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Henry V. (Mac) McCorkle Jr.

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Henry V. (Mac) McCorkle Jr. Obituary
McCorkle, Jr.,

Henry V. (Mac)

Fairport, NY: Peacefully with his wife beside him on June 16, 2014 at age 88. Born November 4, 1925 in Cisco, Texas, the only child of Henry V. McCorkle, Sr. and Lola McCorkle (née Mayes). Mac attended school in Cisco, Odessa, and Pampa, Texas. After high school graduation in 1943, he began studies at Texas A&M. As soon as he reached his 18th birthday, he volunteered to be drafted for World War II. He was selected for the Army's elite ASTP program. Later he joined the U.S. Army's 100th Division which landed in Marseilles in the fall of 1944. Just before his nineteenth birthday, he went into combat (397th Infantry Regiment) in the foothills of the Vosges Mountains in France. From then until May 1945, he was in active combat: 172 consecutive days.

Mac was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor and Combat Infantryman's Badge. His unit (Company H) was cited for "outstanding accomplishment" and "heroic action" at Rimling. Mac's service in the 1944-45 campaigns in the Vosges Mountains qualified him for the French Legion of Honor Medal. He was granted a 30% combat-related disability from the V.A. Mac published two limited edition books about his war experiences: A Survivor's Story (2000) and The Infantryman's Eye: Sketches Depicting WWII Combat Experiences in France and Germany 1944-1945 (2012). After the war, Mac attended Southern Methodist University before transferring to the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music. He graduated in 1952 with a Bachelor of Music, performance major (French horn). While music remained a source of engagement and pleasure for the rest of his life, Mac worked professionally in the field of computer systems design (Eastman Kodak, Sybron, Garlock, Stuart, and Bausch & Lomb) until he took early retirement in 1980.

Mac's family remembers being gathered around the dinner table listening to him regale them with stories of his Texas youth, talking of one of his many interests from the sleeping habits of wolves to the relationship between Neanderthal man and modern humans, or reading The Lord of the Rings books. They remember backpacking trips to the Adirondacks in the spring and canoe trips to Algonquin Park in the fall. Mac and his wife Beth enjoyed traveling to visit their far-flung children and grandchildren and to other countries: the British Isles, France, Germany, the Scandinavian countries, Iceland, China, Nepal, the Soviet Union, Costa Rica, and Mexico.

In the 1960s Mac and his much cherished wife Annabeth entered a spiritual path that became their lifelong endeavor and blessing. Mac transformed the horror and fear of war into insight and compassion as co-founder-director of Stillwood Study Center (formerly The Work Study Association) of Palmyra, NY. In this capacity he positively impacted the lives of many people. Based on the ideas of G. I. Gurdjieff, the Center provides practical methods for self- development: living a life of conscience and consciousness leading to true Self Knowledge.

Mac had many friends who valued his always-ready smile and twinkling eyes, his charming and gentlemanly manner, his unique sense of humor, and his keen mind. His playing of the piano and his sketches delighted friends and family alike.

Survived by beloved wife-partner-friend of forty-four years, Annabeth Waddell McCorkle, with whom he shared a common purpose. Six children and stepchildren: Sandra McCorkle Kline (Roy Kline), Douglas McCorkle (Pam Bolduc), Dr. Brian McCorkle (Dr. Gail Steketee), Dr. Patrick Schnable (Katharine Schnable née Chamberlin), Keith Schnable (Dr. Tsui-Jung Wen), and Kim Kennicott (Dr. Thomas Mordick). Seven grandchildren and step-grandchildren: David Kline, Brendan McCorkle, Dr. James Schnable, Benjamin Schnable, Hannah Kennicott, Eleanor Kennicott, and Kaylee Schnable. He will also be deeply missed by his sister-in-law Vivian Waddell and his many friends and students.

The family extends great thanks to Dr. Bernard Plansky and Dr. Amy Saleh whose help and humanity exceeded any oath, to all the staff of Leo Center for Caring for their boundless kindness and care, and to friends whose efforts - inner and outer - supported Mac and his family in his final weeks.

Private interment at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Fairport, NY. His Memorial service will be held Saturday (June 21st) 11:00 AM at Stillwood Study Center. In lieu of flowers, friends are invited to make a donation to Stillwood Study Center, Leo Center for Caring, or other in his memory. For more information or to sign Henry's online guestbook, please visit


Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle on June 19, 2014
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