear friend.”
The other three grade school, to present, friends are Wayne Boyd, Gerald Greenwade, and Frank Johnson. All are retired except for Mel who still enjoys working at Sun Oil. All worked for oil companies with the exception of Wayne, who retired From Toledo Edison and Lucas County. Ironically, Mel, Wayne, and Gerald all graduated from Macomber, while Nate graduated from Woodward in 1965.
Artina McCoy, Jim’s wife put into words, “I met him nine years ago and fell in love with him. I never left his side and he never left my side. His sister Rose and I put this party together to show appreciation for him. We just wanted him to be happy, because he goes out of his way so much to make everybody happy. I would like to wish him a happy birthday, and I wish him many more blessed years.”
Jim has four sisters; Margaret, Barbara, Vivian, Christine, and two brothers who are deceased; Avan and Johnny. Jim’s only child, Jim III, is also deceased.