Helen McCoy Summerville - An extraordinary woman was called home to paradise on Tuesday, September 14, 2021. Helen Dorothy McCoy was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 4, 1916 to Charles and Jenny Ruetiman. Always nurturing and quiet in manner, it was just natural for Helen to become a nurse. She graduated from the Southampton School of Nursing on Long Island, where she was affectionately called Rudy by her colleagues. While working at Mather Hospital, she met her future husband, J. Joseph McCoy, Jr., M.D. They married in Norfolk, VA August 24, 1941. While Joe shipped out to sea during WWII, Helen moved to Brightwaters, Long Island to be with her parents and raise her infant son, Jimmy. Following the war, Joe and Helen moved to Sayville, NY, and Joe began his private medical practice there. Three more children followed, including a special needs daughter who would become a focus for Helen to advocate for the ARC, (People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) for the rest of her life. Helen thrived on being a homemaker, part-time nurse, caretaker to aging parents and being a rabid sports fan of her beloved Dodgers. During these times, she also enjoyed sailing, swimming, skeet shooting, bowling, occasional trips into NYC and cheering on her kids at all their sporting and scouting events. Becoming a grandmother in 1966 was a highlight for her and just the beginning of many more to come. The year 1967 brought a huge change: a move to Charleston, South Carolina. As her older children left for their colleges, Mother became a staunch fan of the Citadel Bulldogs. She cheered the Bulldogs on for more than 40 years and was practically a celebrity at games, and a faithful member of the Brigadier Foundation. After her daughter, Sharon, passed, Helen returned to nursing at St. Francis Hospital in downtown Charleston, working in the Labor and Delivery department for many years. Helen and Joe loved to travel the country, visiting friends and relatives. They also ventured to Germany, Norway, Italy, France and Switzerland. Helen enjoyed reading crime books, doing countless crossword puzzles and receiving emails and playing Scrabble on her iPad. In her 80's, Mom found a new hobby: doing water aerobics at St. Andrew's Recreation Center. She also met monthly for lunches with her swimming group and retired nurses. Helen found spiritual nourishment and fellowship at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in West Ashley, where she became a Keenager! In her 90's, Helen still enjoyed traveling, visiting her daughter and grandkids in Texas and South Carolina. She even went kayaking on a lake at age 95! After a fall and hip surgery, she moved in with her eldest son and his wife in Summerville. There, she continued mothering the entire McCoy clan while enjoying tennis, baseball, golf and NCIS on TV from the comfort of her red leather couch. One of her favorite places to go was Folly Beach. She was able to visit there just a few weeks ago, where she saw some breakers, pelicans and dunes. They all made her smile. Helen was predeceased by her parents, her husband, Joseph, her brother, Charles and her daughter, Sharon. She is survived by son, James J. McCoy M.D. and wife, JoAnn, son, Peter M. McCoy and wife, Lucy, and daughter, Susan and husband, Christopher Black, eleven grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews. A wake will be held at McAlister-Smith Funeral Home on Bees Ferry Road, Sunday, September 19, 2021 from 2-4pm. The funeral service will be at 12 noon on Monday, September 20, 2021 at Holy Spirit Evangelical Lutheran Church on Bees Ferry Road, Charleston and will be livestreamed through the church website: www.holyspiritcharleston.org
under the "Worship" dropdown menu. This will be followed by a graveside service at 2pm at Holy Cross Cemetery on James Island. Special Olympics
was a prominent nonprofit she donated to in her daughter Sharon's memory. Donations to The Special Olympics
would be an honor. Visit our guestbook at legacy.com/obituaries/charleston
Published by Charleston Post & Courier from Sep. 18 to Sep. 19, 2021.