Charles William McCordic ll
Our beloved dad, husband, grandfather and great-grandfather, Charles William McCordic ll, moved to a new, very upscale, and permanent Address at 10:50 a.m. on March 18. With the new address comes a new and freed body, and the most wonderful neighbours. But the very best part is the King Himself, who is beaming with joy at Dad’s arrival! All that was left here was his old suit, which, while cherished by all of us, was 91 years old, pretty worn out, and badly needed replacing.
Charles William McCordic II began his exceptional life journey on March 6, 1930 in St Petersburg, Florida, born to older parents - Ada May McCordic (who was 47), from Groton SD, and Charles William McCordic I (aged 65) from Bosanquet, ON. He was the only child of his previously widowed dad’s second marriage, but he did have five adult half-siblings - Ivan, Iva, Grace, George and James.
A former land developer and builder in Florida, Charles’ father had lost his wealth as result of the financial crash of 1929, and little Charles II was born in the last (and unfinished) house his father had been building at the time. The Depression was harsh on the small family, and in 1939 the house had to be sold, and they moved to Alexandria VA, where his mother, a former college professor, found work as a secretary on the Fort Belvoir army base. After Charles finished high school in Alexandria, the family was without a home for several years, and living with various relatives, before settling in Sarnia ON in 1950, where he became the sole supporter of his elderly parents. After the death of his father in 1952, Charles and his mother lived in a small trailer on a cousin’s farm in the area.
Mentored by godly pastors, Charles experienced great spiritual growth during those years. Convinced of a calling to missions (and by the example of his mother’s brother, a missionary in South Africa), he moved to Toronto in 1956 to begin theological studies. There at Central Baptist Seminary, Charles met Mary Townsend, a young nurse from Lachute, Quebec, who was also preparing to be a missionary in Africa. They were married in July of the following year, and he continued his studies while his wife supported the family as a nurse at the Hospital for Sick Children. Charles Jr. came along in 1958, followed by Ross in 1959, and John in 1961.
In 1963, as members of the Sudan United Mission, the family left from Montreal for language study in France, where our parents learned French by dint of hard work; and we children - well, we learned by simply being kids. In 1964 the family arrived in Chad, and was posted to a hospital and pastoral training centre in Bébalem, a rural village in the south of the country. And into another language, this time, Ngambai. Tom, our youngest brother, came along in 1965, born in the bedroom of the thatched house that was our new home.
An old traditional "blessing" says, "May you live in interesting times". The years in Chad were certainly that. While Dad was always the committed pastoral educator, the country itself writhed in a series of violent changes and crises from 1973 on. From bloody persecution of Christians over traditional initiation rituals, to an ongoing guerrilla war from 1978 until well into the 1990’s, the country only sporadically and briefly ever felt "safe".
Following a two-year battle with cancer, Mom, the love of Dad’s life, died in the closing days of 1980; and Dad, in profound mourning, moved with teenaged Tom out to Three Hills AB to teach for two years at Prairie High School. In 1982, Dad married Bethel (Betsy) Burleigh, a fellow teacher, and in 1983 they returned to Chad – and to another spasm of civil war violence. In the midst of everything from wild rumours to being held at gunpoint, they continued to teach young pastoral students in Moundou, the "capital city" of southern Chad.
In 1988, Dad and Betsy finally left Chad for good, and from 1990 until his retirement in 1996 continued their teaching ministry with TEAM in Mbabane, Eswatini (the former Swaziland), and Durban, South Africa. Arriving in Durban, Dad found himself completing the circle, serving not far from where his uncle Lathrop began his ministry in 1908, and was buried in 1970.
Somehow across those years, Dad managed to complete a BTh, a BA, a BEd, an MDiv, and even after his retirement in 1996, a ThM from Regent College. In retirement he also wrote a two volume reference work entitled "The Thematic Bible", published in digital format by Logos Bible Software. He was still working on his autobiography when his health began to decline severely this past year.
Two generations of pastors in the church of Chad were trained by Dad and his colleagues, and remember him today with deep affection and respect (as so many have already communicated to us). My dad was once described to me by pastor Thomas Kaye, a wise and respected Chadian church leader, as, "the kindest missionary I ever met". He was also the kindest father I ever met.
Charles McCordic II is survived by his wife, Betsy, sons Charles (Cindy), daughter-in-law Dawn, John (Paisley), and Tom (Heidi), grandchildren Chad (Jen), Colin (Rachel), Cameron (Alicia), Josh (Teagan), Kyle (Rebecca), David, and Ariel (Josh), and great-grandchildren Skylar, Teia, Evie, Kaydence, William, Adeline, and Rosalea. Preceding Dad Home and certainly part of the "welcoming committee" are wife Mary, son Ross, and granddaughter Danielle. And, of course, a wonderful crowd of Chadian missionary and national colleagues and friends!
We are so grateful for your prayers, as well as for the truly kind and competent medical staff at Riverbend Place and St Mary’s Hospital. Please continue to pray for our stepmother, Betsy, (97) who, with advanced Parkinson’s and cognitive decline, is in long-term care at Riverbend Place in Cambridge.
In lieu of flowers, we suggest that donations in Dad’s memory may be directed to Heritage College and Seminary Donate – Heritage College and Seminary (discoverheritage.ca), to Emmanuel Bible College Give Today - Emmanuel Bible College or to TEAM (Canada) or TEAM (USA) www.team.org
By his request, Dad’s body will be buried alongside our mother’s in the little Ogdensburg Cemetery in Chatham Township, Quebec. Due to current circumstances, a Memorial Service will be planned at a later date.
Farewell, Dad - Until He comes!