SIKESTON -- Joseph Henry McCord, 90, died at 9:23 a.m. Oct. 20, 2008, at Missouri Delta Medical Center.
Born Aug. 20, 1918, in Lilbourn, to the late Robert Allen and Martha Gertrude Glascock McCord Sr., he was a prominent business owner and civic, community and church leader. A lifelong resident of Sikeston, he graduated in 1936 from Sikeston High School and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1940 from Westminster College in Fulton. An active member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, he remained active until his death. He was a starting guard on the college basketball team.
He declined acceptance to Harvard Law School in order to return to Sikeston to become one of the founders of Sikeston Live-Stock Auction Co., later becoming partners with the late Lenzie Beck to form Beck and McCord Live-Stock Auction Co. in 1946. It became the largest cattle auction company in three states and the duo of Beck and McCord were awarded the first Boss of the Year award from the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce and the Agri-Business Service award.
He was the owner and operator of the Cairo Car Auction, which was the largest in a five-state area. A partner in the Kennett Livestock Sales Co. for more than 40 years, he was also the largest single livestock buyer in the tri-state area. For a time, Beck and McCord's Farm Equipment and Tools Auction Co., based in Sikeston, was the largest of its kind operating in the world.
He was a past president of the Chamber of Commerce and, aside from auctioneering, he held a broker license in which he bought and sold farms and land parcels for others. He was attributed with being the "single motivating factor with his business operations for the original growth of Sikeston."
He owned farmland which was made into subdivisions and land parcels, including several hundred acres in Stoddard County.
McCord was the former owner of Sunset Cemetery until he deeded it to the city. A past president of the Sikeston Jaycees, he was a 32nd degree Mason with both the Masonic Lodge and the Scottish Right.
He was instrumental in the construction and creation of the Sikeston Country Club and was an original trustee and donator to the groundbreaking and construction of the now First Christian Church, in which he was a 90-year member and active leader. There, he held positions of deacon, elder emeritus for serving over 65 years and was chairman of the church board for years.
Retirement for McCord came upon the death of his partner Lenzie Beck, and Beck and McCord Live-Stock Auction was closed. He did continue using his auctioneering talents for charitable auctions in the surrounding area.
On Sept. 6, 1940, in St. Louis, he married Jean Grugett who died Jan. 25, 2007. Upon declining health, the couple had moved to Clearview Nursing Center where they were able to live out their 66 years of marriage.
Also preceding him in death were: one brother, Robert A. McCord Jr.; one niece, Carolyn Jean McCord; and two nephews, Bobby Dale Urban and David L. Urban.
Survivors include: one daughter and son-in-law, Janie and William John Kaiser of Sikeston; two granddaughters, Amy Paige Kaiser, a student at Southeast Missouri State University, and Jean Quinn Kaiser, a student at the University of Missouri; one sister-in-law, Amy McCord of Sikeston; two nephews, Robert Allen "Bob" and wife Mary McCord III of Sikeston and Sam B. McCord of St. Louis; and four great-nieces and one nephew and one great-great-nephew.
Visitation will be held from 1 p.m. Thursday until time of services at 3 p.m. at the First Christian Church. The Rev. Mary McCord, pastor, will officiate.
Burial will follow in the Memorial Park Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be: Mike Marshall, Joe Blanton, Terry Fitzgerald, Trevor Urban, Jason Hildenbrand and Rick Huls.
Honorary pallbearers will be R.L. Richards, John Mobley, Dr. John Kendig, Judge John Bailey, Terry Cole, Jack Young, P.J. Ponder, Edward Matthews, Kenny Bell, Doug Kaiser and Lloyd Smith.
Nunnelee Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
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The family would like to thank friends and family who were there for Joe during the good and bad times of his life.
Contributions may be made in his name to:
First Christian Church
1006 N. Main St.
Sikeston, MO 63801