Former Ripley coach, alderwoman dies

By Hank Wiesner/Southern Sentinel

RIPLEY – Funeral services will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Ripley Event Center for former Ripley alderwoman and long-time coach and teacher-educator Sherill McCoy, 56, who died Thursday, Sept. 29 at University Hospital at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

Visitation is set for 5-9 p.m. Saturday. McBride Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

She was the first woman elected to the Ripley Board of Aldermen, and served as Ward 1 Ripley Alderwoman from 2005-2009.

Universally known as “Coach,” she taught in Ripley schools from August, 1980 to May 26, 2009, when she retired. She was the high school golf coach at the time of her retirement. Most of her career was spent at Ripley Elementary School.

Friday afternoon, South Tippah Superintendent Frank Campbell, who was her principal at RES for eight years, recalled: “All the kids just loved her. There’s no way to know how many lives she touched at Ripley Elementary. Her death is a tremendous loss for the community.”

Said RES Principal Nedra Nabors: “She died on Fall Festival Day at the elementary school, and she always loved the festival. She had no children, but she touched no telling how many lives in 27 years here as our gym coach. The kids loved her, the faculty and staff loved her, and we’re all going to miss her.”

Recalled former Mayor Mike Harrison, with whom she served as alderwoman: “She was an asset to the city and served the city well. She didn’t mince her words, and the decisions she made always had the best interests of her ward at heart. She also helped get the tax passed that will fund construction of a new park.”