For more than 30 years, Betty McCord spent her Christmas holidays making sure thousands of Oklahoma City’s less fortunate got a warm turkey dinner and that no child went without a Christmas gift. She is being remembered as a Christmas hero this week after dying July 28 at age 91.
Her affliction with Alzheimer’s began shortly after her retirement from the dinner in 2010. A notice placed by her family reported she died after getting infected with COVID-19.
The annual “Red Andrews Dinner,” now in its 74th year, was started by longtime lawmaker and boxing promoter Earnest “Red” Andrews who took it upon himself to feed a handful of people for Christmas.
McCord, his niece, took over the gathering when Andrews retired, keeping alive a tradition which still provides Christmas dinner, gifts for children, music and fellowship for about 7,000 people a year.
Attorney Robert Goldman, who joined with fellow attorney John Yoeckel and Andrews nephew Larry Cassil in taking over the dinner in 2012, called McCord “a shining example of what a compassionate person can do.”
“If you consider the countless thousands of people Betty’s life touched, the thousands of volunteers who fervently serve less fortunate people on Christmas Day, the heart warming stories throughout the years of the dinner’s participants and the volunteers, Betty’s life was a shining example of a life well served,” Goldman said. “Generations are indebted to her leadership.”
The family asks that memorials be made to the Red Andrews Christmas Dinner Foundation ℅ Mary Blankenship Pointer, 2513 SW 124, Oklahoma City, OK 73170.