joseph mccord


Joseph Thomas McCord, born May 20, 1990, died by drug overdose on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, at age 30.

His life was maintained on life support until Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, in order to contribute his organs to multiple organ recipients. He had struggled with addiction for more than half of his short life and is yet another victim of the opioid epidemic plaguing our nation and our local region.

Joseph is lovingly remembered by his family, including his mother, Melanie Smathers and father, David McCord. He was incredibly close to his siblings Daniel, Annie and John-Luke, as you can see in the photo above. They have remained close friends throughout adulthood, getting together every opportunity possible and often traveling together. In addition, he is survived by his precious nieces Annabelle and Izzy; and by closely connected step-family and in-laws, who loved him like a son or brother, including Roger Smathers, Cathy Grist, Hannah Litty, Angela Craig (McCord) and Kris Wilson.

Joseph attended Cullowhee Valley School, Smoky Mountain High School and Western Carolina University. He was very smart, a chess master, very creative, a person of deep, intense feelings, and incessantly hilarious. He was loved by all who knew him. This is an indescribably tragic and painful loss to all of us, and we know that this pain is shared by Joseph’s many friends in our community. We are so, so sad that he is gone.

In lieu of flowers or other gestures, those wishing to do something may want to consider donations to organizations existing to combat addiction. A relatively new national organization,, is trying to make large-scale changes to fight the addiction crisis. Here is the link to a donation page that has been created specifically for Joseph:

A local alternative is Sunrise Community for Recovery and Wellness (, a recovery program in Asheville. Donations may be made through PayPal using this link or by check mailed to Sunrise Community, P.O. Box 845, Asheville, NC 28802. Please put “In Memory of Joseph McCord” on the check or in PayPal.