Miranda McKissack McCord



Miranda Elnora Mckissack McCord left her earthly body and ascended to the heavens on Tuesday, March 14, 2023.  Our beloved Miranda, 76, passed away peacefully encircled by her loving family.  Born in Nashville, Tennessee on June 11, 1946, the daughter of Grace Wester Mckissack and Lemuel Harlan Mckissack grew up in south Nashville with lots of love from her immediate family as well as her extended family whom she cherished and resided nearby on 15th Avenue South.  She graduated from Cameron High School where she developed lifelong friendships that she maintained up to her untimely death. 


In the hallowed halls of Cameron High School, she began a romance with Deerwood C. McCord Sr. that developed into a marriage that lasted 56 years.  A loving wife and a true partner in every sense of the word, they lived a long and fulfilling life through both the good times and the bad.  She committed to a strong and lasting relationship full of love, affection, laughter and joy. 


From a young age, she accompanied her father, Lemuel, to the offices of Mckissack and Mckissack Architecture and Engineering Firm, the oldest minority-owned architecture and engineering firm in the United States, founded by her grandfather Moses Mckissack III.  The time spent with her father, uncles, and cousins in the office and on construction sites led to a lifelong love of architecture and engineering.  Miranda made history as one of the first three women to enroll and graduate with a B.S. in Architectural Engineering from Tennessee State University. 


An accomplished architectural engineer with a passion for designing and constructing a variety of projects, she worked on large-scale industrial and commercial buildings to residential homes and everything in between.  Her attention to detail and ability to think creatively allowed her to design buildings that were not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional and safe.  She was particularly proud of the work she accomplished in the redesigning of the Bordeaux Branch of The Nashville Public Library which she frequented before and after the renovation. 


Through her work as an architectural engineer at Dravo Corporation (Pittsburgh, PA), Claire M. Bassett Architectural Services (Pittsburgh, PA), McFarlin, Huitt and Panvini Inc. (Nashville, TN) and Mckissack and Mckissack Architecture and Engineering Firm (Nashville, TN), Miranda has left a lasting impact on the world of architecture and engineering.  Her contributions helped shape and build the environment around us, and her legacy will continue to inspire future generations of architects and engineers to come.


In her lifetime, Miranda enjoyed movies, music, dollmaking, crafting, sculpting, sewing and quilting.  A talented artist, she had a natural ability to visualize ideas and concepts, and to translate these visions into physical form.  Passionate about her art, she deeply committed to her craft and put in long hours and hard work to achieve a visually stunning result.  A lifelong learner, she constantly sought new and innovative ways to improve her skills and techniques to improve her works.  In her later years she shared her passion for the art of quilting by teaching her children, her grandchildren and members of the community about quilting.  Creative and patient, she taught the various quilting techniques and tools, including different types of fabrics, threads, needles and sewing machines.  She understood that everyone learns differently and demonstrated her ability to tailor her teaching methods to meet the unique needs and learning styles of her students.  She created a welcoming and inclusive environment in her classroom with her approachable and supportive teaching style.  Many people attended her quilting classes in Nashville at Cohn Adult Learning Center and Fifty Forward Senior Center. 


Above all else, Miranda was an exceptional mother who loved her family deeply.  She was a devoted wife to her husband and a nurturing mother to her children.  Enthusiastic about raising her children with love, compassion and wisdom, Miranda dedicated her life to providing her children with the best possible upbringing.  A natural caregiver who has always been drawn to nurturing others, she exuded patience, kindness, forgiveness, and empathy. As a mother, Miranda chose a holistic approach to parenting, focusing not only on her children’s physical needs but also on their emotional, social, and intellectual development.  Whether she read a bedtime story, assisted with homework, or simply listened to their stories about their day, she prioritized her children and her grandchildren’s needs above her own.  She created a warm and supportive home environment where her family thrived. 


Miranda developed a special and unique relationship with each of her children and grandchildren for whom she would move mountains to support and protect.  A constant cheerleader and supporter, she never missed a special date for her children nor her grandchildren.  Everyone who knew and loved her feels a profound sense of loss.


Those left to cherish her memory, a loving husband Deerwood C. McCord Sr. (Nashville, TN); treasured children, Deerwood C. (Leah) McCord, Jr. (Pittsburgh, PA), Regina R. McCord (Atlanta, GA), Cynthia A. (Erin) Balfour (Nashville, TN), Sonja M. McCord (New York, NY).  Sisters Ann (Edward Winston) Ross (Austin, TX), Geneva W. Harris (Flint, MI), and Sister-in-Law, Lerlie P. Cleveland (Nashville, TN).  Grandchildren Remé A. Randolph (Nashville, TN), Syvèn A. McCord (Nashville, TN), Clark D. McCord (Pittsburgh, PA), Kyra G. Balfour (Nashville, TN), Xavierre E. McCord (Atlanta, GA) and Alexia (James) Geeter (Nashville, TN).


Nieces and nephews, Erica D. Ross (Austin, TX), Edward Winston (Heather) Ross III (Austin, TX), Freeman (Irma) Harris (Las Vegas, NV), Carla (Matthew) Burgess (Nashville, TN), Maria (Alex) Jones (Union, NJ) and Michael D. Harris (Flint, MI).  A host of family and friends with whom she had a very special relationship, notably Eric (Cheryl) Mckissack, Gloria Mckissack (Nashville, TN), Brenda Chavers (Houston, TX), Thomas (Vera) McCord (Nashville, TN), Carolyn Nightingale (Nashville, TN), Felecia Hines (Nashville, TN), Donald (Yawanda) McCord (Nashville, TN), Thomas and Gloria Pillow (Nashville, TN), Willie (Billie) Alexander (Nashville, TN), Jean Wallace Brown (Nashville, TN), Mary Harris Lee (Nashville, TN), Brenda Green (Pittsburgh, PA), Karen Saunders (Pittsburgh, PA), Dean and Denise Callihan (Pittsburgh, PA), Thelma and Gabriel Balfour (Memphis, TN), Teresita (Shaun) Burkes (Nashville, TN), Thema Nicholson (Knoxville, TN), Raven L. Whitefield (Nashville, TN) and Brooke L. Brown (Columbus, OH).