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Cordell Etchison McVay

Jun 30th, 1925 - May 4th, 2021

Graveside Ceremony: 2 p.m Sunday, May 9, 2021, at Elmwood Cemetery in Flora 


     Ethel Cordell Etchison McVay, age 95, of Spring Hill, Florida, and formerly of Flora, Illinois, passed away Tuesday morning, May 4, 2021.

     Cordell was born June 30, 1925, in San Antonio, Texas, the daughter of Homer and Ethel (Cordell) Bramble.  She was united in marriage to John A. Etchison in 1945 and he preceded her in death in 1981.  She later married Weldon McVay on August 17, 1985, in Flora, and he preceded her in death September 29, 2001.

     She resided in Flora from 1950-2001, before moving to Florida to be near her son Don and his family.  She has resided in Florida for the last 20 years where she had her own house with a beautiful garden and flowers.  She loved the Florida warmth and sunshine.    

     While she was born in Texas, she was raised in Oklahoma and was a Chickasaw Indian.  Her great-grandfather was the first Governor of the Chickasaw Nation in the mid-1800s.  She was a leader at Wynnewood High School where she was a member of the band, the debate team, performed public speaking and was the school reporter.  She won awards for public speaking and memorized “Midshipmen Easy” a ten-page story about a young man serving in the war.  After graduating from high school, she attended business college and learned typing and short-hand dictation.  Then in 1943, she landed a job in Oklahoma City with Douglas Aircraft and was part of the war effort.

     In 1945, she met John Etchison in Oklahoma City where he was on assignment for Allison Aircraft.  They met by chance in front of the famous and stately Skirvin Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City.  At first Cordell's mother had reservations about John as he was ten years older.  But they loved each other and were married after a few months of courtship.  In 1950, Cordell and John with their two young boys moved to John's hometown of Flora as John joined his brother Lindsey to take over the appliance business established by Eldon Brooks.  That business became Etchison Brothers Appliance which is still operating today as Etchison Appliance which is still operating today as Etchison Appliance after being operated most recently by Joe and Myrna Etchison.

     Cordell worked at the state's Cumberland Trail Library for many years.  She was actively involved in the Republican Party, serving as a chairwoman.  In early years she was also a Cub Scout den mother for Marvin Tibbs, Greg Etchison, Steve Oglesby, Brent Eskew, Jim Kerby and several others.

     She loved the life of Flora.  It was an idyllic small town and a perfect place to raise a family.  Now she has come home to Flora to be laid to rest in Elmwood Cemetery by her husbands, John and Weldon, and Ethel Brooks, John's mother, who she greatly admired.

     Cordell was an accomplished musician and dancer.  She played first chair clarinet in high school and played the piano her entire life until the age of 94.  She was also a great ballroom dancer and loved Glen Miller and Tommy Dorsey - the big bands.  She was meticulous with her style and dress and always had a nice presentation, which was important to her.  In the assisted living facility in her final years, she was widely respected as having a winning personality and great looks.  Cordell was known as a friendly, nice dressing woman with a smile on her face and a great attitude.  She was a member of the Greatest Generation.

     She is survived by her sons: John D. (Joann) Etchison of Onarga, Illinois and Don (Sheila) Etchison of Spring Hill, Florida; 5 grandchildren: Jonathan (Holly) Etchison, Jessica Etchison Strenge, Shelane Camille Etchison, Clayton (Morgan) Brooks Etchison, and Landon Cordell George Etchison; and 4 great-grandchildren: Jonas Etchison, Jaysa Etchison, Madeline Strenge, and Henry Strenge.

     She was preceded in death by her parents; her husbands; and 2 sisters: Wanda McLaughlin and Laurie Welch.

     A graveside ceremony and committal will begin at 2 p.m Sunday, May 9, 2021, at Elmwood Cemetery in Flora.  Memorial donations are suggested to the Alzheimer’s Association and will be accepted through the funeral home.  Arrangements are in the care of Frank & Bright Funeral Home in Flora.  To share a condolence or memory, visit:


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Flora Hutchins Ballew

May 7th

Cordell was a kind and Loving person she always made me smile when she came to the Coffee Shop and I Loved to listen to her stories about her life and how she was going to write her memories in a book for the family. She was a beautiful lady. Love and Prayers to all of the Family

Trudy Zimmerman Stanford

May 6th

I am so sorry for your loss. She was a wonderful person. Hugs and prayers. 🙏

Linda Grove

May 6th

I worked with Cordell at Cumberland Trail Library for many years. She was a friend and a very special lady--class all the way. Our love and prayers to her family.

Dave and Debbie McLaughlin

May 7th

Aunt Cordell was a wonderfully bright, talented and loving person. She loved her family and was loved by them all without measure. I have such fond memories of her. She lived a long good life and was loved by everyone she came in contact with. She will make a wonderful addition in heaven, I have no doubt. I love you Auntie Dell!

Kathy Kelley Wenthe

May 7th

I enjoyed working with Cordell at the library system. She was a very nice person.

Pat Burt

May 7th

Cordell was one of my favorites. Always had a smile to share along with a positive attitude. She was an absolute joy to be around.

Nancy Wiley

May 7th

I worked with Cordell at Cumberland Trail Lib. sys. Cordell was a beautiful caring soul, she always had a smile. Heaven gained an Angel.

Wanda (McVay) Hindle

May 8th

Cordell was such a warm, loving, woman and a wonderful wife for my brother. We visited her in Florida and she was so gracious and welcomed us in her home. She will be missed. Condolences to her family.

Nancy Wiley

May 7th

I worked with Cordell at Cumberland Trail Lib. sys. Cordell was a beautiful caring soul, she always had a smile. Heaven gained an Angel.

John Oglesby Family

May 7th

Cordell was a truly wonderful and unique individual who was a positive influence on everyone who knew her. Prayers and sympathy for her family.

Greg Etchison

May 7th

Aunt Cordell was like a second Mother to me. Trips to visit her Mom in Midwest City, Oklahoma, and Washington, DC., are indeed fond memories. She made it possible for Don and I to see the very best tennis players in the world by taking us to St. Louis to see Laver, Rosewall, Newcombe and others. She always put others first. Sad at her passing, but thankful that she was my Aunt Cordell.

Cecelia A Cardascio

May 8th

I am yet another lucky person to have had the privilege of working with Cordell at Cumberland Trail Library System. She was a great role model for us young, impressionable women coming into the workforce in the 80's. Cordell was always very professional, well-dressed, & the epitome of a fine businesswoman. Rest in peace, lovely lady.

Pat and Rhonda McHenry

May 8th

Cordell was a sweet person, who loved to make others happy. She made my dad smile. Thank you Cordell.

Mona Etchison

May 8th

Aunt Cordell was always a warm and loving person. Always dressed stylish and had the best sunglasses! I have many fond memories of holiday dinners around the table at Gram’s house and cleanup with the ladies in the kitchen. I was young then, but I knew she was a beautiful person both inside and out. My sympathy to the family and may the good memories help you through any sad times ahead ❤️

Pauline Hopkins Frost

May 9th

So sorry for your loss Johnny Dale and Donny. You were good neighbors. Loved your mom.

Great Florida Tax Service

May 10th

We were so sorry to hear of the passing of E Cordell McVay. She was always a bright light whenever she came in to have us prepare her taxes. Always dressed very smartly and sophisticated. She will be missed. Patricia A Jaimes Stephen Krosschell Paula Foglietta

Sherry (Brooks) Kuhlig

May 12th

I was so saddened to hear of Cordell's passing. I worked with Cordell in the interlibrary loan department at Cumberland Trail Library for several years in the 70's. I was young and newly married and she was such an influence on me as to what attributes a woman should desire. She was always pleasant and fun to work with. I loved her accent, and her gentle ways. She was always concerned for others. I loved her stories and enjoy knowing more of her history now. Sorry for your loss and praying for comfort for all the family.

Jackie Sweet

May 28th

I had known Cordell for over twenty years and she was such an inspiration. She always had a beautiful smile and a kind greeting for everyone she met. I know she is in a better place but the world lost one beautiful soul. Cordell will surely be missed by many friends and family.



Larry Frost
Norman Philli[ps
Brenda Rinehart
Micheal W. & Kristal G. Engelmeier
Brenda Rinehart
Bud and Linda Martin
Jerry Butch Erwin
David Bryden
Bill & Jill McDonald
casey and debra eastin
Dana & Barbara Milligan
Neal & Janet Fehrenbacher
Alan & Charlotte Hickox
Joann Stanford
Joe and Sue Martin
Cheryl McCarty
Wayne Eastin & Diane Johnson
Jean Guerrettaz
Trudy Zimmerman Stanford
Don Jane and Darren Delaney
Donna Kincaid Phillips
Flora Hutchins Ballew
Jim Fry
Clara Booth
Ron and Mary Anne Ayers
Billy and Candy Harrell
Vickie Buckley
Brenda Miller
James and Mary West
Billye Young
Ray & Nancy Corry
Mark and Karen Wolfe Haram
Mark Dunnigan
Nancy & Dennis Wiley
Brent Eskew
Gary & Brenda Phillips
Galen & Neoma Gill
Diana & Greg Rutland
Bruce Cook
Bill and Wanda Hindle
Cecelia (Cissy) Cardascio
Jane B.Gilliland
Doug Briscoe
Don Etchison
Karl & Kristy Kramer
Rhonda McHenry
Mona Etchison
Pam (Glassford) and Ken Smith
Becky Stanford Stocke
Crystal,phillip,holly,noelle cruse
Candi McVay
Mike Krutsinger
Jackie Sweet
Angela Gordon
Christie (Don) L. Etchison


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Frank & Bright Funeral Home
and Cremation Services

500 North Main Street
Flora, Illinois 62839

Phone : (618) 662-2141
Fax: (618) 662-4600
Email: [email protected]

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