Vidalia loses community man

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 29, 2010

VIDALIA — Local officials remember long-time Vidalia alderman and civic bulwark Theodore McCoy as a hard-working man dedicated to making his community a better place.

McCoy, 84, died Monday at his residence. He was a former Vidalia city alderman and retired from International Paper. After his retirement from IP, he was a court bailiff for the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office, served on the Riverland Medical Center board of commissioners and was a 911 Communication District commissioner.

He also owned and operated the former Babe’s Café.

Concordia Parish Sheriff Randy Maxwell remembered McCoy as one who embodied everything that a public servant should be.

“He was a true asset to the community and a true, true public servant,” Maxwell said.

“He was a tireless contributor to the community, never asked for anything and all he wanted to do was better the community he lived in.”

McCoy was one who wanted to make sure things were done properly, and Maxwell said he was not afraid to ask questions.

“He just wanted to do what was best for the whole community, not one entity or race, his thing was for the goodness of the whole community,” Maxwell said.

“He was a pleasure to be around, and I feel blessed to have known him.”

Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland served as an alderman with McCoy, and Copeland said he, too, remembered a man dedicated to the greater good.

“He did an outstanding job representing his district and his city,” Copeland said. “He was one I confided in and talked to periodically, he was a good person and a good friend.”

Riverland Medical Center Administrator and Vidalia Alderman Vernon Stevens worked with McCoy in his capacity as an alderman and as a member of the hospital board, and he said he would remember McCoy as a good man.

“He was always hard working, always taking food to the elderly and the shut-in,” Stevens said. “I thought a lot of Theodore and the service he gave to the community.”

“The community is going to miss him. He was active even into his 80s, working as a deputy and working on the two boards. If there were more men like Theodore, the world would be a better place.”

When McCoy wasn’t involved in community public life, he was involved in community spiritual life as a member of many years at Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, former Vidalia City Clerk Orma Jean James said.

“He attended his church, and was really good in it,” James said. “He did what he could to help certain people.

“He did everything he could to make his church better.”

Funeral arrangements for McCoy are incomplete at Concordia Funeral Home.