Billie Parker McCoy passed on July 15, 2018 in Gig Harbor, Washington, and joined his beloved wife Betty Ruth, who predeceased him in 2016. Billie was born in Pleasantville, Iowa, on September 22, 1926 to William J. McCoy, Jr. and Julia E. Wright. Billie was the ninth of ten children, of which eight survived birth, and was the last of the family to enter the afterlife. He was predeceased by his parents, four sisters (Veda, Fay, Maria, and Luella) and three brothers (Harlan, Lindsey, and Franklin).
Growing up on a working farm, he developed many talents and sought opportunities to engage them. As a young man, during World War II, Billie ventured to Alaska in 1943 to assist in building the Alaskan Highway and while there became a butcher. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in December 1944 and was posted to Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Riding the ferry between Pearl Harbor, Oahu, and Ford Island, Private First Class McCoy met the love of his life, Petty Officer First Class, Betty Ruth Rose who enlisted in November 1943 as part of the U.S. Naval Reserve WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Services). After WWII, they were married in Pleasantville, Iowa, on August 25, 1946 and started a family while Southern Pacific Railroad employed Billie.
A patriot, Billie opted to re-enlist in the U.S. Army in the late 1940s after the birth of his first two children, Cora-Lynn and Philip. He became part of the Army’s Air Defense (i.e., missile systems) mission during the Korean Conflict and was posted to various locations (i.e., Connecticut, Texas, and California) for training and deployments during which his second two children, Patrick and Kathy, arrived. A devoted family man, during his leave Billie would travel cross-country to Iowa so that his children could enjoy the McCoy families and farm.
As Billie became integral to the U.S. Army Air Defense as a Chief Warrant Officer, he was deployed to Okinawa, Japan, in the 1960s, where in addition to his CWO responsibilities he was the Boy Scout Master for his sons and those of other service members! During the Vietnam War, he was posted to the San Francisco Presidio – Fort Baker, and then to the 173rd Airborne Brigade HQ in the Veneto Region (near Venice) in northern Italy. Upon return from deployment, Billie, elected to retire as a CWO 4 in Gig Harbor, Washington, and built a home in the Lake Minterwood Community on the Key Peninsula. He enjoyed being part of community, walking his dogs around the lake, and became active in the homeowners’ association.
Billie is survived by his children, Cora-Lynn (John Henke), Philip (Pat Nelson), Patrick (Kathy) and Kathy; his grandchildren, Jason (who predeceased him), Lisa, Russell, Michael, Sarah, Seth, and Jarrith; many nieces, nephews and great-grandchildren. Billie also left behind angels that cared for he and Betty to whom the family is grateful for their many kindnesses and patience, Andi Larsen, Victoria Cox, and Christy Braun-Yessa.
The following services will be held on July 21, 2018 at the Haven of Rest, 8503 WA-16, Gig Harbor, WA 98332: a viewing between 9 am and 10 am; a graveside service between 10 am and 11 am. Billie loved the military and he loved dogs. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to K9s for Warriors or a similar organization of your choice.