August 3, 1920 - August 22, 1981

Dad and Diablo
Arthur Ross McCord and Diablo, circa 1941
Arthur Ross McCord, circa 1941

Arthur Ross McCord was born in Slayton, Texas on the Llano Estacado of Lubbock County on August 3, 1920, and passed away from a heart attack at his home in Dallas, Texas on August 22, 1981, at the all-too-young age of 61. During his life dad served in the 112th Cavalry, patrolling the Texas-Mexico border on horseback before his unit was mobilized to fight Hitler and Hirohito during World War II. After serving for 5 years, and upon the end to the war, dad returned home to Texas where he was employed by the Santa Fe Railroad as a brakeman. He soon gave up the railroad work for carpentry, at which he excelled. It was to be his career until the day he died.

Driving down Congress Avenue in Austin with a man with whom he worked, they spotted the man's niece walking down the sidewalk and stopped to give her a ride. That was when my dad met my mom, and they married on November 3, 1946, in a union that lasted their entire lifetime together until dad 's death in 1981. They moved into an apartment in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, then bought a house when mom became pregnant with my older brother Junior, who died less than a day after birth due to lung and respiratory complications. Dad was always a hard working man and never failed to provide the necessities to sustain us, even in times of great financial difficulty. His only foray into the stock market resulted in being defrauded by legendary Texas conman Ben jack Cage, whose insurance company assured himself of a happy life in South America paid for by those who bought his stock. Dad never trusted insurance companies again, and that is something he passed along to his sons and daughters.

Dad was active in the Southern Baptist Church, and became a Mason when we were pre-teens. He rose to the rank of the 33rd Degree in the Scottish Rite, an organization that had its roots in the Knights Templar of 1092-1307. Both he and mother were also active in Eastern Star, an affiliate of the Masonic Order. My parents lived in oak Cliff until the ends of their lives, my mother following dad in death on January 10, 1996. They rest in peace in Grove Hill Cemetery in Dallas, along with my older brother and my still-born niece Sarah Lynn Clark, the daughter of my sister Karen and her husband Richard Lewis Clark of Missouri.

I was fortunate to have a dad who was so caring and dedicated to doing the right thing. He instilled in our family a strong work ethic and a can-do spirit that keeps us going in tough times. Dad's paternal bloodline can be traced to the Scottish Clan of John Duncan McKorde (born pre-1600) and his eldest son James (1620-1689) of Isle of Skye, County Argyll, the latter of whom died fighting William of Orange and his Orangemen in the Battle of Killiekrankie Pass where the Scots trounced the English invaders, who later returned to conquer Scotland. Dad's maternal ancestry is less clear, but we do know that his two great grandmothers were full-blood Western Band Cherokee and half-blood Lipan Apache. Dad possessed many of the Native American physical characteristics, as well as an Apache disposition whenever confronted with a bad situation. One of my dad's grandmothers was related to Hiram Ulysses Grant, Yankee General and U.S. President. Over 100 members of Clam McCord fought with George Washington in the American Revolution. My dad left us a legacy of service and honor that few seem to posssess anymore, and living up to his standards is more than a full-time challenge.

Arthur Ross McCord and Archie Doty at Fort Clark
Ross McCord and Archie Doty at Fort Clark
Brackettville, Texas
Dad somewhere along the Texas-Mexico border
Dad somewhere along the Texas-Mexico border

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Last updated June 9, 2004