Former World-Herald reporter remembered for vibrant life, love of music

There was a musical precision to each observe of Julia McCord’s life, from her painstaking consideration to element as a World-Herald reporter to main church choirs and educating piano.

“Julia was a lady of precept. Journalistic precept, in fact,” former newspaper colleague Erin Grace mentioned. “She was thorough in growing her sources, checking details, and churning out information. However she additionally hewed to a rigorous private code that concerned her religion, her neighborhood and her mates.”

Julia McCord mug


McCord, who grew up in western Nebraska, beloved to sing, play piano and entertain. She was famend at The World-Herald for her excellent pitch, chili feeds for Gen X reporters at her midtown Omaha condominium and main “the Herald Singers” at Christmastime.

“She would write private Christmas playing cards in her excellent cursive,” Grace mentioned. “She would scold about my paying for piano classes with out making my youngsters observe. For all Julia’s spartan, righteous residing, she had a terrific humorousness and will chortle on the absurdities of life which, in a newspaper, there are infinite.”

Persons are additionally studying…

McCord, 82, died Aug. 24 of mind most cancers whereas beneath hospice care in her Lincoln dwelling. Providers can be held at Second Baptist Church of Lincoln on Sept. 9 at 3 p.m.

With the exactness of a metronome, McCord organized her life. She left a file that included the music to be performed at her funeral, all crucial obituary data, each element of her funds and feedback for publication.

“She remained a western Nebraska lady all her life,” McCord wrote of herself. “She beloved God, her household, her nation, the piano music of Bach and Debussy, the conservative motion, connoisseur cooking, Husker volleyball and good detective/spy novels.”

With a ultimate crescendo, McCord organized for her gravestone to be positioned within the household plot close to Lisco within the Nebraska Panhandle. Solely the ultimate date must be etched upon it.

Grace wrote a column in 2015 about her pal’s meticulous letter writing. The column is one more instance of McCord’s unsparing eye for element.

“She had no litter. Her desk at work, her midtown condominium, her Lincoln condominium all had been neatly tailor-made and so spare you’re like, the place’s your junk?” Grace mentioned. “She was super-organized and in addition didn’t imagine in having greater than she wanted.”

Julia McCord letters

Julia McCord places pen to paper at her Lincoln dwelling as she continued the household spherical robin of letters.

Born to Wesley and Willa Dunn in Lincoln in 1941, McCord grew up on a turkey farm within the Nebraska Panhandle. She graduated as valedictorian of Oshkosh Excessive College in 1959, and married Dan McCord, her highschool sweetheart.

The couple moved to Lincoln to attend Nebraska Wesleyan College, however McCord left school after one semester to boost three youngsters. Though the couple later divorced, they remained mates, eldest daughter Carla Albers of Colorado Springs mentioned, typically calling one another to gab about their shared ardour for sports activities.

As a younger mom, McCord started taking piano classes from Beth Miller Harrod, a former live performance pianist who had studied on the Juilliard College in New York Metropolis. McCord started a lifetime of educating piano whereas in her 20s.

“She was very vibrant and energetic,” Albers mentioned. “It was actually vital to her to have the ability to mentor younger folks.”

McCord returned to school after her youngsters had been out of highschool, graduating from the College of Nebraska-Lincoln with a level in journalism in 1989. McCord joined The World-Herald in 1990 the place she coated faith and normal information.

Her final beat earlier than retiring in 2007 concerned modifying letters for the Public Pulse. Geitner Simmons, the editorial web page editor, mentioned McCord would sing the praises of a well-written letter.

“She loved working with letter writers and appreciated vigorous, well-argued letters no matter partisan viewpoint,” Simmons mentioned. “In retirement, she continued to learn the Pulse and commented repeatedly to me about letters she discovered notably cogent or feisty, no matter whether or not the letter was consistent with her personal private views.”

It was evident, he mentioned, that McCord’s love of music was a big point of interest earlier than and after retirement.

“She devoted nice dedication to her work as a church pianist, and she or he relished the singing of hymns and the glories of choral efficiency,” Simmons mentioned. “She had a notable singing voice, a trait shared by a number of members of her household.”

In retirement, McCord was particularly dedicated to her grandchildren.

“She beloved being a grandma,” Albers mentioned. “Being together with her grandchildren and having fun with all the adventures with them was so vital to her.”

Along with her former husband and eldest daughter, McCord is survived by daughter Susan McCord of California; son Lance McCord of Thailand; sister Kathie Allred of Orem, Utah; brother Wendell Dunn of Polson, Montana; 5 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Grace: The letters binding a family for the past 71 years

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