It takes more than a few words to sum up a man's life. But in the case of Robert Ernest McCormack, "pride" and "service" go a long way. His pride in his family, his community, and his state led to a lifetime of service to others. Bob passed away on November 30, surrounded by family, after a brief illness.
Bob was born on November 9, 1937, the only child of Elza and Helen McCormack, in Calico Rock, Arkansas. It was there that he fell in love with his wife of 63 years, Armilda. After graduating from the University of Arkansas, he began his career in higher education financial management as an accountant at the U of A. His daughters Teresa and Sondra were born during these years in Fayetteville. He then moved to Jonesboro as Assistant Vice President of Finance at Arkansas State University. After a long stint in Little Rock as the Financial Director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, in 1979 he and Armilda moved to Conway, where he served as Controller and later as Vice President of Financial Affairs at the University of Central Arkansas.
His time at UCA was the pinnacle of his career and he was instrumental in planning for the phenomenal growth of the university during that time. He was especially proud of his role in developing College Square senior living and the Reynolds Performance Hall/Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center.
Bob was a tireless volunteer throughout his life, especially after retiring. He served in leadership for Counseling Associates, Faulkner County Hospice, Women's Shelter of Central Arkansas, Conway Planning Commission, Conway Chamber of Commerce, Conway Rotary Club, and countless boards and committees in his beloved Methodist churches where he lived. After being appointed by Governor Mike Beebe, he served a 5+ year term on the Arkansas Ethics Commission.
As you can tell from his work history, Bob was pretty good with handling money. "Frugal" is the charitable description. He enjoyed getting a good deal trading cars. Up until his last days, he liked to complain about gasoline prices to his son-in-law, who worked for an oil company.
Bob loved his family above all. He cherished spending time with them, especially at Tranquil Heights, the family camp near Calico Rock, and later on, at the cabin he shared with Sondra. He had a special relationship with his grandson Grant. For the last few years, they spoke on the phone every day, trading information about sports and the legendary one-wheeled crop duster.
All in all, a life very well lived. Well done, young and fearless prophet.
Bob is survived by his wife Armilda, daughter Teresa Harrington (Scott) of Billings, Montana, daughter Sondra McCormack (Todd Quick) of Little Rock, grandsons Grant Harrington of Billings and Todd Harrington (Elizabeth Bourcier) of Walla Walla, Washington, and just-born great-grandson Weston Harrington of Walla Walla.
A memorial service to honor Bob's life will be held on Saturday, December 7 at 10:30 a.m. at First United Methodist Church of Conway. Memorial gifts may be made to Women's Shelter of Central Arkansas, CareLink, Conway First United Methodist Church, or the charity of your choice.