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Joseph Laurence McCormack

Joseph Laurence McCormack, 90, died Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, surrounded by his loving and grateful family. 

He was born June 11, 1926, in Chicago to Luke Patrick McCormack and Cecelia Marie Suprenant. He attended Resurrection parish and grade school on the west side of Chicago. He accelerated his studies and graduated early from St. Ignatius High School in Chicago so he could enlist in the Army Air Corp during World War II. He trained as a tail gunner on the B-29 Super Fortress bomber; thankfully, the war ended just as he was to be deployed. Following the war, Joseph graduated from Loyola University and Loyola Dental School and was an active member of the Chicago Dental Society. He opened his own dental practice in Westchester and Woodstock, practicing dentistry for 38 years.

On Sept. 12, 1953, he married Mary Virginia Lang in Chicago. Their love for one another was enduring as evidenced by a marriage that lasted nearly 64 years. Memories of childhood visits to his mother’s family farm near the French Canadian enclave of St. George made Joseph look for a home in the country, eventually finding a farm overlooking the Kishwaukee Valley west of Woodstock. Joseph’s love of the land gave his eight sons and two daughters a hands-on lesson in the values of hard work, responsibility and self-discipline, while instilling an abiding appreciation of God’s creation

Mary introduced Joseph to the rugged beauty of the Rocky Mountain West. He especially loved family vacations to Jackson Hole, Wyo., and he and Mary enjoyed spending time in Jackson Hole after his retirement. Joseph treasured time fly-fishing at the base of the Grand Tetons.

Joseph instilled in his children a deep love for Christ through his consistent observance of the sacraments, unconditional love and quiet example. He was a man who sought peace in all matters and sacrificed for others.

Joseph and Mary were long-time members of St. Mary Church in Woodstock and supporters of St. Mary Grade School and Marian Central Catholic High School, Woodstock.

Survivors include a brother, Raymond; 10 children, Mary (Don) Harboway, Joseph (Cathy), Anthony (Teresa), Francis (Mary Kate), David (Heidi), Martin (Anne Marie), Peter (Ellen), Colin (Joanne), Cecilia (Kevin) Skelton and Robert; 20 grandchildren, August, Regina, Paul, Grace, Clare, Monique, Molly, Helen, Luke Francis, Maria, David, Aine, Mary Margaret, Brigid, Colin, Rosie, Aidan, Maura, Luke Patrick and Amelia.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Mary; his parents, Luke and Cecelia; a twin brother, James; and a sister, Margaret.

Visitation will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at St. Mary Catholic Church, 312 Lincoln Ave., Woodstock, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:30 a.m. The family will gather later in Jackson Hole for a private Mass and interment at Aspen Hill Cemetery.

Donations can be made to Right to Life McHenry County at or St. Mary School Guardian Angel Fund at

Arrangements were made by Schneider, Leucht, Merwin & Cooney Funeral Home, Woodstock.

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