Sanford Elliott McCormick, 89, passed away peacefully at his home in Fountain Hills, AZ on July 29, 2020. Born in Manhattan, July 18, 1931 he attended Buckley, The Harvey School, Hotchkiss and Yale University where he graduated in 1953, Phi Beta Kappa. He was a member of the Scroll & Key Society at Yale. He received a graduate degree from L'Ecole des Sciences Politique in Paris and then served two years in the Air Force in Madrid, Spain. In 1956, he joined Zapata Corp in Midland, TX, as a landman for future President George H. W. Bush and Hugh Liedtke. After working for a number of other independent oil and gas firms in Midland in various executive positions, he moved to Houston where, in 1964, he founded his own firm, McCormick Oil & Gas. He sold his interest in 1985 and founded McCormick Resources pioneering applications in horizontal drilling and fracking technologies to develop previously unproducible reservoirs. He was a member of the All-American Wildcatters. He gave generously of his time and many talents to numerous civic and business organizations, including serving on the Boards of the Texas Medical Center, Continental Airlines, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, St. John's College, United Negro College Fund, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Houston Municipal Arts Council, the Joffrey Ballet and the Menil Collection. He had a wonderful zest for life and travel, dearly loved his family and friends, and always had a great story to share. He recently completed an autobiography entitled "Yankee Oilman". He is survived by his loving wife, Barbara McCormick, his three children Peter McCormick, Carolyn McCormick and Leigh Kindley. He delighted in his five grandchildren, John McCormick (who predeceased him) Matthew McCormick, Claire Catrino, Cooper Jennings, Skylar Jennings and two great-grandaughters Katherine and Grace Catrino, Barbara's daughter Kathryn Besemer and granddaughter, Ayla Besemer. For those wishing to honor his life, the family requests that donations in his memory be made to the Mayo Clinic-Arizona, 13400 E. Shea Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85259 designated for heart disease research.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Aug. 4, 2020.