San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 7th, 2012
Emmett McCoy, 1923-2012

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Emmett Francis McCoy, 88, of San Marcos, passed away Saturday, January 7, 2012. Emmett was born in Houston on February 27, 1923. He was the son of Frank and Margaret (Drees) McCoy, and grew up in Galveston.

Emmett McCoy

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Miriam Swanson McCoy; daughter Brenda McCoy Remme and husband Kaare; son Michael Emmett McCoy and wife Myra; Brian Francis McCoy and wife Wetonnah; daughter in law Cindy Cox McCoy; nine grandchildren and spouses; and eighteen (soon to be twenty one) great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son, Dennis Patrick McCoy and grandson, Keith Evan Remme.

Emmett’s family moved to Galveston, Texas when he was four years old, the same year Frank McCoy founded McCoy Roofing Company in 1927. Emmett was active in Boy Scouts growing up and was an Eagle Scout. He was also a member of ROTC at Ball High School, graduating in 1939. He then attended and graduated from New York Trade School, and it was during his time in New York that he met the love of his life, Miriam Swanson. Working in the shipyards in Orange, Texas at the beginning of WWII, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in April of 1943. He served in an Engineer Aviation Battalion in the Pacific Theater, and he was discharged with the rank of Sergeant in January of 1946. He and Miriam married the very next month on February 23, 1946 in upstate New York, and came back to Texas to start their life together.

Emmett founded McCoy Supply Co. in the fifties, which later became the present day McCoy’s Building Supply. His is a classic “Greatest Generation” story in which he and Miriam raised a family and built a business with incredible love, passion and drive. Starting in a building no larger than a 4 car garage, McCoy’s, at the time of Emmett’s retirement in 1997, had grown to over 90 locations with sales exceeding $400 million. He was a pioneer in the cash and carry building materials market, and today McCoy’s is one of the largest family-owned businesses in the industry.

Emmett and Miriam moved to San Marcos in 1972 and adopted the city as their hometown. Other business enterprises that Emmett was involved in during his career included Balcones Bank, which grew from one location to four during the family’s ownership, and McCoy Land & Cattle Co., which he expanded into a large cow-calf operation in far West Texas.

Emmett was always very generous to the community, and once retired, Emmett and Miriam focused on philanthropy in a bigger way than ever before. Their gift to the Emmett & Miriam McCoy College of Business is the single largest gift received by Texas State University to date. Their gifts, both large and small, were often anonymous, but were felt by so many in San Marcos, Hays County and across Texas and beyond.

A public memorial service will be held on Monday, January 30, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. at the San Marcos Conference Center at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 1001 East McCarty Lane in San Marcos, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center or the McCoy College of Business Foundation at Texas State University. Arrangements are by Pennington Funeral Home.

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7 thoughts on “Emmett McCoy, 1923-2012

  1. They don’t make them like Emmett McCoy anymore. He never sought headlines for his generosity and gave to this community in ways that we will never know. My prayers are with the McCoy family.

  2. My thoughts and prayers go out to Mrs. McCoy and family. Mr McCoy was a great man. It was a pleasure to schedule his care.

  3. I want to thank the McCoy family for the generosity they have shown the city and school. i have personally benefited from several of their acts of kindness and they have allowed me to be able to help other. In my prayers….

  4. To the family of Mr. Emmett McCoy,

    As a Texas State alumnus, I wish to say “thank you” for both your generosity and your vision.


    Steve Thompson
    Class of 2001

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