Samuel Jerry McKoy was born on April 18, 1939, in Atlanta, GA, to George W and Nellie Faye (Bartlett) McKoy. He was baptized in the Baptist Church at a young age. Sam was raised in Austell, Georgia and graduated from South Cobb High School in 1957. At South Cobb, he played basketball and ran track and made lifelong friends.
During his school years, Sam became very active in Boy Scouts where he became a Patrol leader and achieved the rank of Life Scout. He continued in the Explorers where he achieved the status of Junior Assistant Scout Master.
He graduated from the Southern Technical Institute (Georgia Tech) in 1961 with an Associate Degree in Electronics Technology. While living in the Washington, D.C. area and working at FAA Headquarters, he attended night school for two more years at the University of Maryland. He attended Southern Tech in the Atlanta area for five additional years studying Industrial Engineering Technology.
Sam was employed by Picker X-Ray Corporation in Atlanta as an X-ray Service Engineer for a short time.
He was hired in 1961 by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an Electronics Technician at Turner AFB Joint Use site in Albany, GA. He later was assigned at the long-range radar site in Marietta, GA. In 1966, he was selected into a competitive FAA Headquarters Management Development Program. That year, he was the only person selected who was not an Air Traffic Controller. He returned to Atlanta from Washington, D.C. in 1971 to the FAA Southern Regional Office serving in many disciplines in the Human Resource Management Division. He was primary in the removal of over 2,500 air traffic controllers who went on strike in 1981 in the Southern Region. Although Sam was not an attorney, he spent countless hours over the next three years in the “right seat” fielding individual hearings, arbitrations, and various other legal proceedings to resolve appeals related to their removal.
He coached his daughters’ softball teams for six years and was an officer in the youth recreational softball association. As well as teaching the young girls how to play ball, he believed it was more important to teach them good sportsmanship. His most cherished award over his lifetime was given by the umpires for his team’s sportsmanship.
On July 1, 1995, he married Judy Barnett Morris of Oklahoma City. Judy transferred to the FAA Southern Region in GA. They made their home on the Cartecay River, Ellijay, GA. They lived in Ellijay for the next 18 years before retiring and moving to Edmond, OK. Sam retired from FAA in 2003 with over 42 years of service.
Sam is survived by his wife of 28 years, Judy; daughter, Sherri Interrante and husband, Joseph of Georgia; daughter, Nita Hamm and husband, Robert of Georgia; brother, Bill McKoy of Estero, FL; grandson, Ryan Interrante and wife, Lauren of Florida; grandson, Alexander Interrante and wife, Robin of Georgia; granddaughter, Abbey Interrante and husband, Anthony Spagnoli of Maryland; and great-grandson, Levi Interrante.
Sam’s surviving loving stepfamily is son, Brad Morris and wife, Deanna of Oklahoma; son, Eric Morris and wife, Pritam of Texas; grandson, Austin Kappes of Texas, grandson Gavan Morris of Oklahoma, Kyle and Natalie Hamm of Georgia. Sam is loved by many in-laws, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
The family would like to extend an invitation to attend Sam’s memorial service. It will be held on Saturday, January 13, 2024, at the American Banjo Museum, 9 E. Sheridan Ave, Bricktown, OK City. Prepaid parking is available behind (north) of the museum. You should enter from Oklahoma Avenue and inform the parking attendant you are attending the McKoy service at the museum. A catered reception will begin at 5:30 PM, followed by a brief service.
Huge thanks to the nursing staff at Mercy Hospital’s 2A, 4AB, 4CD and the ER. Deepest thanks for their wonderful care, compassion, and bedside manner to Drs. Morton and Gharfeh (Mercy Hospital) and care from Dr. Guillermo Garcia-Manero (M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston).
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