Maxwell E. McCormick was born March 18, 1923, the middle of seven children born to James and Maggie McCormick. Older siblings were Nettie, Joe, and Robbie. Younger siblings were Rube and Ruby (twins) and Lester. Lester is the only surviving sibling.
Life in the 20s and 30s were not easy and Mac began working on Sunny Bank Farm at an early age. Over his life, Maxwell worked for the tree company, Aldie Mill, did carpenter work with Ernest Dawson, then Elmo Wines and Robbie McCormick, then Kinloch Farm, Boxwood Farm and Hill School. He spent many summers making hay on Boxwood Farm, laboring in the steaming hot hayloft stacking hay with Jake, Leon, Mike and Danny Edwards, Todd Ellis, Rick Bell, Ricky Trenary, Tommy Swain and others. They all loved kidding him when they needed to borrow his knife, always the dullest it could possibly be. He loved teasing them and protecting them. He loved the work and would come home soaking wet with sweat and happy.
He married Mildred Swain in l960 and was quickly the life of the family, always teasing, laughing, protecting and taking care of all of the family members. Betty, Nancy, Snooks and Thelma were quickly thought of as his and the grandchildren – Darlene, Eddie, Sharon, Valerie, Tommy and Donna were his. He loved to chase them and play with them and ran many miles holding onto the back of Darlene’s bike while she clattered around on training wheels. He took care of her on the weekends when her mom and grandmother worked, and he weekly served her his famous hotdogs and beans followed by Tarzan movies and westerns. After doing his homework at the house, Tommy would punch him in the arm and run. The chase began and Mac always managed to catch him and give him noogies, with Tommy yelling, I’m never coming back again, only to be back the next day eagerly awaiting Mac’s fun.
Bravely hopping into a VW Beetle with Sharon, off he went with her to see the original Jaws. When Valerie’s house in Aldie flooded, Mac hopped in his truck and rushed to Aldie to help her, only to be handed baby Monica to take home while Valerie dealt with the mess, “But I came to fix this.” Mac loved his family more than anything and they loved him right back even more. You could always count on Mac to be on his grandkid’s side.
Mac was delighted to become a great grandfather. Monica, Jimmy, Chloe, Cody, Wyatt, Owen, Megan, Paige and Lilli were the most talented and smartest children ever. He loved it when they visited and they spent a lot of time in his home, sometimes overnight, and he doted on them, carrying Jimmy in a grocery bag once both laughing hysterically with baseball hats on identically crooked. He also was working at Hill School at that time and he loved when Owen would walk out to the field and visit him. Owen spent many nights with Mac watching over him. When Chloe was born, Greg handed her to Mac, and said, well, she’s ruined now, we’ll have to send her back. Mac just laughed. He loved laughing and his laughter was infectious. Monica spent many hours happily ensconced on Mac’s lap.
Imagine his delight when his great great grandchildren were born – Hunter, Aubrey, Zoey, Tucker, and Maddie. And while he never played favorites, Aubrey decided he and Darlene were hers and she and he shared a magical bond. She was his baby and he was her baby. Whenever Aubrey was given a lollipop at the bank, she always requested a second one, please, for Mac; same color, please. The same thing with cookies or candy and trips to McDonalds. Mac was always thought of and something, even occasionally a toy, had to be brought home for him. He loved watching her grow in visits and stays at his home and when she was hurt, he was the first one at the vehicle to take her to the hospital for her broken arm and later, a nasty head bump. Even while sitting in his chair on the sun porch, he loved watching her run around the house playing or outside clatter by wildly on her bike with training wheels. She loved taking naps in his lap as a baby and he would often nap with her. The two were inseparable and they took care of each other until he passed.
Everyone was a friend to Mac and he would do anything for his friends and family. Need to borrow a ladder, you got his ladder and Mac’s help. That was just who he was. When a family member was sick, Mac was more than willing to have them move in and take care of them. Mac loved the family dinners at the holidays where all the family would gather and lots and lots of food was served – turkey, ham, fried oysters, homemade rolls, numerous side dishes and desserts. He laughed hard when the fire siren always seemed to go off and a stuffed Tommy and Donna tried to rush out the back door to the firehouse only to collapse at the edge of the yard, too full and sick to go further. Mac loved food and nobody left his home hungry or needing. He loved to go to Red Lobster and get 3 of Walt’s Fried Shrimp, other than pound cake, probably his favorite food. Mac couldn’t pass through the kitchen without getting a couple of cookies. He loved his sweets! And he was the sweetest of all!
Mac loved riding in the car anywhere his grandchildren wanted to go, was a wonderful partner and side kick, going to ball games, movies, Kings Dominion, shopping at a mall, here ever a grandchild wanted to go and needed someone to go with them. Betty once told him he had a Gasoline A** and he thought that was hysterical. When Betty was elected to Town Council, Mac was her sidekick. Often the two of them were seen, Betty with her hammer and Mac with his tool box working at the Health Center and later at Betty and Nancy’s shop, Madison Street Saddlery. He was so proud of the shop and spent part of every Thanksgiving with Darlene setting up the shop’s Christmas decorations.
Mac loved his brothers and sisters and visited them on the weekends at their home or later when they were in nursing homes. He always brought them pound cake (his favorite!). Mac’s family always meant the world to him.
Maxwell McCormick was the best of men, a kind, loving and gentle man. He believed in hard work, family, laughing, playing and enjoying life. He was always dependable and lovable and loving. He took care of his home and family and was appreciated by all! Even at the end, he was concerned with his family’s care. Now his family is entrusting him to God. God must have needed a big angel and a sidekick. His family greatly misses their big angel and sidekick.