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Former BLE First Vice President Jim McCoy, 1937-2019

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, June 19 — Former BLE First Vice President and Alternate International President James L. McCoy passed away at the age on 81 at his home in Franklin, Tennessee, on June 17, 2019. He served the Brotherhood for many years as General Chairman of the Illinois Central General Committee of Adjustment (GCA), and was an International Vice President of the BLE from 1996 to 1999, serving as First Vice President — the union’s second highest office — from 1999 until his retirement in 2001.

Brother McCoy was born on July 1, 1937 in Ripley, Tennessee to Fred W. McCoy and Maugrette M. McCoy. He graduated from Humes High School in 1955, where he played football and baseball. Brother Jim hired out on May 12, 1955 as a fireman with the Illinois Central in Memphis, Tenn., and earned promotion to locomotive engineer on March 16, 1965. He joined the Brotherhood in 1964 as a member of Division 23, transferring to Division 762 (Memphis, Tenn.) in 1971, where he held continuous membership for the past 48 years.

Brother McCoy served as Local Chairman of Division 762 from 1974 to 1986; Vice General Chairman of the Illinois Central GCA from 1980 to 1986; and General Chairman of the Illinois Central GCA from 1986 to 1996. In 1996, he was elected to the office of BLE International Vice President at the union’s Sixth Quinquennial Convention, held in Detroit in July. In August of 1999, he was elected to the office of First Vice President and Alternate President by the BLE Advisory Board, and served in that role until his retirement in 2001.

As a BLE Vice President, Brother McCoy coordinated activities with the various BLE General Committees on the CP Rail System/U.S.-Soo Line, Houston Belt & Terminal, Illinois Central Railroad, Metra, Kansas City Southern, Southern Pacific/SPCSL, Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, and Union Pacific (including the Longview Portland & Northern, Longview Switching, and Tacoma Belt railroads). He also served as BLE Coordinator during the UP-SP merger, where he helped negotiate numerous hub agreements that were ratified by the membership, including the Houston Hub, Denver Hub, Salt Lake City Hub, Salina, Kansas Hub, Longview, Texas Hub, Little Rock Hub, and Roseville, Calif. Hub.

Brother McCoy is survived by his wife of 63 years, Katherine Clay McCoy; brother, David McCoy (Nona); sons, Steve McCoy (Terri) and Mark McCoy (Cathy); grandchildren, Kelsey Cranmore, Lindsey Gordon (Garrett), and Michael McCoy; great-grandchildren, Audrey and Grace Gordon; niece, Sherri Householder; and nephews, Jim McCoy and Jeff McCoy (Sharon). He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Joyce Barnes. Brother McCoy’s youngest son Mark is a Union Pacific locomotive engineer and member of Division 197 in San Antonio, Texas.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, June 20 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and funeral services celebrating his life will be held on Friday, June 21 at 10:00 a.m., all at Memorial Park Funeral Home (5668 Poplar Ave., Memphis, TN 38119, phone (901) 767-8930). Interment will be at Memorial Park Cemetery. Memorial donations may be directed to the American Diabetes Association.

“Brother Jim McCoy was the epitome of dignity and integrity as he served our Brotherhood for nearly three decades,” BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce said. “Thousands of members have benefitted — and continue to benefit — from the contracts he helped to negotiate during his lifetime. On behalf of all men and women of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, I extend our deepest sympathies to Brother McCoy’s family and friends.”

Wednesday, June 19, 2019
bentley@ble-t.org

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