Kelly Ann McCormick
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McCORMICK Dr. Kelly Ann McCormick, 51, of Columbus, died Thursday, February 17, 2011, at her residence. She was born June 7, 1959, in Santa Ana, California, to Nancy (Herr) McCormick and the late Frank McCormick II. She was a graduate of the Seventy-First High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and held multiple degrees from the Ohio State University, including a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Sociology. She was a proud mom, an activist and artist, and the founder of momazons, a national lesbian mother's organization. For 26 years, she was a workshop presenter and staff member at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. Michfest and its womyn gave Kelly life and the strength to struggle against the health issues she so courageously faced. In the final years, she found the rfamilyvacations folk who created much appreciated magic. She was a Clintonville resident and benefited greatly from the care and concern of her wonderful neighbors. She is survived by her longtime companion and partner of 30 years, Phyllis Gorman; son, Keegan McCormick; sister, Brett (Lucho) Esquivel; brother, Frank "Mac" (Susan) McCormick; and beloved nephews and nieces, Parker, Lexi, Case, Ashley, Natalie and Tess. A Celebration of Life will be held at the family home on Saturday, May 28, 2011. The family strongly urges her many friends and momazons supporters to go online to share stories and condolences at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch from Feb. 19 to Feb. 22, 2011.
Memories & Condolences
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40 entries
February 14, 2019
I keep you alive through tender and hilarious memories. Youre always in my heart
Charlene Gundry
August 12, 2013
Phyllis..I just heard about Kelly's passing and hope you still check this site occasionally to get the messages. I am so sorry for your loss and hope by now you and Keegan have found a way to cope. I met you and Kelly through Momazons in the early years. I am forever grateful for your help and support as my partner and I worked our way through the artificial insemination process. My l7 year old twins are a result of the support of Momazons and for that I am eternally grateful. However, I am most thankful for your support as I lost my partner. Momazons was there for us and for me as we navigated the grief. I remember you and Kelly, Dee and Alicia coming to visit with boxes in hand of supplies to donate. You were an amazing example of love, service above self and community. Warm thoughts and hugs to you and Keegan.
Mary Jo Roeder
March 21, 2011
The times we spent together in Michigan will always remain dear Kelly's creativity was always evident Every year she would bring gifts to so many womyn on the land Things she had worked on all year I also appreciated her way of storytelling Humor was always a part of her stories Her humor was unique, honest and sometimes brutal Ill always remember Kelly and the many ways she impacted my life will remain a part of me
March 18, 2011
Phyl...many years, many memories, lots of laughs, tears and tender the kitchen, behind the kitchen and in the dark at night around the kitchen...may sweetness and tenderness surrounds you while Spirit cradles you and Keegan gently and whispers in your ears..."remember it takes a village"...much luv from AZ...Angel
March 16, 2011
I'm grateful to have known Kelly. She lent her generosity and creativity to everybody she met. I was particularly thankful for her warmth and humor as I negotiated the overwhelming experience of my first year in the Main Kitchen. It was very calming to see her, clipboard in hand, stopping to take the time to explain whatever needed explaining. I treasure my last visit with her, an invitation to the tent on the hill. I don't remember all we talked about, but I remember a sense of peace and an expectation that she would take in stride whatever came next. I know I'm not the only one who came away a little better for having known her.
Emily Ware
March 14, 2011
Dear Phyl and Keegan,
Thinking of Kelly just now, I see her between the prep tent and the fire at Main Kitchen, in a composite of so many conversations--and seeing her is to see you, as well: Keegan, you're with us in person in many early ones, and later, you're with us in pictures; Phyl, you're with us in many, period--and from Kelly, and from you and Kelly together, humor, openness, challenge, warmth, generosity, intelligence, and fierce spirit. Your family has enriched my understanding of family. My thoughts are with you.
Belinda Kremer
March 10, 2011
Keegan, your mom's creativity and humor brought much joy to my life over quite a few years. I wish you many loving, giggling and joyous memories of her life with you. Much love,
Bekah Levin
March 7, 2011
Kelly, to me, was deep heart, electric mind and full force spirit. I am so thankful to have crossed paths with her in the bounty of main kitch.
Fly high Kelly!!!
L Singer
March 7, 2011
I am so deeply sorry, Phyl and Keegan, that you have to suffer this loss. Know that there are many of us out here in the world holding you up, loving you, loving Kelly...

I wish I had met her earlier in my life. A radical mother, artist, activist, a fiercely witty and truly powerful womon, Kelly had a great impact on me as a lesbian mom to a boy. I will forever be grateful to her for that. It is a great honor to have known her, even as little as I did.

I'll continue to hold your family and loved ones in my heart.
Charlz Welch
March 5, 2011
I loved talking with Kelly. She was really interested in all of the lives that touched her own, and deeply curious about aspects that were different from her own experiences and feelings. She could form interesting, thoughtful, and probing questions simply and specifically, like she was slicing off thin specimens from a strange life form for closer examination. She was utterly unabashed in her curiosity, but she had a lawyer's mind for pulling details together into conclusions. All without letting on about her own academic accomplishments. I will miss spending August evenings with such a kind, thoughtful, and interesting Spirit.

The contrasting impression I have of Kelly is "fierceness". She was fiercely and lovingly protective of those she loved. She was fiercely persistent at accomplishing what she intended to do, whether it was finishing a project or getting herself strong enough to come camping or finishing her inventory duties or going to battle against the entire medical system. She was so fierce and so right in the '4 Is Too Young' campaign at Michigan. Fierce and yet gentle in her missions to help womyn to know and accept their bodies, conceive, and raise boys in households that didn't have a male/father image present. Fierce in pursuit of information for deep discussion: whether it was about politics, sexuality, religious theory, or helpful hints about parakeet care. Her wit exposed layers and layers of humor and/or hypocrisy in just about any situation she looked at, but when she talked about herself or her life, her wit was 'in-your-face' fierce. And it was OK with her if you didn't get it or if you were completely different from her or if she never met you. She would fight as fiercely for you as for anyone, yet turn back from the fight and look into your face with kindness and compassion, to be sure that you were still all right.

Momazon Womyn Rise! A warrior is ascending! May the rest of us be worthy to follow her one day.
Ruth Gundlach
March 4, 2011
When I think of Kelly, these words come to mind:
Lover of Life, Bellwether, Courageous, Creative, Inspiring, Tall, Gorgeous, Sharp Wit, Cool, Ever so Generous of her Time and Energy, Foremother, Active, Activist, Kindred, Hilarious, Honest, Vital, Leader, Fantastic Performer, Glorious, Exemplar.

I am so very grateful to have known the marvelous womyn named Kelly McCormick. She is a beacon of light that will shine brightly forever. I send my love and deepest respect to Phyl, Keegan and their family. Countless blessings to you in this new time. Amazon Womyn Rise!
Katy Hall
February 28, 2011
Dear Phyl and Keegan,

I am very sorry for the your loss. I know that Kelly will forever be alive in your hearts and in the hearts of all the womyn that she touched at Michigan. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to know her. She will be very missed...
My thoughts are with you during this time.
Rachel Chimera
February 28, 2011
Phyllis and Keagan , I am so sorry for your loss. Much love. Rick Williams
Rick Williams
February 25, 2011
Dear Phyllis & Keegan,

We are so sorry for your loss. Your patient, loving care for Kelly was always an example to us. Our hearts ache with you and for you.
Todd, Marilyn & Ellen Alexander
February 24, 2011
I feel priveleged to have glimpsed portions of Kelly's enormous spirit during the past 3 little lifetimes we shared as kitchen family at Fest. Kelly in determination returning to festival, within and despite her struggles, having kept the flame alive for all of us throughout the year with the ritual of kitchen gifts(which are apparently already done for this summer?!). I have reserved the cards she made us one year of her own paintngs for the most special occasions; and I always share my story of the inspired artist who created them with the recipient. Kelly and Phyl performing at No-Talent show, to smiling and appreciative hearts. Kelly and Phyl showing all of us what it can look like to struggle, and fight, and love as hard as you can, with grace and finesse. Kelly and Phyl passing around photos and bragging about Keegan at camp. I could only imagine what kind of incredible creature must have come from that union of womyn. Thank you both. Rise in peace, Kelly.
Rachael Shannon
February 23, 2011
Kelly invented "Pit TV" and I will forever miss its favorite viewer. I adored and appreciated how much Kelly adored and appreciated us and I was always comforted when I would come across her and Phyl hanging by the fire at the end of a night where we would have the chance to share a quiet exchange. Her spirit will always burn bright.
Kathryn Grooms
February 23, 2011
I wish to express my most heartfelt sorrow to the family in this time of tremendous loss. Kelly, we will miss you!
Gloria Downey
February 23, 2011
I loved reading this and learning ever new things about an amazing and inspiring woman. I'd add to the list: "In addition, Kelly was a gracious and generous artist who used her challenges to make beautiful treasures for a large community of appreciative comrades."
Thanks, Kelly; for so much.
I also echo the comments about modeling a great partnership and family life, thanks Phyl and Keegan for being part of such an awesome team. Best wishes to both of you while you re-navigate.
Love, jam
judith moman
February 22, 2011
I always admired kelly & phyl's enduring relationship; modeling positive ways of relating, year in and year out.
A LONG time ago we found ourselves on opposite sides of a ideological issue, but at no time did either of them ever treat me unsisterly for it.

I dearly appreciate(d) the opportunity to work on the same crew & learn more about Kelly's life and path.
Amazon Womyn Rise!
ayla heartsong
February 22, 2011
Lynn and I would like to express our sincerest condolences to Keegan, Phyllis, Brett (and family), Mac (and family) and Mrs. McCormick. I met Kelly many years ago (being a friend of her sister, Brett). I was inspired by her social consciousness and strength. I remember the day Keegan was born, like it was yesterday! I remember sitting down with Brett and coming up with an official name for his Aunt Brett….”Aunt B”! Keegan, I used to watch Kelly watching you. You are her prize and I know she loved you dearly and will always be proud of you. I encourage you to hold your head up know that all of the strength and goodness that was in her is also in you. She will always be there with you and will always be proud of you. Blessings and prayers to all of you.
Teri and Lynn Steward
February 22, 2011
I know Kelly from Festival, and my memories are mostly from our kitchen time, although I remember very vividly the 4 is too young struggles for Keegan and the other young boys. Kelly and Phyl working together, loving together, teaching workshops together. . An awesome team, together creating a beautiful young man. I cherish the drawing of the watermelon tree she made a few years ago. Out of the many kitchen memories, I am remembering Kelly clicking away with her counter as we passed the watermelons carefully from one to the other, to the tree. Remembering, witnessing her struggles each year as her health deteriorated but seeing her strength to keep on. Her strength and determination, one powerful womon. I am remembering her love for us/her crew mates, and our love for her. I’ll miss her physical presence, but she is with us. We’re holding you all in our hearts.
Ginny & Anete
February 21, 2011
My deepest sympathies to Keegan and Phyllis. Kelly was an example of great strength and love. Hold on to those memories. Blessings to you and your entire family. Warmly, Kay Mason, Columbus, OH
February 21, 2011
So sorry to learn of Kelly's passing. Phyllis and Keegan you are both in my prayers! Jeff Jones (Dallas
Jeff Jones
February 21, 2011
One word: ATTITUDE! That is what I appreciate in Kelly. Whether it was her 'in spite of' fighting spirit or her bad-girl impishness, her sentiment was always honest and forthright. Kelly was a part of symbiosis - she gave to us, a festival kitchen, and we gave to her. Her mind was gifted with a critical edge, an ability for analysis, keeping track of us, her crew, our comings and goings, our laughter and loss. Kelly's creativity being a current and inspiration, and a way she expressed her love for us. I ask Garbo the dog, to be her guide to many shores, white sand beaches, he'll stand at the water's edge and wait while she swims with dolphins and flies with pelicans. Cruise on Kelly. I feel you as a pearl, and will keep your beauty and mull over you in perfect circles. Amazon womyn rise!!! Love, Pilou
Pilou Miller
February 21, 2011
Kelly was one of the strongest, most positive women I have ever known. Her insistance on remaining active, vital, and creative despite her many health issues will always be an inspiration. My memories of Kelly include Momazon gatherings when our children were mere toddlers, sitting by her bedside watching her create art or listening to a personal story, and laughing as she and Phyl shared their relationship skills in workshops at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. Kelly's departure will leave a void in our community that no one will be able to fill. Hugs to you, Phyl and Keegan.
Adlai Neubauer
February 21, 2011
Some of the earliest memories I have are of Kelly. She affected the lives of all she encountered, and she will be missed greatly. My sympathies go out to Phyllis and Keegan, the support and love you gave to her is an inspiration
Caelen McCauley
February 21, 2011
Don and I were blessed to have been able to meet Kelly this past summer. She and Phyl graciously put us up during our trip to Columbus for a family event. Despite her obvious pain and decline in health, Kelly was great fun and quite chatty! I'm so thankful I had the chance to meet my dear friend Phyl's life partner.
Betsy Savino
February 21, 2011
I just want to send love and light to you and all Kelly's close family and friends. My memories of Kelly are mostly of hanging out at the food deliveries , both with clipboards and order lists in hand dually counting everything the drivers and girls hauled out of those semi's, and mostly making it all match up. I know you all have had a great impact in the world of lesbian moms and that candle along with Kelly's spirit and love will always be lit.
February 21, 2011
Kelly touched my life more than I think she realized. We were so different and came together in such a beautiful way. I was young and naive and she had lots of precious information to share. My head was swirling and her heart was full. I had so much to learn and I definitely found the right person.

I will never forget the meetings, cookouts, and when she noticed that my clothes weren't adequately ironed... (She knew it was only a matter of time after my babies were born, that my priorities would change).

My family is so grateful to have been touched by such a wonderful person.
February 20, 2011
We are sending you love and prayers while You, Keegan & Kelly transition into this new phase. Words can not express what you must be feeling. All our love.
Dani & V
February 20, 2011
So many stories in such a short time. My personal favorite is probably the day I agreed to help Kelly gather seeds and things. My first task - I had to drive us to Keegans' school and cut cat tails from the side of the road which would later be made into bundles for Halloween. Next - I had to go to the neighbors house to make sure he knew I would be cutting the branches from his willow tree. He gladly agreed as I believe this was not the first time Kelly had made such a request. We took 2 lapfulls of willow branches home which I would later strip of their leaves. Finally - we toured the neighborhood looking for beautiful unsupecting seed pods. Some of which lived on neighbors porches. I denied Kelly one such pluck as the woman inside was staring at us with a mean face. Mostly, Kelly had an infectious way of convincing me she had a plan. A good one. And I wanted to be part of it or at least was not willing to tell her no.

I love her wit and take on life. I'm very thankful to have been able to spend 3 weeks living in her space.

Loving thoughts.....
Deb Watson
February 20, 2011
I cannot begin to tell you what factor Kelly has played in my life. I was her academic counselor at OSU. She taught me more about perseverance in the few years I have known her then anyone could have possibly taught me in 54 years. Watching her withstand any pain and limitations and uphold her dedication to her dear partner, Phyllis, her son, Keegan and her community and school commitments was extraordinary. She was a woman that I looked up to and was so fortunate to be able to call my friend.
Her endurance came from her incredible strength in character and the unfaltering love and support of Phyllis and Keegan. Kelly had in her short life what so many of us will never know. She was an awesome woman. Rest gently now, dear friend, and know that your legacy lives on in so many. I love you.
Carole McCoy (Karamian)
February 20, 2011
I met Kelly, Phyllis and Keegan shortly after Keegan was born. Since then, their family has been the example for me of true commitment-- commitment to creating family, commitment to lasting through good times and challenge. Kelly's support, through the creation of Momazons and in my adoption of my beautiful son Jack has meant more to me than I know how to express. So grateful to have known her, to be able to see how wonderfully Keegan has grown up, and to have been witness to the love and devotion Phyl exemplified. I am saddened that we have lost such an inspirational force in our community.
Lou Vaile
February 20, 2011
I feel honored to have known Kelly as a colleague in the Women's Studies teaching assistants' office at Ohio State, and also at Michigan. I learned from her and Phyllis about women's issues and the women's community. I am grateful that Kelly was my hairdresser for a while, managing my Latina crazy hair expertly. She was always, always kind to me. I share my love with Phyllis and Keegan, and will keep Kelly in my heart.
Tania Ramalho
February 20, 2011
Phyllis: You and Keegan are in my thoughts and prayers. Your constancy in your support of Kelly has been inspirational over these many years. The modelling of a long-term relationship of such depth has been a blessing on our community.
Kate Shumate
February 20, 2011
My favorite story to tell… and I actually told it to Kelly again, again & again at Barbara’s memorial last year until she was ready to chase my down and beat the crap out of me….. ?.
anyway here goes….
I was at Barbara & Eileen’s for Eileen’s 50th birthday celebration. We had a huge party and Phyllis and Kelly camped out… well of course I really celebrated and passed out somewhere. When I woke up I thought I had fallen asleep with my contacts in and thought they were dried on my eyes.
Well I pulled and pulled and pulled.. I just knew they were in there cause something kept snapping back. I even had (I think it was Kelly) sit on me to hold my arms down and try to grip them with a q-tip.
This went on for a couple of hours….. Ended up I found my contact case opened and there they were…
clint waltrip
February 20, 2011
Kelly lived a life of courage and conviction, and she left the world a better place because of her work on Momazons. My sympathies go out to Phyllis and Keegan, who gave her so much joy and care and made her so proud.
Leila Rupp
February 20, 2011
I always equate Kelly with Amazon. She was tall and back in the pre internet age of our shared time, she always carried an enourmous back pack. It weighed a ton, I believe she kept half the OSU library checked out at all times. Once she asked me to move her bag, and even at 19, I could barely lift it. She just smiled at seeing me struggle, strode over and grabbed it.  That tall, high maintenance, blond could carry a hell of a pack!  Sending much love to you and Keegan.
Carmen Garland
February 19, 2011
Tall smart high maintenance blonde. Need I say more? XOX Phyl

PS I've sponsored this site for forever. I'll I want is your Kelly stories. My heart is full right now of all the love that is being sent for Keegan and I. I am grateful tonight for many things. Thank you my friends.
Phyllis Gorman
February 19, 2011
There is an entire generation of Lesbian families in Columbus, in Ohio, and across the US, women and their children who thrive in loving homes because Kelly believed we could do that, needed that, and shared her vision, resources and leadership with us all. Kelly, you live on through those families.
Kelly McEntee
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