James Browne McCormack - Army veteran, physical chemist, entrepreneur, and ardent student of nature and Kentucky history - died June 24 at the age of 85.
Jim grew up in Stanford, KY and after graduating Centre College, served as a missile instructor in the Army and worked at the elite Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL. He then became a chemistry instructor at Centre and completed his master’s degree in Physical Chemistry at the University of Tennessee. He married March Coe in 1962.
During the early years of their marriage, Jim worked in the petroleum industry in Ashland, Louisville and Houston before returning to Kentucky to work for, and ultimately purchase, Coe Oil Service of Cynthiana and Paris. He diversified the business and sold the resulting profit centers, retiring to Lake Carnico in Nicholas County about 20 years ago.
Jim was born in Stanford, KY to Aileen Brown and James Craig McCormack on March 19, 1933. Jim is survived by his wife of 55 years, March Coe McCormack, daughters Susan McCormack (Rae) Johnson and Patricia McCormack, grandsons Patrick and Craig Johnson and Garrett and Petersen Tur and granddaughters Jordan (Kevin) Duray and Alexandra Tur.
The McCormacks were land grant settlers of Lincoln County – one of the three original Kentucky counties. Jim was a gentleman of calm demeanor, with a deep love of his family and appreciation for Kentucky and the woods, animals and fish that nurtured same for 200 years. He was actually related to the famous Kentucky son Abraham Lincoln and portrayed an uncanny resemblance in a stovepipe hat for Kentucky’s Bicentennial.
Jim’s family will host a gathering of his friends at 3 pm on August 8, at the Neal Building in Carlisle to remember him, hope you will join us and encourage you to share memories with us. In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to Carlisle Presbyterian Church, Hopewell Museum of Paris, the Hope Center of Lexington or your favorite charity that supports Jim’s passions.
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