About Lalla Jane McCormick (Cary)
Lalla Jane Cary McCormick traced her ancestry in America across 11 generations to John Alden of the Mayflower landing in Plymouth Bay Colony and, in California, across four generations to Thomas McCollum, founder of the Union Fish Company in Gold Rush San Francisco. She died peacefully at home in Pacific Palisades, California on September 1, 2009. She was 93.
Beginning with her birth on July 15, 1916, in San Francisco, Lollie's life spanned events that included witnessing the bombing of Pearl Harbor and her husband's responsibility for retrieving the Gemini 4 astronauts from the Atlantic Ocean after the first successful 'walk' in space.
Lollie was known around the world for her elegance and beauty. A brief college tour at Pacific Coast College in Long Beach ended in marriage to William Morgan McCormick, a naval officer.
As a Navy wife, Lollie lived on the East and West Coasts, Hawaii and in Europe. After early duty in Coronado, where all their children were conceived, her husband's career took him to Honolulu, where they were living when Pearl Harbor was bombed on the fourth birthday of their first child, Billy.
After World War II, family life alternated between California and Washington, D.C., where Lollie's Californian sense of hospitality made the McCormick home a 'place to enjoy life.' The charm of living on Coronado Island and in the nation's capital was replaced only by the 'dolce vita' of living in Rome after her husband was appointed naval attach' to the American Embassy, in the late 1950s.
Later, when Morgan was promoted to Rear Admiral, Lollie's life alternated between living in Washington, D.C., where her husband was assistant director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and in Norfolk, where he retired as Commander, Fleet Air Wings Atlantic.
They retired to Alexandria, Virginia. Morgan died in 1982 and, as a widow, Lollie moved to La Jolla.
In 1993, she joined her son James and his family in Pacific Palisades, the longest period in one place over the course of her life. The McCormick house soon became the American hub of her loving family in California, Colorado and France. Lollie's sense of hospitality combined with that of Ellen, her daughter-in-law, to make entertaining a pleasure for many who grew to enjoy Lollie's charm and wit.
Lollie is survived by her daughter, Jane Cary McCormick duParc of Paris; her sons, John Thomas McCormick of Aspen and James Watt McCormick; grandchildren Sabrina Christensen of Marseilles, Lucy duParc Dixon and Cecilia de Vulpian, both of Paris, Jane Cary McCormick of New York City, Patrick Stapleton McCormick of Barcelona, Carina McCormick of Aspen, John Thomas McCormick of Lawrence, Kansas; and by 12 great-grandchildren, all living in France.
On October 21, Lollie will be buried alongside Morgan in the Arlington National Cemetery, following a celebration at St. Matthew's Church in Pacific Palisades on Sunday, October 18 at 2 p.m. She will rest in peace only a few yards away from her father, Robert Webster Cary, Jr., a naval officer who received one of the few peacetime Medals of Honor awarded in U.S. history, and her great-great uncle, Henry Hungerford Marmaduke, a Confederate naval officer who commanded the ironclad Merrimac during the Civil War.
Lollie will be remembered for the twinkle in her eyes and for her love of reading, music, art (as a sculptress), flower arranging, gastronomical flair and, most of all, for her much appreciated elegant charm and interest in others.