Robert Thorpe McCoy, 91, of New Vienna, Ohio died 1:50 AM, Monday, December 26, 2011 at Hospice of Dayton. His wife, Helga McCoy, preceded him in death January 29, 2003. He was born March 6, 1920 near New Vienna in Clinton County, Ohio, son of the late Arthur and Eva Thorpe McCoy. He was a graduate of Westtown Friends School in Westtown, Pennsylvania. He received his bachelor’s degree from Earlham College.
Bob McCoy was a man of peace. He planned to follow in his parent’s path with a life of farming. Instead, his faith drove him to join the Quaker relief effort underway in Europe after World War II. That choice led to a three-year journey to improve the lives of those touched by war, which he chronicled in his 2007 book, Planting the Good Seed. In the process, he altered the course of his own life forever, falling in love with, and marrying Helga, a German native. After returning to the farm, Bob and Helga began their life together, including many years of employment at Wilmington College where he served as Director of Admissions and later as Alumni Director and Secretary of the College. Together, Bob and Helga created the Vienna Study Abroad Program for students, which greatly influenced the lives of participating students. Even after Helga’s death in 2003, he continued to travel, often with his daughter, throughout Europe and even to China. Bob was active with the New Vienna Lions Club, the New Vienna Senior Citizens, the American Friends Service Committee, and the Fairview Friends Meeting. A gentle and accepting man, he never had a harsh word for others and always sought the good in everyone. He will be greatly missed by many including his surviving daughter, Pam McCoy of Seattle, Washington.
A memorial service will be held10:30 AM, Saturday, January 7, 2012 in the McCoy Room of Kelly Center on the Wilmington College Campus, College Street, Wilmington, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Friends Service Committee, 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102.