Emily A. McCormack, 92

Former RBHS athletics secretary

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Emily Anna McCormack (nee Sammon), 92, of Brookfield and formerly of Lyons, Willowbrook and LaGrange Park, died Oct. 4, 2014.

Ms. McCormack was born in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, near DePaul University, and was raised there during the Great Depression. She loved to tell family members of the day Boston Mayor James Curley arrived with a police escort to visit her father, who had been Curley's night school classmate, and to report that she had been at the Biograph Theater the night John Dillinger was killed.

She sang for many years in the DePaul University Choir under the direction of Dr. Arthur Becker, DePaul's dean of music. She had a long career as a secretary at the Illinois Farm Supply/Illinois Agricultural Association, as assistant and friend of retired Congressman Jerry Voorhis, as secretary in the athletic department at Riverside-Brookfield High School and as business instructor at Morton College.

 Ms. McCormack began writing poetry at an early age and continued to write poetry, essays, book reviews, short stories and novels for decades. She would scour book stores for books for herself and others, and was always delighted to find first editions. She was passionate about politics and frequently wrote to her senators and congressmen.

According to her daughter Anne Marie McCormack, Ms. McCormack and her husband, Tom, created an environment of music, learning and hospitality for their children, their friends and family and their children's friends.

On the many road trips the couple would take with their children, Mr. and Ms. McCormack's enthusiasm for nature was infectious and her mother's passion for singing, word games and puzzles was passed on to her children.

Ms. McCormack was the wife of the late Thomas Peter McCormack; the daughter of the late Ellen (nee Kelly) and Michael Sammon; the mother of Joseph (Donna Kenski), Anne Marie (David Potts), Thomas (Becky) and Eileen (Kevin Nicodemus); the grandmother of Thomas (May Lin Kessenich), Ruth, Laura (Ken Johnson), Marty (Ivonne Hopkins), Mary (Biplab Deka), Philip, the late Simon, and Connor; loving great-grandmother of Reed and step-great-grandmother of Isabel; ; the sister of the late Kathleen (John Morrissey), the late Eileen, the late Walter, and the late Joseph Sammon; and the aunt, great-aunt, and friend to many.

Visitation will be held on Friday, Oct. 10 from 3 to 9 p.m. at Johnson Funeral Home, 3847 Prairie Ave. in Brookfield. A celebratory lunch will be held Saturday, Oct. 11 at 1 p.m. at Mattone, 9 E. 31st St., LaGrange Park.  

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