Irene W. McCoy

It is with sadness that the family of Irene W. McCoy share news of Irene’s death on September 10, 2021, at the age of 94. As a long-time resident of Des Moines, WA and West Seattle, a teacher in the Seattle and Highline Public School Districts, and a faithful member of Tibbetts United Methodist Church, Irene was loved by all who knew her.


Born Irene W. Martin on December 25, 1926 in Liverpool, England, she grew up with three sisters and a brother. She enjoyed a happy childhood even though her pre-teen and teen years were greatly affected by World War II, including the consistent bombing of Liverpool and the rationing of food, gasoline and other common items.  


Irene became an elementary school teacher and taught both in England and the USA.  In 1955 she came to the USA as a participant in a one-year teacher exchange program sponsored by the Fulbright Teacher Exchange. She taught at Gatewood Elementary School in West Seattle.  Two teachers from West Seattle met Irene in New York City to welcome her to America. One was Dean McCoy.  In 1956 she returned to England where she continued teaching; in 1957 she emigrated to the USA to marry Dean and thus began a happy marriage of 47 years. 


Irene is survived by her daughters and son: Dr. Jennifer McCoy; Ellen Johanson; Clive McCoy; her granddaughter, Rachel Johanson, as well as nieces, nephews and cousins in England and the USA. 


A private graveside service for family members will be held at Mountain View Funeral Home and Memorial Park in Lakewood, WA and a Celebration of Life Service will be held at a date, yet to be determined, at Wesley Retirement Community in Des Moines, WA. Preceded in death by her beloved husband, parents and four siblings, Irene has lived a joyful and complete life.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that tribute gifts may be made to Wesley Community Foundation,, or Tibbetts United Methodist Church, in her memory.