William McCoy

Memorial Service

11:00 am - 12:00 am
Monday, June 19, 2023
St. Thomas More Catholic Church
904 Carmichael Drive
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
Memorial Service

Obituary of William James McCoy

Please share a memory of William to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.

William James McCoy was born September 30, 1940, in Middletown, N.Y.  He was the only son of William John McCoy and Marion Gorman McCoy.

He started his academic career at Orange County Community College in his hometown before transferring to Cornell University in Ithaca, NY where he received his B.A. in 1962. He went on to receive an M.A. from Brown University in 1964, an M.A. from Yale University in 1966 and his Ph. D. from Yale in 1970.

He spent two years teaching at Georgetown University before arriving at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1970 where he would become a member of the faculty in theHistory and Classics Departments until his retirement.

The history, people and country of Greece would become one of his most pursued passions.  He learned it, studied it, taught it and shared it, not just with the students in his classrooms over almost 40 years, but with the countless people who traveled to the country with him as their guide, including the North Carolina Men’s Basketball Team in 1983.  His annual trek (or two) was always a highlight and something he looked forward to in his life and some of the most meaningful friendships he ever made were with the Greek people.

While with the University he also served roles working with numerous parts of the campus community including with North Carolina Athletics where he directly worked with a number ofteams and student-athletes as well as on the scorer’s table for men’s and women’s basketball.

He loved spending time with family and friends and he enjoyed playing tennis, golf, fishing, leading the Jim McCoy Trio, working in his yard, reading and listening to his classical music.

The family would like to thank UNC Hospice, Dr. James Kurz, Dr. Brad Barnes, Dr. Alfredo Rivadeneira and Dr. Richard Riedel for their care and assistance.

He is survived by his wife Nancy Fitzgerald McCoy, his son and daughter-in-law James & Shannon McCoy, his daughter and son-in-law Katherine & David Myers and his grandchildren Maddie, Grayson, Riley, Caitlin, Jackson and Hannah.  He will be deeply missed by all.


A memorial service will be held in Chapel Hill, NC at St. Thomas More Catholic Church at 11 AM on Monday, June 19.


In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Williams Syndrome Association or Neads World Class Service Dogs.

Share Your Memory of