Grady L. McCool, 80, died Sunday, December 22, 2002, at St Dominic / Jackson Memorial Hospital. Visitation is 12:30 p.m. today at Wright & Ferguson Funeral Home in Ridgeland. Services are 2 p.m. today at the funeral home with burial in Parkway Memorial Cemetery.
Mr. McCool was born November 25, 1922 in Carthage. He served in the Marines during World War II from 1941-1945 with the legendary Carlson’s Raiders in the South Pacific. He attended Mississippi State University on the GI Bill and after graduation he was a high school teacher and coach for nine years. He was later commissioned as an officer in the Air Force and served during Airlift Command from Berlin to Western Europe. While on tour of duty in Germany, he again coached football and after returning to the United States, he continued teaching and coaching in the public schools.
In 1956 he moved to Jackson, working for a publishing company and later became a successful realtor and builder and served as president of Jackson’s Multiple Listing Service.
In 1972, he had the first of two open-heart surgeries. He became a charter member of Mississippi’s local Mended Hearts chapter and served as the first chapter president. The motto of the Mended Hearts Society is, “It’s great to be alive and help others.” For 28 years, Mr. McCool exemplified this motto as he visited numerous heart patients, sharing his experiences and offering words of encouragement and hope. He later served as the national president of the Mended Hearts Society and was honored with the establishment of a nursing scholarship presented each year in his name.
During retirement, Mr. McCool worked with McCool Auctions and enjoyed coaching his grandchildren in various recreational sports. He was an active member of Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church. He previously served as a lay leader and taught adult Sunday school classes for many years. He was a member of the Masons and Shriners and the Country Club of Jackson.
Mr. McCool loved people, especially his family, and touched and enriched so many lives with his tender heart and total commitment to helping others. Family and friends say that God has truly called one of His saints home.
He is preceded in death by his brother, Pellam McCool of Virginia; grandson, Camp McCool of Jackson; and son-in-law, Bill Lynch of Madison.
He leaves to cherish his memory, a wife, Allene of 49 years and his former high school sweetheart; sons, Grady L. McCool Jr. and wife Sharon, Larry A. McCool; daughter, Cindy Lynch; grandchildren, Mac McCool and wife Brandi, Mollie Doty and husband Chris, Sterling and Luke McCool, and Beau, Ryan and Grady Lynch; great-grandchildren, Mac and Campbell Berry, all of Jackson and Madison. He also leaves brother, Bill McCool of Jackson and sister, Lilly Choate of Destin, Fla.
The family requested that memorial contributions be made to the Mended Hearts Scholarship Fund, mailed to Howard Lucas, 925 Briarwood Drive, Jackson, MS 39211 or to Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church Building Fund, mailed to 750 Pear Orchard Road, Ridgeland, MS 39157.