By Sandy Harmon
In this day and age where America is looking for heroes, let me share with you the story of two heroes who are living right here in our midst; living here in Crawford County.
Oscar McCoy displayed his heart of a hero at a young age. He served his country during the Korean War and even lost his brother Glen, whose plane was shot down over Korea and is still considered MIA. He then became a deputy sheriff for a small town in Florida. He always believed in giving back and paying it forward. However, it was when he met the love of his life that he realized he was called to a higher purpose.
Oscar met Joyce Snider in 1955. After a whirlwind romance they were married on Sept. 26 of that year. But not before Joyce shared her convictions about God and salvation. This would change the whole course of their lives, as Oscar not only became a Christian – he became a minister!
Oscar and Joyce were an amazing team together. Oscar was more in the forefront, preaching and starting churches. Joyce was more in the background, no less significant, leading the women by example and by serving others.
As they moved about the East Coast, every two to three years starting a new congregation, they also started their family. Joy Lynne was born in 1957; Trina in 1959; then, the twins, Sandra and Sheila, were born in 1963. Their love for children was never ceasing. So, to complete their family, they adopted Mark in 1968 and Christopher in 1978.
To meet the needs of his growing family, Oscar was willing to do a variety of side jobs. He was an Electrolux salesman, a carpenter, an insurance salesman, and the list goes on. Joyce was an amazing mother. Even with six children of her own, two nephews they helped to raise and many foster children, she always met their needs. The house was clean, the laundry was done, their clothes were sewn on her Singer, and she had dinner on the table every night and a hot breakfast made every morning.
Not that getting dinner on the table was always easy. Ministers don’t make a whole lot of money. But Oscar and Joyce always taught their children that God will provide. There were quite a few times that Joyce would send Oscar out into the woods to hunt for dinner. She learned to fry up squirrel, rabbit, deer and bear. Once Oscar even brought home a huge turtle and they cooked up turtle soup! Oscar then reminded his children, “I told you that God would provide!”
Of course, like all who live in this world, hard times came their way. In 1970, Oscar’s car was hit by a distracted driver and he sustained a broken back. This required painful surgeries and a long recovery. In 1972, just as he began to resume his normal life, Oscar was in another accident when his car was run over by a construction vehicle pulling a heavy laden trailer. He survived with a broken neck and a broken back. He was told that he would never walk again. After a year in the hospital, he came home to spend another year in a hospital bed in their living room. Even though in severe pain, he was determined to walk again. And walk he did. Through it all, Joyce’s love for him shone through!
And it continued to shine through the years. Oscar continued to have health problems. He experienced constant pain in his back and neck from damaged nerves. He had brain surgery in 1989 to remove a mass of tangled blood vessels the size of a small grapefruit, the result of a head trauma he sustained in the Air Force. Through the following years he has had multiple strokes and countless mini-strokes. Joyce and Oscar’s love continued to grow and strengthen through the years.
Now, in 2015, they are approaching their 60th wedding anniversary. Very few couples are blessed enough to be able to be together this long. Oscar is currently in the VA Hospital in Cleveland following a major stroke. He is at peace, however, because he is prepared, and even eager, to see his Lord. Even though he has lost the ability to communicate even the simplest of things, his love for Joyce is very evident. Holding her hands, he sings to her. The words are nonsense words, the melodies all messed up, but the message is clear. As if shouted from the highest mountain he is clearly saying, “I love you so much! Always have! Always will!”
You ask me how I know all of these things. Well, I felt the need to honor Oscar and Joyce McCoy because they are my parents. Their love story is one the whole world should hear. They are truly heroes, dare I even say superheroes, for they have lived their lives to serve and love others. I, along with my five brothers and sisters, their eighteen grandchildren, and their five great-grandchildren are honored to call them Mom and Dad, Granny and Gramps.