Marilyn F. McCormick

Text size

Marilyn F. McCormick

November 09, 1941 - October 06, 2018

Marilyn Frances McCormick passed over to the peace and joy of eternal life, with our loving God and the angels and all good people, on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 after a month under the caring staff at Munson Medical Center and the Grand Traverse Pavilions in Traverse City. She was 76 years old.
Marilyn was born on Nov. 9, 1941, to Oscar and Virginia Torina in Detroit, she went on to graduate from Michigan State University and later earned her master's degree in the humanities from Central Michigan University.
Marilyn and her loving husband, Jim moved "Up North to God's Country" in 1969, a year after their marriage in Detroit. She taught the humanities, mainly English literature and religious studies, at St. Francis High School in Traverse City ("Go Glads") for a generation. She was a dynamic force and made a difference in the lives of hundreds of young women and men. Long after her retirement, she continued to hear from many students who loved her and considered her one of the greatest influences on their lives. This was a great source of satisfaction to her.
Marilyn and Jim raised three beloved children, Daniel, Ginny, and David, who will suffer her loss but live with wonderful memories of her forever, as will Ginny's husband, Darric Newman, David's wife, Jieun Lee McCormick; and her treasured grandsons, Cameron and Benny Newman. Two special people, Gabriel Gutierrez from Brazil and Fred Otieno from Kenya, have become like sons to Marilyn and Jim.
In past years, she served on the board of the local substance abuse treatment center and on the board of the first homeless shelter in Traverse City, as well as being a hospice volunteer. Jim gives her the credit for his 1976 election to the district court. Most of the 200 volunteers were recruited from Marilyn's friends and colleagues.
She remained an avid reader, especially of novels, and participated actively in three book clubs up until her final illness. Marilyn and Jim enjoyed travelling all over the world during their retirement together.
She was preceded in death by her mother and father, as well as her brother, Fr. Ron Torina, S.J.; and her sister, Kathleen Murphy.
She is survived by her husband, Jim with whom she recently celebrated their 50th anniversary. She is also survived by their three children, Daniel, Ginny (Darric), and David (Jieun); grandsons, Cameron and Benny; her brothers, Mike (Karen) and Rick (Dawn); and her sister, Gina (Tom) and their families.
Visitation for Marilyn will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018 at Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, 2753 N. West Bay Shore Drive in Suttons Bay, with a Scripture service beginning at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018 at Immaculate Conception Church, 308 N. Cedar St., Traverse City, with a visitation beginning at 10 a.m. A luncheon will be held at Immaculate Conception Church immediately following the Mass.
Family asks that memorial donations in Marilyn's honor be directed to Catholic Relief Services for Recovery Operations in Haiti, 228 W. Lexington St., Baltimore, MD 21201 or Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, 2753 N. West Bay Shore Dr., Suttons Bay, MI 49682.
Please share a memory with Marilyn's family by visiting her tribute page found at
The Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services is serving the family.
Published on October 10, 2018
Send flowers
in memory of Marilyn
See more

Obituary published in



Print Guestbook

Share your condolences and special memories.
The guestbook expires on January 07, 2019.

Share a message.

4 posts

Norma Hutson, Mapes, Cook
Oct 17, 2018
Forty yrs later I still pray daily, with thankfulness, for the McCormicks having been in my life. They supported me during the most traumatic years I've experienced. It is with JOY that I remember the laughing, good times together. I continued working in libraries for 38 years and still belong to 4 book discussion groups in my retirement. I, too continued with volunteer groups that were initiated during my time when Marilyn and I were close. I still miss her. Sincerely, Norma
Kathy Knoff Bechtold
Oct 16, 2018
I first met Miss Torina in the fall of 1967 when she was teaching at Our Lady Star of the Sea in Grosse Pointe. She became engaged to Jim during our junior year. She had assigned a term paper to us and then as the wedding was approaching told us that she was too busy to read all of them but we could finish them if we wished.
Several musically talented students performed at the wedding.
The following school year, Mrs. McCormick mentioned that since she had gotten married she didn't feel like she should spend any money on herself but should save everything for their house. She mentioned that she needed some loafers. Since her mother was the school secretary, we asked what her shoe size was
.... We took up a collection from the class of 1969 and purchased a pair of shoes for her birthday. The total was about $15!
Imagine my surprise when I moved to Traverse City and attended mass at Immaculate Conception only to run into my former teacher on the occasion of one of their children's baptism.
Our deepest sympathy to your family on this loss of your wife, and mother.

Rick and Kathy Bechtold
Read more
Jeff Ropers
Oct 14, 2018
My condolences Judge McCormick to you and your entire family on your recent loss.

I took an English Lit course Mrs. McCormick taught at SFHS. Beyond the literature I recall Mrs. M had a number of other small lessons she’d often repeat to the class. One of these involved spelling of the word ‘separate’. To this day, even in the age of Spellcheck I often think back to that class and hear her voice when typing ‘separate’...hearing, “Class you spell ‘separate’ with an ‘a’ not an ‘e’ “. A small lesson perhaps, but one that makes me laugh; one of many lessons gained there at SF that continues to impact/guide me to this day. Again my condolences, Judge for your loss.
...I have and will keep Mrs. McCormick and your entire family in my thoughts and prayers in this difficult time.Read more
Fr. Ron Gronowski
Oct 10, 2018
My memories of Marilyn go way back when Jim was still on the Bench. Marilyn had the uncanny ability of lighting up any room she entered. She was so delightfully full of life, energy and enthusiasm. Those glittering eyes and contagious smile could turn darkness into light, tears into laughter and sadness into joy. Marilyn's heart was as big as her voluminous voice. Both she and Jim embraced those on the fringe, those spoken of in Matthew 25.

I am personally grateful that I had the opportunity of knowing Marilyn and Jim who made a profound, powerful, positive and lasting impression on me. She will be missed not only by Jim and the kids but by all who were lucky enough to say: "Mari
...lyn was my friend." Go in peace, Marilyn, be at rest and thank you for touching our lives.

Father Ron
Read more