John Mack McCoin

***A Memorial Service will be held for John Mack McCoin (next week) 2:00 p.m., Friday, May 14, 2021 at the American Legion, 3408 W. 6th Street, Lawrence, Kansas 66049.

John Mack McCoin, 89, Lawrence. A military graveside service will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. John passed away on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at LMH Health.
John was born on January 21, 1931 in Alleghany County, North Carolina, the son of Robert Avery and Ollie Mae (Osborne) Mc Coin.

He served his country in the United States Marines for four years as a staff sergeant and later served in the Army Reserves.

He obtained an Associates Degree from Wingate Junior College. After transferring to Appalachian State Teachers College, he obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree. He received his Master’s Degree in Social work from Richmond Professional Institute. He earned his Ph.D. Degree in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota.

He worked at various positions from teaching, social worker, child welfare case worker, platoon sergeant, Mental Hygiene Clinic Psychiatric social worker, administrative chief with the Marine Reserves, combat intelligence chief and career planner with the rank of gunnery sergeant. He then became a captain with the Army Reserves and served in the 344th General Hospital. He then became an assistant professor of social work at the University of Wisconsin. He retired from the U.S. Army with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1991. He authored a book, Adult Foster Homes. He worked as supervisory social worker at the V.A. Medical Center in Leavenworth, KS.

He earned the National Defense Service Medal, the US Marine Good conduct Medal, the IRG Marine Corp Reserve Medal and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal. He was selected for inclusion in the Who’s Who in America.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Ruby Billings; and brother, Hassell Mc Coin.

Memorial contributions may be made in John’s name to the American Legion Post #14 and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

8 Condolences

  1. Julie Govier, LPN/ DON Monterey Village on January 20, 2021 at 5:57 pm

    John was one of my favorite residents. He always had a smile and some whacky rhyme when I gave him his pills. He never seemed to get upset about anything and made the other residents smile. He will be missed at Arbors for sure. Thank you sir for your service. May you Rest in Peace.

  2. Kalee Bree St Mire on January 20, 2021 at 6:16 pm

    John was my buddy as we both were Southern Peeps at Heart… We had that common connection and he loved to hear me talk. I am sad to hear that he has passed away. I will always be thankful for the time that I had when I worked there to spend with John. #RIPJOHN #FLYHIGHWITHTHEANGELS #THANKSFORYOURSERVICE

  3. Becky Oshel on January 21, 2021 at 8:04 am

    I am so sorry to hear of John’s passing. I loved this man! He was spunky and such a character. Say hello to The General for me John!

  4. MIKE AND ROSEMARY HADL on January 21, 2021 at 8:13 am

    Rest in peace my brother SUVCW….Mike Hadl

  5. Debora Rawlings on January 21, 2021 at 10:28 am

    I will miss John. He was always smiling & I never tired of hearing his life story. What a remarkable life he lived! Godspeed John.

  6. Alan Van Loenen, LTC(ret) U.S, Army on January 21, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    John will be missed, but not forgotten He was a member of American Post #14 and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War in Lawrence, KS. John could always cheer you up and always had a smile for you. As most know John was a U.S. Military veteran of over 20 years of service. From one Army LTC veteran to another Army LTC veteran thanks for your service to your country.

  7. Susan Simmons on February 4, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    This is the John McCoin I knew and am so fond of. I met John a number of years ago after he had returned to his home after suffering some major health events and I was working for Visiting Nurses. He got mad at the nursing facility when they wouldn’t let him move from skilled nursing to assisted living, so he he had his doctor release him and he went home! Thus, he needed some support services. I helped him a couple of hours a week, mostly doing a week’s worth of dishes and cleaning. In the course of trying to get on top of newspapers, numerous magazine subscriptions, genealogical research papers, solicitations from dozens of organizations, bills, multiple copies of original humorous “poems”, books, saved articles, and health reports, correspondence, etc., we filled two file cabinets. John told me about his life as we organized his family genealogy papers into files and folders. He was proud of his Irish roots, which included some Viking ancestors, and attributed his red hair to them. He overcame hardships in childhood and struggled with emotional scars, which contributed to his developing empathy for others, and propelled him to stubbornly pursue and obtain a Ph.D. in psychiatric social work. He was proud of his book, Adult Care Homes, and the quarterly journal he produced for several years after. He was also proud of his place in Who’s Who in America and others. John never married, but he had many loves. He loved flying his piper cub and kept the flight log which had helped him get his pilot’s license as a young man. He loved his car, Old Maude. He loved old country music, his favorite being Hank Williams. He introduced me to the original (1920s-30s?) Jimmy Rogers, whom I thought was delightful. John would chuckle as I whistled along and joined in with my version of a little “yodelling” while we played his Jimmy records as I cleaned his kitchen. John played his humorous Homer and Jethro CDs, too, and we laughed some more. John had their hilarious lyrics memorized and often quoted them for a laugh. John loved the Marines. He loved the military, with its drills, smart uniforms and metals. He was an airplane mechanic in the states during the Korean War. He was a crack shot, but I don’t know that he could shoot a person. He loved his rifle, Old Betsy, and he loved being part of the honor guard that performed the gun salute at funerals. He loved his family and his “hilbilly” roots. He loved The Sons of the Confederates and The Sons of the Union, he loved to read and he loved books, especially biographies and military history. He loved his home town of Sparta, NC, which was much like Mayberry, USA. He loved to travel when he was able. He loved the VA and the commissary. John loved to make people laugh, and we laughed a lot. After John had a disastrous fall in his garage, he recovered at a skilled nursing place and eventually moved into assisted living, and then memory care, where he lived the past two years. I left Visiting Nurses, but John wanted me to continue coming each week and I did, for years. He knew I “had his back” in that I cared about him and wanted what was best for him, supporting him like a friend or daughter. Covid-19 ended my weekly visits and, although I still accompanied him to his doctor and dentist appointments, our last time together was October 22, 2020 at his dentist appointment. I last saw him in the hospital a few days before he passed away. I didn’t know it would be the last time I would see him. Rest well, John. I will look for you in the resurrection. Rev. 21:3,4.

  8. Frank Amato Jr on April 26, 2021 at 9:28 am

    It wasn’t till I received on 4/23/21 the undeliverable letter I sent to my cousin John that prompted me to research and discover that he had passed.

    I have enjoyed my correspondences with John as we shared our mutual passion for our heritage, genealogy, family and Sparta memories.

    He was an incredibly thoughtful talented professional which is only second to his gracious caring loving personality.

    I will miss my “CUZ” John he was a primary source of my deep appreciation of my Irish North Carolina roots. From my grandfather Archibald McKaughan Jr, serving as a militia private in the revolutionary war to Walter Bell, Bataan Death March survivor, John was a source of inspiration in my family research journey.

    In a recent letter I wrote him I shared that my mind goes back to Sparta when I have my wood stove going, baking biscuits and cooking bacon, the most wonderful aromas. He agreed.

    We were all blessed by John’s presence and I’m sure he will enrich heaven too.

    Love, CUZ Frank

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