Charles D. “Charlie” McCormick, 88, of Dubuque died Friday, January 25, 2019, at home after an eight year fight with Alzheimer’s disease. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 pm Tuesday, January 29 at St. Columbkille’s Catholic Church 1240 Rush Street, where the American Legion Auxiliary 656 Farley will gather at 4 pm and where a parish wake service will be held at 7:30 p.m. An additional visitation will be held Wednesday, January 30, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Egelhof, Siegert and Casper Westview Funeral Home and Crematory, 2659 Kennedy Road. Mass of Christian Burial will be 12:00 pm Wednesday at St. Columbkille’s with military rites immediately following at the church. Burial will be in Mt. Olivet Cemetery.
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Charlie was born April 2, 1930 in Harpers Ferry, Iowa, son of James and Helen (Kelly) McCormick. He graduated from Waukon High School in 1948 and Loras College in 1952. He served in the US Army from 1955 to 1957.
Upon returning from military service, Charlie began his 39 ½ year career at Loras College. He worked in the business office at Loras from 1957 to 1968. Then in 1968 he became the first Director of Financial Aid in Loras College history, a position he held until his retirement in 1996. In 2010 he was awarded a distinguished Alumni Award for his service. In his role at Loras College, he was instrumental in helping thousands of students finance their college education. He then watched as they graduated and went on to lead happy and successful lives. Charlie considers this – the students that he helped – as his legacy.
After his retirement, Charlie also worked as a chase driver for Truck Country from Oct 1996 until 2006.
Charlie married Edna Hargrafen on October 18, 1958, at the Church of the Nativity. She preceded him in death on July 11, 1974. On August 2, 1979, he married Lela (Sweeney) Dunn at St. Columbkille’s.
Charlie really enjoyed his life. He grew up on a farm, and that gave him an appreciation of all of God’s creation. He liked being outdoors. He deliberately tried to love and laugh every day. He prayed daily and trusted in God. He felt so thankful because he had a career that he loved and a life that he loved surrounded by people that he loved…and a whisky Manhattan every night. Living to him was joy. He wouldn’t want people to feel any sorrow at his passing.
Those who knew Charlie knew of his unique passion for fun and shenanigans. Let’s honor his memory by following his example and strive to create more love and laughter in this world. Charlie was proud to be from Harpers Ferry Iowa. He grew to love Dubuque and was a member of the Serra Club, American Legion Post 6, and past member of St Columbkille’s school board.
Charlie was challenged with Alzheimer’s the last eight years of his life. It slowly robbed him of his vitality, but it did not dim his spirit. He marched on bravely and steadfastly, living each day to the fullest extent that he could.
Charlie’s quality of life was greatly enhanced by availing himself to the resources offered in this community, as he needed them.
Over time, the assembled team of care givers served him well. Dr. Mark Runde and his staff at Medical Associates were key in this journey. Also helpful were the caring and compassionate staffs at Mercy Medical Center, Manor Care, Paramount Transfer Service, Cozy Corner Adult Daycare, the entire Medical Associates Campuses; and then recently, Hospice of Dubuque.
Perhaps the most critical component of Charlie’s well-being was a cadre of care givers from Luther Manor Services. They took care of him on a daily basis, with the utmost compassion and dignity. We will be forever indebted to Julia, Linda, Kay, Marsha, Annie, Karen, Patty, Alex, and Wendy and others throughout the years; without you, Charlie’s life would not have been so active and enriched. The patience and care shown by these professionals in the face of this often- frustrating disease was truly awe inspiring. We, the McCormick family, salute you all, and thank you all.
Charlie is survived by his wife, Lela McCormick of Dubuque; six children, Dave (Lynn) McCormick of West Des Moines, Joe McCormick, Ruth McCormick, Mary (Leon) Jensen and Helen (John “Fritz”) Gile, all of Dubuque and Kevin (Deb) McCormick of Pewaukee, WI; eight step-children, Mike (Julie) Dunn of Dubuque, Marcia Dunn of LaCrosse, WI, Mary (Mark) Goldsher of Lake Oswego, OR, Moreen (Dave) Fitzgerald of Kearney, MO, Michele (Pat) Colbert of Dubuque, Melissa (Chris) McCarville of Springdale, AR, Mark Dunn of Asheville NC, and Molly (Jody) Steinke of Quincy, IL; 24 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
He is also survived by several In laws, Dorothy McCormick of Harpers Ferry, IA, Patty McCormick of Johnston, IA, Corrine Hargrafen of Columbus Junction, IA, Ruth Hargrafen of Delhi, IA, Arlene (Fred) Kaefering of Tipton, IA, Doris Funke of Edgewood, IA, and Mary (Merle) Wagner of Dubuque; Paul Kane of Dubuque and many nieces and nephews.
He was also preceded in death by a son, Tim, in infancy; a grandson, Tim Kusterer; four brothers, twins James and John in infancy, Emmett and Gene McCormick; and a sister, Evelyn Welper.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the James and Helen McCormick Scholarship Fund at Loras College.