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John Milton McCoy
May 31, 1928 ~ October 27, 2023 (age 95) 95 Years Old
5 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of John's family - View on Tribute Wall
On the evening of Friday, October 27, 2023, John Milton McCoy returned to his Heavenly Father. John had been relatively healthy in mind and body right up until the last few months of his life, but his physical health had begun to fail him, and so the timing of his end was a blessing. Although John could be a cantankerous individual, he was also a good friend to many, and a loving husband and father. He will be missed by many who knew him.
John was born on May 31, 1928, to Milton Nephi and Myrtle Ivy McCoy, in Salina, Utah. John was born into a rather well-to-do family, where his family owned a mercantile store in Salina, Sevier County, Utah. When John was about 5 years old the Great Depression severely impacted most of the United States, including the sheep industry in Sevier County, forcing John’s family to close their store and move to San Diego, in hopes of better employment opportunities. John’s family spent the rest of his childhood in San Diego where his parents struggled to provide for their family.
John joined the United States Army at the end of World War II, when he was 18 years old. John was trained to be part of the military police force stationed in the Aleutian Islands at a post set up to protect the United States from a possible Russian invasion.
He was released from active duty as the tailings of WWII finished up. He briefly attended Brigham Young University but was soon called up again for active duty by the U.S. Army to fight in the recently started conflict in Korea. John had many harrowing combat experiences during his active duty in Korea, but after about 6 months of combat duty John and many in his unit were captured by the North Korean and Chinese armies. As a Prisoner of War, John was marched north to the Chinese border where he was held captive for 31 months. When the Korean conflict ended, John was allowed to return home on September 5, 1953.
After returning home, John was stationed at the Presidio in San Francisco where he was being hospitalized for health issues resulting from his long stay as a POW. During this time in San Francisco, John met a young Erma Dial at a church social. Erma had been staying in San Francisco with a friend whose husband was stationed there in the Navy. John and Erma quickly fell in love and were determined to be married, but John had promised his Heavenly Father that if he returned home from Korea safely, he would serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a result, John served a mission in the Northern California Mission between 1954-1955.
Upon completing his mission, John and Erma were married in the LDS Logan Temple on February 10, 1956. John and Erma settled in Logan, Utah, and John began his schooling at the Utah State Agricultural College. John graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in June 1959. During this time John and Erma’s first two children, John Kelly and Patricia Louise, were born. For a short time, John and Erma lived in Michigan, but they soon returned to Logan, Utah, where John completed a Master of Science degree in Sociology in 1962. During this second stay in Logan, their third child, Julia Ann, was born.
Shortly after graduation, John accepted employment as Director of Research in the Department of Aid to Needy Children and General Relief with the State of California in January 1963, and John and Erma moved their family to Sacramento, California. Not long after moving to Sacramento, Erma gave birth to their fourth and last child, Carrie Ellen. John and Erma both continued to live in Sacramento for the remainder of their lives.
During his career, John worked as a director of research for several branches of government in the State of California, including the Department of Social Welfare, the Department of Education, and the California State Legislative Office. John worked for the State of California in these different capacities until his retirement in 1988. During this time, John and Erma kept very busy raising their 4 children and then helping to raise their 12 grandchildren.
After retirement, John continued to serve his community by volunteering for several years as the chairman of an organization that advocated for children called, Jericho. Once Erma had retired from her job as the secretary of Pasadena Avenue Elementary School in 1993, John and Erma enjoyed several years of traveling and being with their children and grandchildren. Then on June 24, 2004, Erma passed away after a brief illness due to cancer.
John lived alone for 2 years after Erma died, but then married a second time to Cynthia Florence Greene. John moved in with Cynthia and they had a very happy life together until her death on December 28, 2016. After living alone again for a few years, John eventually moved into Oakmont of Carmichael, an elder care facility that he initially resented being at but eventually came to very much appreciate for the remainder of his life.
Because John was 95 years old when he passed away, most of the people who knew him or were his friends have preceded him in death. Those of us who grew up around John, who are still alive, will miss many of the qualities that made him a good and caring husband, father, grandfather, and friend.
A graveside interment will be held for John Milton McCoy at the Fair Oaks Cemetery. John is survived by his four children and their spouses, 11 of his 12 grandchildren, and 17 great grandchildren.