“A bringer of stars”

Family of slain teacher C.D. McCord, including her son, J.R. Adams (left); mother, Frances Carol Bell (center); and father, Roland Bell (left of Frances Bell), thank well wishers at a drive-through visitation for McCord at Lone Oak First Baptist Church on Monday.

To J.R. Adams, his mother, Carrie “C.D.” McCord, outshone everyone.

“This woman gave birth to all of my hopes and dreams, so to me she’s nothing short of a supernova. A bringer of stars,” Adams wrote in a eulogy for McCord, the McCracken County special education teacher shot to death last week.

Adams remembered his mother for her honesty, love of animals, sacrificial nature and enthusiasm.

“Her magnetism and wit are truly undeniable and have brought people of all kinds together,” Adams wrote.

For about half an hour Monday, a steady stream of cars drove past McCord’s family gathered at Lone Oak First Baptist Church in a socially distant visitation spawned of necessity with restrictions still in place on funerals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some well wishers brought flowers, which were received by a Milner & Orr Funeral Home employee, or stopped to chat briefly through their car windows with McCord’s family.

One vehicle displayed a sign bearing the “Love Like CD” slogan that has become a motto of remembrance within the community.

Milner & Orr co-owner Logan Orr said after the visitation that, despite the lack of hugs and handshakes, people are latching onto whatever forms of support they can give and receive in times of difficulty.

“We’re living in a world where handshakes and hugs are having to be replaced with winks, nods and elbow bumps,” Orr said.

“I think any sort of gesture, any sort of face to face communication feels really, really endearing, and really sort of personal at this point.”

Adams wrote in his tribute that he knows his mother will “continue to save my life mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for the rest of my days.”

“My belief is that the world will truly become a better place one day if we can all remember to #lovelikecd,” he wrote.

Community members have planned various tributes to honor McCord and benefit her family and local schools.

Brandy Key, owner of Paducah’s CrossFit Dig Deep, is planning a Love Like C.D. Virtual 5K.

The 5K — which can be run anytime between 7 p.m. Wednesday and midnight Sunday — serves as a memorial and raises money for McCord’s family. A minimum $10 donation is required to participate and participants can map their route on the Strava mobile phone application.

More information can be found on the Love Like C.D. Facebook event page and donations can be given via www.gofundme.com/f/cd-mccord-family-memorial-fund. As of Sunday afternoon, $8,817 had been collected, surpassing the initial $7,500 goal.

“This community really loves C.D. and her family and they’re really getting behind this,” Key said. “I don’t know anybody who cared more about the people in the city of Paducah than C.D. She was an awesome person.”

Nearby neighbor Natalie Krupansky, who regularly saw McCord walking her dog around the area, thought a community dog walk in her memory would make a great memorial.

“Anyone who knew her knew she loved her dogs,” Krupansky said. “It seems like an appropriate way to remember her and her love for all things, dogs and people.”

The dog walk will take place Wednesday, beginning at 6 p.m. with a moment of silence at the roundabout on Fountain Avenue before going down Madison Street, turning on Harahan Boulevard and traveling up Harrison Street back to the park. Participants are asked to wear masks, maintain social distancing and have all dogs on leashes.

Additionally, a C.D. McCord Special Education Teacher Scholarship has been established through the Paducah Public Schools Foundation as an annual scholarship for a Paducah Tilghman High School graduate interested in the special education field.

Contributions to the fund can be made by sending a donation to the Paducah Public Schools Foundation at P.O. Box 2550, Paducah, KY 42002-2550.

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