Millie Alyne McCormick
Navarro County, Texas


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Millie Alyne McCormick, seated, of Blooming Grove celebrates her 100th birthday today. Friends and family from all over gathered Sunday to celebrate. Also pictured are her children, left to right, Carolyn Beene, Alan McCormick and Martha Rhoades. Daily Sun photo/MICAH CHAPLIN

7/28/2003 Millie's Big Day: Blooming Grove resident celebrating 100th birthday

By MICAH CHAPLIN/Daily Sun Staff

BLOOMING GROVE -- Someone who has lived a century has no doubt seen a lot in their lifetime. Millie Alyne McCormick, who celebrates her 100th birthday today, has not only seen a lot, but has also had an impact on the lives of many.

"Mama Mac been the most constant thing in my life, like the ground underneath my feet," grandson Tim Rhoades said. "And all too often, we take things like that for granted."

Children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and neighbors, alike, gathered at United Methodist Church in Blooming Grove Sunday to share in McCormick's birthday and also to share their stories. Each had memories and kind words to share of the woman who sat regally under an archway of white and blue flowers.

"If you knew her you were fortunate, and if she was your friend you were lucky," daughter Martha Rhoades said. "But if she was your mother, you knew the grace of God."

McCormick moved to Blooming Grove in 1927 to teach school.

"She moved here because they would pay her $15 more per year, and in those days that was reason enough to move," niece Virginia McCormick said.

McCormick continued teaching school for two years until she married R.B. "Bruce" McCormick in 1929, and together they had four children -- Bob, Alan, Martha and Carolyn.

"In those days, married women weren't allowed to teach," Virginia said.

But in some sense of the word, McCormick never truly stopped teaching. She opened a nursery school in her home and welcomed the children of the neighborhood to play in her yard.

"Everyone played there," Virginia said. "She had a concrete sidewalk that became the 50-yard line when the boys were playing football. I can't tell you how intimidating it was to walk out of the house with all the boys out there."

Virginia spent a lot of time at her aunt's house and says she learned a lot during her time there.

"Everyone talks about her being such a lady. Well, she made us into ladies as well," Virginia said. "She taught us new words that were better than what we were using and she introduced us to the world of classical music and literature. She was very gentle in all of her teaching."

Marilyn (Springer) Cobbs, of Austin, went to school with the McCormick children and said she idolized all of them.

"They were always the leaders in everything at school. That is my first memory of her," Cobbs said. "When I was a young girl, she was the organist at my church. She quickly took me under her wing and we played at church services until I graduated high school. She's a phenomenal lady. She reads a lot and keeps up with everything going on in the world."

Perhaps McCormick's favorite things to keep up with are the Texas Rangers.

"I've been a fan ever since they came to Texas," McCormick said. "I don't miss a game."

Family members can attest to this faithful following.

"If she can't find the game on the TV, she'll listen to it on the radio," granddaughter Joan Lott said. "She loves baseball, she loves to fish and she loves to cook. She never quits learning and she has a great sense of humor."

Joan named her daughter Millie after the young girl's great-grandmother.

"She has a high mark to live up to," Joan said.

"I have to live up to the name," Millie said, in obvious fondness of her great-grandmother. "She's taught my sisters and I how to play dominoes and marbles. We play the organ together, and I can remember a lot of times sitting on the porch swing and drinking ginger ale."

Tim says his grandmother is responsible for the strong faith that runs through his family members.

"Our family has a great Christian heritage, and when it comes down to our values, it can all be traced back to Mama Mac," Tim said. "That's her value to me."

Carolyn Beene, McCormick's daughter, agrees.

"She's very much a Christian woman and has always been a real hard worker in the church," Beene said. "She's a very good mother, the best you can think of."

Occasionally, McCormick has become a mother to those who have lost their own mothers.

"My mother died when I was 16, so she became my second mother and has been that to me for almost 50 years," Joyce McCormick, Alyne's daughter-in-law, said. "I've never heard her say an unkind word about anyone. She is always upbeat and has taught me a lot about life, and how to live by loving others. I hope I can one day be as gracious as her."

Neighbor Louann Adair says McCormick's wisdom has been a blessing to her children.

"She asks them very philosophical questions and really requires them to think," Adair said. "She loves to see them and hear what's going on. She's been wonderful to my family."

In honor of all those McCormick has touched, Blooming Grove Mayor Ralph Dozier has made today Millie Alyne McCormick Day in Blooming Grove, a gesture that humbles McCormick.

"I think it's great. The people here are so friendly," McCormick said.

"I have a lot of friends and good neighbors."

 


Texas Rangers fan, 105, hopes to see team at World Series in her lifetime

09:52 AM CDT on Saturday, July 25, 2009
By NANCY VISSER / The Dallas Morning News

Millie McCormick is a huge Texas Rangers fan. But will she ever see her beloved Rangers go to the World Series?

 


LARA SOLT/DMN
Millie McCormick, pictured with daughter Carolyn Beene, turns 106 next Tuesday. McCormick, a huge Texas Rangers fan, hopes they make it to the World Series this year.



Given that she was born in 1903 the year of the first official World Series that had better happen soon.

"This year is probably the best chance we've had in a long time," said Joe Macko, the Rangers' goodwill ambassador, who will be on hand when McCormick turns 106 on Tuesday. Her birthday will be celebrated at Autumn Leaves, a retirement community at White Rock Lake.

McCormick lived on her own until 101 in Blooming Grove, a town between Hillsboro and Corsicana. When she moved to Autumn Leaves, she asked her children, "Do I look like I belong with these old people?"

Since then, she's settled into the lakeside community.

Born Millie Alyne Youngblood in Tyler, she was one of six children of a Baptist minister and his wife. She got her teaching certificate from what is now the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and taught first grade until she married Robert McCormick. Married women weren't allowed to teach in those days, said her daughter, Carolyn Beene, 71, of Dallas. (Beene, incidentally, had to stop teaching in Arlington in the '60s when she got pregnant.)

Robert and Millie McCormick raised their four children in Blooming Grove, where Robert owned and ran a funeral home.

When her husband died at 86, Millie McCormick continued to live in their home in Blooming Grove. At 98, she quit driving. At 101, she got sick for a bit and had to have some help come in. That's when she realized that she might need to move where she could get some assistance.

"She made it pretty easy on us. She was pretty gracious about it," Beene said.

McCormick uses a wheelchair now and has difficulty talking, but she said she's happy and points out that she's never broken a bone. Beene said her mother attributes her longevity to "moderation in everything."

She fills her days reading (she loves mysteries) and watching Dr. Phil (she doesn't approve of the people on the show). "Husbands quitting their wives for other woman," she said, with a dark look crossing her face. "I don't like it." But she likes to hear Dr. Phil dispense the advice.

She doesn't have cable but watches the Rangers when she can.

Beene said her parents were baseball fans who figured they would have to go to Kansas City to see a major league game. Then the Rangers came to Arlington, where their son lived, and they would baby-sit the grandkids by taking them to ballgames.

Macko, 81, who was a professional player for 16 years and an equipment manager for the Rangers for many years, said he plans to bring McCormick some Rangers paraphernalia on Tuesday and plenty of baseball talk.

By the way, that first World Series? The Boston Americans beat the Pittsburgh Pirates five games to three.
 


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Copyright March, 2009
Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox