Veteran Tupelo Police Department Officer, Lt. Jimmy L. “Cotton” McCoy, Retd. and decorated veteran of the Vietnam War folded his earthly tent and transformed to eternal rest on Monday morning, May 23, 2022 after a period of declining health. Cotton, as he was universally known, was born the third of six children born to Noel and Katie Putt McCoy. Growing up on Canal St. in east Tupelo, he attended Lawhon School, graduated from Tupelo High School in 1965 and attended ICC for two years. Cotton answered the call of his country and served in the U.S. Army during the heart of the Vietnam War. He was a mortar man with the 173rd Airborne Division and a paratrooper. For his bravery and courage, he received many medals including the Bronze Star-declining a Purple Heart because he felt others deserved it more than he. Determined to continue in public service, Cotton graduated from the Miss. Law Enforcement Academy and became a police officer for the City of Tupelo. For 35 years, Cotton became a beloved figure among the citizens as a motorcycle cop and street patrolman. He always tempered justice with mercy whenever possible and was a strong mentor/teacher for many young people who just needed a steady force and guidance to get back on track in life. Cotton retired in 2006 with the rank of Lieutenant. A great southern storyteller, Cotton endeared himself to family and friends with his yarns and clever personality. He never met a stranger and loved being a citizen of Tupelo and Lee County. Cotton was a lifelong member of the East Heights Baptist Church, a Mason and Shriner, an avid gardener and gun collector.
A service, with military honors, will take place on Friday, May 27, 2022 from the Sadie Holland Memorial Chapel at Holland Funeral Directors with Bro. Danny Balint officiating. Steve Holland will deliver the eulogy. A burial service with police honors will take place immediately following in the McCoy family plot at Oak Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5PM-7PM Thursday and from Noon-service time on Friday all at Holland-Tupelo Chapel, which is honored to be serving their friends. For those unable to attend, the service may be viewed at www.hollandfuneraldirectors.com/Livestreaming at 2 PM Friday and will be archived thereafter.
Cotton leaves behind his son, Jimmy McCoy, Jr. and his wife, Jennifer of Pontotoc; his sister who was his primary caregiver, Sandra McCoy Estes of Plantersville and her husband, Steve, who was like a brother; his 3 grandchildren, Zach McCoy (Haley), Paxton McCoy and Lexie McCoy; 4 great grandchildren, Shaelyn, Burkley, Oakley and Rubi Kate; three sisters in law, Linda, Rose and Kay McCoy and numerous nieces and nephews and their families. Cotton was preceded in death by his parents, Noel and Katie McCoy, his beloved daughter, Anna McCoy in 2010; his 4 brothers, Ray, Larry, Phillip and Tommy McCoy and a sister in law, Cecelia McCoy Roberson.
Pallbearers will be Jason Estes and Zach, Paxton, Scott, Larry Allen and Brad McCoy. Honorary pallbearers will be the Edward Shift from TPD and all former and present police officers he served with.
Memorials may be made to Tupelo Veteran’s Memorial Park, P. O. Box 3608, Tupelo, MS. 38803. Condolences