“A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.” Dorothy Jean “Coach” McCormick was a singular person who connected with an extraordinary number of people over the course of her 91 years. Coach lead a simple life guided by a deep commitment to her faith, her family, her many friends and, of course, basketball. She coached with a big heart and a great sense of humor. She was deliberately silly at times which was her way of bringing life and levity to every interaction. She gave love easily and was loved in return.
Dorothy’s early years, in Providence and Taunton, were difficult. The adverse events that she overcame gave rise to the strong and compassionate woman she came to be. She became an O’Connor 70 years ago. She was the “can do” member of the family who maintained a sense of calm and organization in a family of 14. As a young woman, Dorothy took on an additional role as basketball coach at Mount Alvernia Academy. Her love of sports and her dedication to teaching were key to her success. Under her tutelage each person, regardless of ability, had time on the court. Dorothy was coach at Mt. Alvernia for 53 years. On her retirement, her much beloved community gathered to dedicate a facility entitled “The Dorothy J. McCormick Gymnasium.” During summer months, Dorothy provided arts and crafts activities at The Fessenden Day Camp. At “Fezzy” she made wonderful friends who remained in contact with her over the course of many years. Another community of friends emerged four years ago when Dorothy moved from her Boston apartment to Evans Park in Newton Corner. Evans Park became her new home. She developed strong ties to the amazing Evans Park staff and residents alike. Over the past few months, Dorothy benefited tremendously from the gentle, loving care of Pansy McNeil.
Dorothy’s passing will forever change the lives of her friends and family. She was pre-deceased by her best friends (Marjorie and Jeremiah O’Connor), her brothers (Bill, Jerry, Paul, Joe and Chris), and her three nephews (Paul, Jeremiah and Chris). She is survived by her other siblings (Peter, Kathleen, Maura, Michael, Margaret and Chuck) and by a cohort of dedicated nieces and nephews.
Visiting hours will be held in the Robert J. Lawler and Crosby Funeral Home 1803 Centre St. West Roxbury, on Wednesday, September 1, from 4:00 to 7:00pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Saint Ignatius of Loyola Church 28 Commonwealth Ave. Chestnut Hill, on Thursday, September 2, at 9:30am. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Interment Holyhood Cemetery, Brookline.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her honor may be made to Mount Alvernia Academy, 20 Manet Road, Chestnut Hill MA 02467.
To view Dorothy’s funeral Mass via Livestream, click on the following link https://youtu.be/khkrpk70irQ