DEFIANCE - Jayne McCoy, 73, a drug and alcohol counselor who went to college when she was nearly 50, died Tuesday in Defiance Hospital of heart failure.
A Virginia native, Mrs. McCoy left home at age 16 to attend nursing school in Nashville. There she met and married Defiance native Morris Ludy, whom she later divorced. They had three children.
In 1958, she married Wayne McCoy, whom she met while working at a Defiance taxi dispatch service.
Mrs. McCoy also tended bar in several downtown Defiance establishments. Her experience with troubled patrons inspired her to pursue a counseling career, her husband said. At age 49, Mrs. McCoy enrolled in Defiance College and received a bachelor's degree in psychology in 1980.
She went on to earn a master's degree from Bowling Green State University in 1982.
Mr. McCoy said education was important to his wife, whose father was a school superintendent in Virginia. “She loved to read - that was her favorite vocation.”
Mrs. McCoy took her counseling expertise to the Five County Alcohol and Drug Program, which serves Defiance, Fulton, Henry, and Williams counties and used to serve Paulding County. “She is very highly thought of in this community among the recovering population,” said Ken Bond, director of the drug and alcohol program. “She had a great sense of humor and used that as a big part of her counseling.”
Mr. Bond said she was one of the first area counselors to work with substance abusers who suffered from mental illness. “There are a lot of programs now for dual diagnosis patients, but there weren't at the time,” he said. “She was a pioneer in that field.”
Mrs. McCoy retired in 1989 but continued to work with Overeaters Anonymous and other groups that combat eating disorders.
Surviving are her husband, Wayne McCoy; son, M. Frederick Ludy; daughter, Kathy Gonzalez; six grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
Services will be 11 a.m. tomorrow in the Mast-Mock-Hoffman Funeral Home, Defiance, where the body will be after 2 p.m. today. The family requests tributes to the American Diabetes Association.
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