Gerald L. McCoy, 73, of Belleville, IL, born August 31, 1938, in Belleville, IL, passed away Wednesday, May 30, 2012, at his residence.
Gerald wed his life’s love, Dorothy Gawlak, on November 22, 1958. The fruits of that union became his four sons and eight grand-children. Never one to burden others with his obligations, he worked long, hard hours at several railroads before moving on to driving trucks for the Teamsters.
Friends, and family, remarked about the commitment to his work ethic. His reply with no regret was, “I have a family to provide for”. Gerald’s contribution was not solely financial. He invested much time and love in his family, instilling values of self-reliance, integrity, family, and individuality. He made certain that Khoury League, wrestling, or football filled his son’s, and his, time.
People who knew Gerald realized he was a private man. He never complained or placed his burden upon the backs of others. As all men, he had his faults, but never deviated from his first objective, care for his family. He was selfless, quiet, and stoic; an example of strength and triumph. Yet, he would display a sharp wit and warm humor.
Gerald did not live one life, he lived 13; from his wife, to his four sons to his eight grand-children. He would not love to live unless it was living to love. He came from a time when the measure of a man was determined by his words and deeds. He hated excuses and irresponsibility. He admired honesty and genuineness.
To the end, his thoughts were those of his family’s well-being. As all living things his time came, but not without being surrounded and cared for by his family. He beat the doctor’s predictions of his demise by over 2 years. He overcame numerous medical setbacks, rebounding back to take joy in his family. The final battle took him, but he left his mark. If God could ever be said to have made one mistake, it would be putting so much love into a vessel incapable of holding it all. He died peacefully, and in comfortable surroundings leaving aching hearts and many tears, but most of all, a foundation built on family, sacrifice, love, and faith.
Thank you Gerald McCoy; we take your lessons and examples and go out into the world, not to follow your trail, but to blaze our own as strong and peaceful men and women who love and love deeply. Your life was not in vain and your lessons more than most can appreciate. You will be loved and missed forever.
He was preceded in death by a grandson, Andrew McCoy; his parents, Rowley and Lucille Marie, nee Helvey, McCoy; and one brother, Kenneth McCoy.
Surviving are his beloved wife of 58 years, Dorothy A., nee Gawlak, McCoy;
four sons, Mark (Nancy) McCoy of Collinsville, IL,
Kent (Lisa) McCoy
and Gary (Alma) McCoy, both of Belleville, IL,
and Glenn (Laura) McCoy of Swansea, IL;
and seven grandchildren, Derick, Megan,
Melissa, Melody, Jack, Molly,
Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
Visitation: Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 1, 2012, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL, and from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday, June 2, 2012, at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Belleville, IL.
Funeral: A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 2, 2012, at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Belleville, IL, with Msgr. John Myler officiating.