Thera Frances McCoy

Published 1:11 pm Thursday, October 14, 2010

HUNTSVILLE – Thera Frances Kelly McCoy was born March 10, 1908, in Escambia County, Ala. and grew up in Repton.  She died Oct. 12, 2010 at Redstone Village in Huntsville.

She was the first daughter and fourth child of Charlie and Mini Kyser Kelly. She graduated in 1928 from Huntingdon College with an AB degree in English, a teacher certificate and a diploma in dramatic arts. After a short teaching career, she married her “sweetheart,” Leslie Bateson McCoy. They established their home in Atmore.

Following Les’ death in 1961, Thera  managed McCoy Timber Company, investments and commercial property in Destin, Fla. and Atmore.  She was proud of being the first to bring the Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises to Atmore.

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Thera was a member of First United Methodist Church where she taught youth and adult Sunday school, had leadership roles in United Methodist Women and directed Christmas plays.  At McRae United Methodist Church she played the organ. She was a member of the Ft. Mims Daughters of the American Revolution.

Her many talents included China and oil painting, sewing, gardening and public speaking. She enjoyed bridge and dominos and was extremely competitive. The last five plus years of her life were spent in Huntsville near her daughter and son-in-law. She enjoyed seeing the progression of her granddaughters and great grandchildren. Because of their kind and efficient care, she loved the staff at Redstone Village. The family treasures her legacy and misses “grand” mother.

The funeral will be at 11 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Atmore on Saturday, Oct. 16 with visitation at 10 a.m. Johnson-Quimby Funeral Home will be officiating.

Donations can be made to the First United Methodist Church. A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. at Latham United Methodist Church in Huntsville on Monday, Oct. 18. Visitation with the family will immediately follow. Donations can be made to the Latham United Methodist Church for the Buchanan Scholarship Fund.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Leslie Bateson McCoy; parents, Charles Samuel and Mini Kyser Kelly; in-laws, Jesse Edgar and Anna Camp McCoy; son, Marvin Eugene McCoy; bothers, Lamar, Charles and Samuel Kelly and sister, Betty Luttrell.

Survivors include her daughter, Betty Frances Vaughan and her husband, Otha H. “Skeet”  of Huntsville;  son, Louis Raynor McCoy of Amite, La.; granddaughters, Thera Virginia Vaughan of Birmingham, Leslie Vaughan Pruitt and  husband, Wade, of Cullman and Frances Elizabeth Kirby and husband, Clifton, of Huntsville; great grandchildren, Benjamin Paul Pruitt, Leslie Clay Pruitt, Khele Ann Kirby and Nathan Bryant Kirby and several nieces and nephews.