John Matthew McCormick
John Matthew McCormick
  • September 21, 1922 - September 15, 2017
  • Winter Park, Florida

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John Matthew McCormick, Age 94, of Winter Park, Florida, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving family on Friday, September 15, 2017. He was born in Gary, Indiana on September 21, 1922 to Raymond and Florence McCormick, graduating from Horace Mann High School, then working in the Steel Mills of Gary Indiana.

John heard the calling to serve his country in 1942 and headed to Texas to learn to fly planes. He subsequently graduated from Lubbock Air School as a pilot and was assigned to a B-24 in the 15th Air Force based in Grottaglie, Italy. On a famous April 4, 1944 raid over Bucharest, Romania, John’s B-24 was shot down and he became a prisoner of war. During his military career, he received many honors and awards including the Purple Heart, Air Medal, Prisoner of War Medal and the Presidential Unit Citation Award for the April 4th mission. John retired from the US Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel but continued to enjoy attending reunions and serving in various officer positions with the 449th Bomb Group; Former Prisoners of War in Romania and American Legion Post 112. John always enjoyed sharing his war stories with those who showed an interest and in 2014 was instrumental in delivering supplies and financial support from the POW Association to an orphanage in Bucharest.

Upon his return from WWII, John met his wife Doris Ward in 1945 while stationed at Orlando Air Base as a Combat Intelligence Officer and they were married on June 7, 1945 at the Chapel at Orlando Air Base. Although initially living in Tampa and Gainesville, they subsequently settled in Winter Park where they have been residents for sixty years and married for 72 years. John and Doris were members of St. Margaret Catholic Church and John sang in the choir in his earlier years.

John attended the University of Florida where he received his Juris Doctor in law. He worked for several large law firms after graduation as well as the Florida Real Estate Commission and as past secretary of the Orange County Bar Association. In 1969, he purchased a building in Downtown Orlando where he served the Florida Bar and the Orange County Bar Association for more than 50 years. His daughter Beth became his paralegal as soon as she was old enough to work and together, they maintained a small but successful practice in estate planning, probate and real property law. John had a passion for helping others and faithfully made it to his office every day even after he gave up driving his car.

He is survived by his loving wife, Doris; his 5 children, Catherine (Robert) Kotanchik of Bath, PA; Thomas (Mary) McCormick of Camp Hill, PA; Robert (Deborah) McCormick of Redstone, CO; Elizabeth (Kevin) Ciullo of Longwood, FL and Joseph (Kari) McCormick of Lake Worth, FL. plus 11 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters Elizabeth Kendrick of Kenner, LA and Rosemary Harvey of Jacksonville, FL.

Funeral Mass will be held at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, 526 N Park Ave, Winter Park, on Saturday, September 23 at 10:30am. Burial to follow at Palm Cemetery, Winter Park. His 4 beloved grandsons, Jeff, Stephen, Gregory and Tim will serve as his attendants.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the John M. McCormick WW2 Memorial Account which can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank or mailed c/o P.O. Box 3323, Orlando, FL 32801 to be used for a brick memorial at the National WW2 Museum in New Orleans, LA.