Social media was flooded with memories commemorating the life of Northwest sophomore Morgan McCoy, who died after being struck by a drunk driver.
McCoy was from Liberty, Missouri. At Northwest she was a student teacher at Horace Mann and studied elementary education. She was also a member of the sorority Sigma Kappa.
President John Jasinski said in a statement McCoy was a driven student who made an impact at Northwest.
“As I’ve engaged with our faculty, staff and students this week, it is quite evident that Morgan was well liked, driven, confident and tracking to be an incredible teacher,” Jasinski said. “She was valued by her sisters in the Sigma Kappa sorority and many others in our Greek community, and she made significant contributions as a student employee in our School of Education in her short time at Northwest.”
Grace Elrod, McCoy’s friend from elementary and high school, said McCoy loved making friends and always knew how to brighten up a room.
“She was a very sweet girl," Elrod said. "I met her in elementary school; she was such an outgoing person. She loved to laugh and talk to everyone. She was friends with everyone and always made the room light up.”
Family friend Anna Bronson said McCoy was a selfless person who took interest in the people around her.
"I knew her through her sister Taryn, who I worked with at Culvers. She was so much fun to spend time with,” Bronson said. “She was spunky and sassy just like her mom and sister. She was so easy to talk to and always showed a genuine interest in my life and just made me feel like I mattered.”
Taylor Lee, another friend of McCoy, said she was a kind person who was always looking out for others.
“Morgan was the first person I met and talked to on orientation day for our first day of high school as sophomores,” Lee said. “I knew nobody because everyone I knew went to Liberty North. I met a lot people through being a cheerleader, but Morgan introduced to me so many more people. She was so outgoing and so loved by everyone.”
Elrod said McCoy was a great friend, and it was always a joy to have her around.
“I remember going to her house and just being crazy preteens and just being silly; she was super goofy and fun to be around,” Elrod said.
Lee said McCoy made friends with everyone she met and left a positive impact on everyone.
“Classmates, teachers, coaches and parents all adored her,” Lee said. “Because of her, I met my boyfriend of three years now, and I got to reconnect with old friends (because she knew everyone). She gave me so many fun times out filled with amazing memories.”
Bronson said McCoy was an extraordinary, bright young girl.
“She was super strong and independent (just like her mom raised her),” Bronson said. “I never saw her often, but when we would bump into each other, her personality and smile would literally brighten my whole entire day. She was just special.”
Friends of McCoy flooded her Facebook page with statements of love and shared memories they had with her. For Lee, one of her favorite memories of McCoy was one of the simplest moments.
“I will always remember her as the girl who loved to eat nacho cheese Doritos and drink Mountain Dew everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and she still looked like a goddess,” Lee said.
With the outpour of love for McCoy and support for her family, Elrod said it was clear everyone who knew McCoy would greatly miss her.
“Heaven got an amazing angel, and everyone will miss her dearly,” Elrod said. “We will miss you Morgan.”
McCoy was loved by everyone she met, Lee said, and her memory will live on with all those who knew her.
“She was my best friend, and I wish I could have seen her grow up to be the mother, wife, teacher, and best friend she should have been,” Lee said. “She will never be forgotten. I love you Mo.”
Jasinski said McCoy’s memory will be carried on by the Northwest community as it commemorates her life and legacy.
“Morgan cared deeply and was passionate about her family and children, and she wanted to help make the world a better place,” Jasinski said. “Morgan will be dearly missed, and we can carry on her legacy as a Northwest family by doing what we do as Bearcats – learning, connecting, showing care, practicing civility and showing pride.”
A GoFundMe page was created to help pay for McCoy’s funeral services. The fundraiser set an original goal of $10,000, and at time of publication the page had raised $13,584.
Visitation services for friends will be held at VanArsdale Funeral Services in Lebo, Kansas, from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 12. A service will be held at Flint Hills Bible Church in Emporia, Kansas, at 11 a.m. Jan. 13.
The funeral and corresponding memorial service will take place Jan. 14. A visitation will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. and a funeral service will be held at 3 p.m. at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church Liberty, Missouri.
Northwest will host a memorial service for McCoy. The date for this service was not set at time of publication, but the Missourian will release more information when it is released.