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."
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
"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
"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
"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
"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,
"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
"I think it's great. The people here are so
friendly," McCormick said.
"I have a lot of friends and good
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?
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
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
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
"She made it pretty easy on us. She was pretty gracious about it,"
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
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.