A family tragedy!

It was only a few days ago that I was writing about a happy event for my late great-granduncle Merle and his first wife. Now, I have to write about a family tragedy for my Uncle Merle, his second wife and the McCormack family.

Just an update on uncle Merle for new readers. Merle had been married to Lois Muriel Baker until her sudden death on 8 Jun 1954 [1]. After that, he married Margaret Yale on 15 Mar 1956. I don’t have a real good picture of Margaret other than the newspaper picture of her. Here is a picture of my uncle Merle;

My great uncle Merle McCormack standing in front of his house.

My great uncle Merle McCormack standing in front of his house.

On Jan 3, 1959, Merle and Margaret McCormack were found dead in their northern Michigan cabin [2]. They were the apparent victims of asphyxiation. Their cabin was located about nine miles west of Grayling, Michigan on the shores of the Manistee River.

Merle, at the time of his death, had been President of Baker Business University in Flint, Michigan since October 1953. He had succeeded Eldon Baker, the founder and late father of Merle’s first wife, Lois Baker. He was born in Otter Lake, Michigan to William E. and Lavina J. McCormack [3]. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1922 with an engineering degree. Later he went to work for his first wife’s father at Baker Business University.

When I was growing up, we would visit my grandmother Alta, Merle’s younger sister but he wasn’t really talked about much. I wonder what things would have been like he had lived. It would have been nice to have another relative of my dad around. He might have been still alive when I started researching my McCormack heritage. It would have been really great to have talked to him about a lot of things like his time at the University of Michigan. Btw, I have had several relatives in my family that have attended the University of Michigan.

I really don’t have much to add about Margaret other than she had been a bookkeeper at a local women’s store [2] in Flint, Michigan prior to her marriage to Merle.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learning something new!


1. “Lois Muriel (Baker) McCormack,” Obituary, 9 Jun 1954 (Wednesday), The Flint (Michigan) Journal, Pg. 37, col. 7 (Section 4), digital image.
2. “Merle Hemingway McCormack,” Obituary, 4 Jan 1959 (Sunday), The Flint (Michigan) Journal, Pg. 1, col. 1, digital image.
3. “Michigan, Births, 1867-1902,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NQ6D-TPJ : accessed 4 January 2015), Merle Hemingway Mccormack, 18 Apr 1900; citing item 2 p 9 rn 10239, Otter Lake, Lapeer, Michigan, Department of Vital Records, Lansing; FHL microfilm 2,363,030.


One thought on “A family tragedy!

  1. Pingback: McCormack family important dates for January – The Otter Lake Express

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