Richard Clayton McCoy

1926 - 2011 

Although Richard McCoy's 1950 degree from Walla Walla College was in theology, he was a gifted musician who would later complete a master's degree in conducting at Columbia University. While attending WWC, he met Thelma Johnson, who had recently graduated from the music program at the college and was now serving as the music department's primary piano teacher.

Following their marriage, they pursued lifetime careers in teaching music. He started his teaching career at Laurelwood Academy, near Portland, Oregon, where both of them taught music. They then taught at Lynwood Academy in California and at Gem State Academy in Idaho.

The McCoys moved to Port Angeles, Washington, where he taught in the public school system for 30 years and she taught piano privately. She continued to teach piano privately after his retirement, maintaining for a number of years a large studio in which he assisted by teaching theory to her students. Richard was living there at the time of his death, at age 84.


Sources: Completed WWC Alumni information form from summer 1976 issue of WWC Music Department magazine Opus; Information provided by Richard and Thelma Johnson McCoy, 7 January 1990; Dan Shultz, A Great Tradition, Music at Walla Walla College,1892-1992, 89; Personal contacts, North Pacific Union Gleaner, August 2011, 31.