John Terrence McCoy

Macken Funeral Home Memorial Photo
Date of Birth:
Tuesday, November 9, 1937
Date of Death:
Friday, March 26, 2021
83 years old


Date: Friday April 09, 2021
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Location: River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home [ view map ]

Memorial Service

Date: Friday April 09, 2021
Time: 3:00 pm

Location: River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home [ view map ]

Live Stream

A live stream of the service will be available at

Macken Funeral Home Memorial Photo
Date of Birth:
Tuesday, November 9, 1937
Date of Death:
Friday, March 26, 2021
83 years old
Macken Funeral Home Memorial Photo
Date of Birth:
Tuesday, November 9, 1937
Date of Death:
Friday, March 26, 2021
83 years old

John Terrence McCoy

John Terrence McCoy

 John T. went home to the Lord on March 26, 2021.

John Terrence McCoy was born November 9, 1937. He graduated from Lourdes High School and served in the National Reserves. He completed his art and teaching education at the Chicago Institute of Arts and Mankato State. His teaching career included Lourdes High School and John Marshall High School, from which he retired in 1999. He continued to substitute teach art at a local night school. John loved his students and encouraged their free expression and creativity. His classroom had few boundaries and his students loved him. John was a gifted artist in his own right and his works are treasured by many.

He was an avid fly fisherman, fishing streams in southeastern Minnesota and Montana. He will be remembered for his yellow Saab, a few “God damn its,” and the road trips he took with friends, He was an entertaining companion, and he will be missed dearly by many.

John is survived by his spouse of 26 years, Joan; stepchildren, Shannon San Roman and Todd Blakley; grandchildren, Emilio San Ramon, Breyden Blakley (he was known as “Popo” to his grandchildren and their friends); sister, Killer McCoy; sister-in-law, Trudy McCoy; and many loving nieces, nephews, and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Loretta (Daly) McCoy and Thomas L. McCoy; and brother, Thomas D. McCoy.

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, April 9, 2021 in the River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home in Rochester with Rev. Shawn Haremza officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.  To view a live stream of the service click here

In lieu of flowers direct donations are welcome to Seasons Hospice.

A special thank you to Daniella, Amy, and Julie from Seasons Hospice and the Walt House staffers, Cathy, Daryn, Sam, Brenda, and Julie and all who aided him in his journey.

John lived well and died well.

Online condolences are welcome at

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The family of John Terrence McCoy has received the following condolences.

I had John for art classes all through high school. He also did support groups for kids with problems and he helped me out a lot.I remember group painting outings at Quarry Hill.And some fishing. He was a great teacher and a lot of fun. We all loved him.

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day

Rage,rage rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn too late,they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.  Dylan Thomas

Throughout high school I found much refuge in his room beyond my scheduled class hours.  He encouraged such a wide breadth of exploration of medium and discovery and I am so thankful to have had shared my high school years with such a wonderful person.

JM Class of 1991, represent!  I was fortunate to get into Mr McCoy's art class just about every semester.  I have many smile-worthy memories of my time in that big, open space with the radio playing Top 40's, the smell of wet clay and acrylic paint, the works in progress everywhere, and art on display in the case by the auditorium doors.  We had a degree of freedom then that I suspect most students today never see.  I was a straight-laced student, but that freedom I mentioned helped me loosen up a little, and I still have some of my clunky ceramic bowls with funky glazes that melted inside the kiln in interesting patterns that he had never seen before, and I still have some clumsily-framed canvases with a few touches of shading that came from him taking the brush and showing me how to add depth and perspective.  Mr. McCoy, you were one of several teachers I remember to this day with a smile.  Let your memory be eternal!

The transition to high school was a tough one for me. Luckily, I had Mr. McCoy as a teacher. The art room was a safe haven for all of my years at high school. I felt totally accepted and supported by Mr. McCoy and loved the freedom of his class. He was an inspiration to me when I made the decision to pursue art education. I feel like I’ve come full circle as a 9th grade art teacher. My goal has always been to provide what John did... a safe and welcoming space to everyone, particularly those that need it. Even though I was in his classes years ago, I think of him often and fondly. He was an amazing teacher and man

He was a wonderful teacher! My deepest sympathies!

John McCoy was my favorite, most memorable teacher. He was so approachable, patient, friendly, fun and a very good artist.

I'm happy to have my paintings from high school that have his brush strokes added to them. Thank you John for being so memorable. I'm an artist today because of you.

Rest in Sweet Peace.

I was a student at John Marshall High School from 1967-1970. As a student of Mr. McCoy's I can say I really enjoyed him and his sense of humor. He had a free spirit about him and always made people laugh and it seemed he never had a sense of seriousness about him.  He was the dreamy hunk of the school faculty. Mr. McCoy is someone you don't forget. My sympathy to his family. It was a pleasure knowing him.   Roberta (Joyce) Kurth

So sorry to read of the passing of John McCoy. I was fortunate to have him as a teacher, class of 1984. He really had a gift when it came to teaching. He was encouraging to all of his students, regardless of natural artistic ability. He was kind, and very funny. I do have to smile though, he had a very positive effect on myself as a student, so to imagine the hundreds or more he impacted throughout his career, amazing. 

Mr. McCoy (Just call me "John") was such a nice guy.  He gave me a couple subtle hints when I was working on drawings and paintings in his class that I still use to this day.  He had a relaxed approach if you worked hard in his class, but could hold the line with some of us that needed a tight leash.  That alone speaks volumes about him and his teaching style.  I was lucky and honored to have him as a teacher, and the world was a better place with him here with us.  God bless him.  We miss you, John.

Mr. McCoy was my art teacher 1980-1982.  He always gave great advice and inspiration.  He touched many many lives.  May his loved ones be consoled.

John   Remember those Carlton nights we spent together.  Rest. Miss you !

Condolences to the McCoy Family,

When I started my stint at John Marshall in the early 80's I knew it was going to be an interesting and special place to teach.

John was one of those staff members who had a great sense of humor, a very personable nature, and a disposition conducive to teaching students of all backgrounds.

He was one of many JM staffers, who in his own special way, made my tenure at John Marshall memorable. I am thankful for the opportunity/gift to have known John.

May God bless him and his family.

John always had a twinkle in his eye.  As a colleague and friend teaching at JMHS, we had many a fun happy hour at places like Howard Johnson's and the Depot House, John always keeping people entertained.  Later, when he bought a piece of land from my mom on Lake Pepin, I got to sail with him and saw his cute little apple house with paintings for sale.  Talented, funny and a soft side for kids who might be trying to find their way...that is John T. McCoy!

A Thousand Wonders


When I was seven, I dreamed my father died.  I woke up sobbing, tangled in the white cotton sheets.  My father, who must have heard my cries came into the room and lifted me out of bed.


I leaned into the crook of his neck and answered him with a muffled question.

Papa, are you going to die?

Sure, some day.  He must have felt my little body tighten or known there are certain truths we can only tolerate in the light of day because he quickly added, but not until I have seen a thousand wonders.

I pulled away to look at his face...a thousand wonders?

Didn't you know?

I shook my head.

Why, every human being has to see a thousand wonders before he dies.

I thought about that for a minute.  But what about people who die young?

Some people see wonder in everything.

But what about bad people?

Some people have a harder time seeing wonder but that doesn't mean its not there.

I put my arms around this neck and said, Papa, so you get to see a thousand wonders but you still have to die?


That's sad.

Not really.  After seeing a thousand wonders, what else is there to live for?


Carmen Deedy.








Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal.

Hugs to you Joan

My thoughts and prayers go out to you all. Mr. McCoy was a great teacher. I'll never forget him. 



I am so saddened by the loss of the greatest art teacher ever. Many hours were spent hanging out with him in the art room. He always supported what you were working on. He nominated me for art awards and hung my artwork in the cases by the auditorium for all to see. Little did I know his support helped me open and design products to be sold around the world. Thank you John for everything, you were a special soul. 

My condolences to the family of John McCoy ,I'm so happy he had a beautiful loving, caring wife in his final years here on earth. He was my teacher, mentor, and support in highschool. He taught my brothers and myself the meaning of art and life, he will be truly missed.

RIP John.

Mona Christensen, JM class of 1972




John was my teacher from 1972 - 1977. I  took every class he offered in those years. In fact in my senior year their were several of us who wanted something more so he created a special "independent study art" class for us. Through him I learned so much and in so very many art mediums. I homeschooled my four children and was a Boy Scout and Girl Scout leader and he was a big inspiration in my teaching/ leading. He is the teacher I tell my grandchildren about. Now that I am retired I have taken up painting and remember John and what he taught me so many years ago. He was and will always be my favorite teacher! My deepest sympathy to the family in this time of loss. Know that he lives on in his many many students. 

Mr. McCoy was an outstanding teacher and mentor to a lot of kids at John Marshall High School. He was beyond an Art teacher he treated everyone fairly. Great guy even better human being. RIP sir it was a fantastic journey 

John was a great teacher and mentor to so many  who were fortunate enough to be his students. He was one of the few teachers to come to my graduation party - something I will never forget. 

Joan, we are so saddened by your loss of John. I wish we could have known him better but his legacy was well known from his students who loved him so much. We are here for you if you need anything. Wishing you comfort and peace in this difficult time.

Rest In Peace, John.  

Jim and I were so lucky to have had you as a friend. So many wonderful memories with you and Joan.  Some not so wonderful...but we shared those too.  Your legacy is not only the paintings you left behind, but the students you taught, and the friends that loved you and will miss you.  ❤️

I like the comment someone posted, “Now you can paint the sky.”   🖌🎨☘️❤️

Dear Joan and family please accept my heartfelt condolences with the passing of John (or Terry as many knew him by) he touched so many lives with his sweet and kind personality. We had a little joke we shared he’d ask ”who are you Susie or Sally ,” Sally being the wild naughty one, and we would laugh when I answered   I read all the beautiful memories people shared especially his students on Facebook WOW, he touched so many lives, with his kindness and understanding and acceptance of his students ,he truly changed lives  The best achievement any person can have in life is to leave a positive impression .

 although I can’t attend the service please know you will be in my thoughts and prayer’s as  John gets fitted for his IRISH wings  ☘️🍀😇



Heartfelt condolences to the family.  He touched and help shape the characters of so many!  Not just his students, but those he came in contact with.

He was an admirable man.

John was a great teacher and friend. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. 

So sorry to hear this , he was one of my favorite teachers. Fun kind genuine .. all qualities a teacher should have and he did!! May the family find peace knowing what a good man he was and those he touched while teaching.

So sorry for the loss of John McCoy. He was an excellent teacher and a sweet guy. I never had him as an art teacher. He was a support group leader for me my senior year at JM. He will be missed!