Guyte Pierce McCord, Jr. ’37

Guyte Pierce McCord, Jr. '37Guyte Pierce McCord, Jr., 100, World War II and Korean War Veteran, Florida judge and civic leader, and devoted father and leader of his church, passed away quietly on March 12 at Westminster Oaks.

McCord served as a Judge in the First District Court of Appeal of Florida from 1974 to 1983, and as Chief Judge from 1977-79. Prior to that he was a Circuit Judge in the Second Judicial Circuit of Florida for fourteen years and was elected statewide to be chairman of the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges in 1972.

He was a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church, serving at times as Ruling Elder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

McCord was the loving husband for more than sixty years of Laura Elizabeth (Betty) Mack, until her passing in 2000. Betty is beloved by all as the founder of Springtime Tallahassee and a leader in development of the Tallahassee Museum of History and Science.

McCord was also the loving partner in marriage of Elizabeth Rogers Green for ten years until her passing in 2012, daughter of the distinguished Florida State University teacher-scholar and namesake of William Hudson Rogers Hall.

Throughout his career, McCord followed a life of public service in the generous spirit of his mother, Jean Patterson, and his father, Guyte McCord, Sr., who served as clerk of the Florida Supreme Court for twenty-five years, and who, as mayor of Tallahassee, founded its commission-manager form of government.

McCord attended Davidson College and the University of Florida for AB and JD degrees and worked during the last three summers of those years as a ranger in Yosemite National Park. He began law practice in 1940, but was commissioned Ensign in the United States Naval Reserve in 1942 and served on active duty in World War II until 1945. He was recalled to active duty during the Korean War. All of his duties were in Naval Intelligence. McCord was later promoted to Commander and retired after twenty-two years of service.

Prior to his appointment as Circuit Judge, McCord was Leon County Prosecuting Attorney followed by assignment as Assistant General Counsel for the Florida Railroad and Public Utility Commission. In Community Service, he was president of the Murat House Association, Inc., from 1967-69; he served on the Board of Directors of the Florida Heritage Foundation from 1969-70; and he was a member of the Tallahassee Kiwanis Club since 1941. He also was a long-standing member of the President’s Club of the Florida State University Foundation.

Judge McCord is survived by a daughter and two sons by his wife, Betty. His daughter, Betsy Kelly, an artist in Rockville, MD, studied at Agnes Scott before embarking on a career in arts education and raising a family with her husband, John W. Kelly, retired senior analyst at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

His son, Guyte Pierce III, a Captain in the Navy Reserve, received his BS at Washington and Lee and his JD at Florida State and practices law in Tallahassee. In 2006, he and his wife, Beverly B. McCord, joined in the endowment of a scholarship fund at Florida State College of Law that is awarded annually to meritorious law students in the name and honor of his father and grandfather.

His son, Edward LeRoy, studied at Princeton (AB) and the University of Pittsburgh (PhD and JD), where he now serves as Director of Special Programs at the University Honors College and Director of the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy. He is the author of “The Value of Species” (Yale University Press, 2012).

Judge McCord is also survived by a brother, James E. McCord, of Dowling Park as well by five grandchildren and three great grandchildren, all of whom he lived to know. They are John William Kelly III and his wife Trang of New York City; Elizabeth Corbin Kelly and her husband, Olivier Poncet of New York City; Guyte Pierce McCord IV of New York City; William Reed McCord of New York City; and Riley Edward McCord of Tallahassee; great grandchildren Colette Elisabeth Poncet; William Vincent Kelly and Xavier Vinh Tam Kelly all of New York City. He was also predeceased by his sister, Jean McCord Boone.

A memorial service and reception will be held at the First Presbyterian Church on March 29, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Guyte P. McCord Memorial Endowed Scholarship and made payable to “FSU College of Law” and sent to: FSU College of Law, Office of Development & Alumni Affairs, 425 W. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1601