February 12, 1933 – March 3, 2019
A single phrase or idea seldom captures a life once lived, but a single word can capture our hearts and imagination – service. A man who exemplified the deepest human desire to serve was John Albert McCormick. Those who knew John know that his love and care for others was the central theme of his life.
John will always be remembered for his open smile, his wonderful laugh, and his generous nature. He loved his family deeply, extended that love to all he called friends, and loved the community of Teslin where he made his final home.
John was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, son of Anthony Vincent McCormick (miner) and Rose Helena O’Donnell (school teacher). Raised in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, and as a ‘near-middle’ child with nine brothers and sisters, life was often difficult. The depression era was filled with challenges and saw John working in the coal mines at the tender age of 10. At 17 he enlisted in the Canadian military, then served, along with some of his brothers, in the Korean war. John returned home to Canada, further determined to make a difference in the world.
After working in various fields, in 1957 he re-enlisted, and later that same year married the love of his life, Marilyn Muriel Madeline Conrad, in London, Ontario. Together they had three children, Cathleen, Michael, and Patrick.
Following his 1960 departure from the military and exploring other work endeavours, in 1966 John again re-enlisted, for the last time. His sense of fairness and justice led him to become a military police officer in the Canadian Air Force. As many military families do, John and family relocated several times during his active service career.
John was severely affected with Multiple Sclerosis in 1974 while posted in Nova Scotia but was not officially diagnosed until a few years later. Upon medical retirement, John and Marilyn took a bold chance and in 1977, moved to the Yukon.
Despite his own health challenges, John continued to serve his country and community in diverse ways. Helping others was always the common theme. Whether in his role as Justice of the Peace, Community Coroner, member of various Boards and Advisory Committees, community volunteer, or simply working quietly behind the scenes, John contributed significantly to the betterment of our world, and the lives of the many thousands who benefitted from his experience, wisdom, love, support and guidance.
John was predeceased by his beautiful wife, Marilyn, his father Anthony, his mother Rose, brothers Bob, Chuck, Anthony, and Patrick, and sister Colleen. He is survived by his three children, eight grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. We, along with his brother Joseph (Joe) and sisters Rose, Mary, and Florence, miss him greatly.
John leaves an indelible mark on all our hearts. He genuinely loved everyone and wished nothing but good for all. All those who knew and loved John are welcome to help celebrate the life of this giving and inspirational man.
2pm, Saturday, August 3, 2019 at the Teslin Community Centre
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.
~ Rabindranath Tagore