DONALD JOHN MCCORMICK
Heaven gained a great man on January 22, 2021, when COVID-19 bettered beloved father and grandfather, Donald “Don” John McCormick (91). His many friends and family agree that he might have lost the match, but in life he won the game.
Don was born in Gilmore City, Iowa to John and Emma McCormick. He was the eighth of 11 children in his family. He graduated from Gilmore City High School in 1947 as the class valedictorian. Don excelled in wrestling where he was runner-up at the Iowa high school state tournament. In college, he wrestled for powerhouse Iowa State, and participated in the Olympic trials. As a student, he studied statistics and pledged Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
He served as a U.S. Army 2nd Lieutenant Finance officer during the Korean War, at the Presidio in San Francisco. Don was a courier for the Army, personally carrying millions of dollars to Japan for payroll for American soldiers serving during the Korean War. In 1954, he moved to California where he worked for Bank of America. He continued there until 1959 with increasing responsibilities in various branches, then joined the federal examiners of savings and loan associations. There he established a career lasting 30 years and developed many lifelong friends.
He moved his growing family to Westminster, California in 1961 where he was a resident for the next 50 years. Don was a thoughtful neighbor and loyal friend as well as a devout Catholic. He fulfilled many roles while a parishioner at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Westminster and then later at Saint Barbara Catholic Church in Santa Ana. He was always willing to share his money counting skills and financial expertise in addition to teaching catechism, reading scripture during mass, and participating in many fundraising events. Most importantly, he would go out of his way for a person in need, regardless of how well he knew them. He was happy to drive friends to medical appointments and pick neighbors up from work. Everyone mattered to Don, particularly his younger sister, Joanne who he lovingly took care of for nearly 20 years.
All who knew him were impressed with the same two hallmarks of his character: his good sense of humor and his high ethical standards. He modeled honesty and generosity through his dedication to always acting in good conscience. Quick-witted and well-read, he excelled at crossword puzzles and other word games. He enjoyed hitting the links into his 80s, and often tuned-in to watch golf and other sports, especially NCAA basketball and football, always rooting for his beloved Iowa State Cyclones.
He is survived by his brother Patrick McCormick (New Smyrna Beach, FL); his children and their spouses: John McCormick (Cynthia), Dr. Erin McCormick (Michael Finger), Kelly Lalor (David), Leslie Smith (Dennis); grandchildren: Nikita McCormick, Jacqueline Lalor, Allie Bermudez (Leon), Blaire and Jenna Smith, step-grandchildren Ashley and Kyle Finger, and numerous nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on July 31 at Saint Barbara Catholic Church in Santa Ana, followed by interment at Good Shepherd cemetery in Huntington Beach.