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The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus

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In Memoriam: Terry McCoy, 1939-2009

Friday, Oct. 2, 2009

Metro League member and League leader Terry McCoy died in her sleep overnight; she was 70 years old.


Terry McCoy

Terry served as president of the Metro Columbus League from 1991-1994 and as president of the League of Women Voters of Ohio from 2001-2005. In the interim, she served as state legislative director and is credited with establishing the highly successful State League Lobby Corps.

Friends may call and visit with family at St. Philip Episcopal Church, 166 Woodland Avenue in Columbus on Monday, Oct. 5 from 3-5 and 7-8:30 pm. A service of thanksgiving in memory of Terry will be held Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 pm at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 8630 Refugee Road in Pickerington. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Terry’s honor can be made to the League of Women Voters of Ohio (non-deductible) or the League of Women Voters of Ohio Education Fund (tax deductible), or to Hunger Network in Ohio. Online condolences can be sent to the family.

Terry and her husband David McCoy were recently selected by the Metro League as recipients of the 2010 Democracy In Action award.

Terry worked passionately on a number of public policy issues throughout her career, including hunger, but is most closely associated with judicial independence. She led an ultimately unsuccessful ballot initiative in the late 1980s to change the Ohio Constitution to require merit selection of judges. She garnered significant funding for the state League to educate the public about judicial impartiality, including a national conference on the subject in 2002 and a reform summit with Chief Justice Thomas Moyer in 2003.

In addition to her many contributions at the local and state level, Terry served on the board of directors of the League of Women Voters of the United States from 1994-1998. While on the national board, she co-authored Empowering Citizens: A Guide to Influencing Public Policy, parts of which were translated into Russian to use with one of the League's Global Democracy projects. Terry was also part of the League's official delegation to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995.

About the League, Terry once wrote, “League has a proud heritage, an invaluable base for the future. League must regularly assess its strengths and employ those strengths in its mission to shape better communities worldwide. Our communities need us; we dare not fail!”

Terry was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in early September. She is survived by her husband, David, who is also an active League member, and two children.

Event: Democracy In Action
Read more: Obituary (Columbus Dispatch)