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A thousand mourn Benton assistant principal at memorial service

“At this point in time, he is the heartbeat of Benton High School,” said Azure Hailey, McCoy's assistant at Benton High School.

Posted: Apr 1, 2021 5:45 PM
Updated: Apr 2, 2021 9:00 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Thursday morning, a sea of red and sprinkles of blue showed up in droves to honor a pillar of the southside. 

Not a single seat was left open at Grace Evangelical Church for the memorial service of Dr. Luke McCoy, 46, Benton High School's lifetime assistant principal who passed away last Friday. The church overflowed with nearly a thousand friends, family members, fellow teachers and students. 

“At this point in time, he is the heartbeat of Benton High School,” said Azure Hailey, McCoy's assistant at Benton High School. 

Speaking for the family at the service, McCoy's cousin Eli McLaughlin, who said the two were inseparable, like brothers. He shared stories that filled the church with laughter and tears. 

“Our bond began in the diaper years and by all accounts, we planned to leave this world in the same fashion- constantly drooling, mumbling incoherent phrases to one another. Friday, not only changed those plans, but it has forever altered the lives of his parents, his sister, his wife Rachel, his colleagues, students, but also Elliot, Noah and Ben,” said Eli McLaughlin, McCoy's cousin.

A hurt community spent the morning reflecting on how McCoy touched their lives and changed it for the better. 

Those who loved him, came out in masses to mourn and to celebrate McCoy's life and his legacy. His impact felt and displayed with the hundreds standing in red promising to forever remember the beloved assistant principal. 

McCoy leaves behind a wife and three sons. 

The family asks in place of flowers, to donate to the children's education fund. To donate, click here and enter the code: 56M-202.

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Temperatures have dropped down below freezing for many this morning with mostly clear skies creating a few areas of frost. Today temperatures will struggle to warm up again into the upper 40s and lower 50s with a mix of sun and clouds. Tonight temperatures will drop into the upper 20s and lower 30s again providing another frosty morning on Thursday. Southerly winds will return on Thursday helping to slowly warm temperatures back up into the upper 50s. Most of the day Thursday will be dry but rain chances will start to increase after about 6 PM. Rain chances will continue for the first half of the day Friday before moving out of our area. The weekend looks comfortable and spring like with temperatures in the 60s and 70s under mostly sunny skies. The warm up continues into next week with highs in the 70s and 80s on Monday.
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