Dennis Lee McCormick
May 10, 1942 – May 11, 2023
Dennis (Denny) McCormick, 81, of Hudson, WI (formerly of Mendota Heights, MN), passed away on May 11, 2023 after initially beating pancreatic cancer for more than seven years.
Denny was born in Indianapolis, IN to Everett McCormick and Isabelle (Holzbog) McCormick. He grew up the oldest of five siblings and attended school in Indianapolis.
Following high school Denny entered the Air Force where he served as a telecommunications specialist, climbing radio towers to create and repair communication systems. Denny spent his career as a mechanical engineer for such companies as Union Carbide, Racine Hydraulics, Mac Fluid Power (his own company), Graco and Dana. He finished his career providing product consulting services.
At Graco, Denny was one of the lead technical and marketing contributors to the “Bobcat Meter Project” which designed and launched the lubrication industry’s first electronic meter. The product was a breakthrough design – simple to operate, reliable, very robust, and low-cost to produce. Tt was a major market and financial success for Graco and formed the foundation of an entire line of electronic metering devices. Denny is described by Graco peers as being known for his “creative technical designs, his many ideas for new products, and a high-energy and positive approach to problem-solving”. They indicate that, “His concepts and products helped make Graco the market leader it is today.” Denny holds several patents in his name.
After finishing his career, Denny, an avid indoor enthusiast, turned his talents to genealogy, researching and compiling histories for dozens and dozens of family members and crafting them into engaging stories. He was a scholar of and expert in the Battle in the Pacific in WWII. Denny met almost every surviving pilot from the war in the Pacific. He was also a huge lover of dogs and delighted in every dog in the family (and some he had just met).
In retirement, Denny also began one of his greatest passions, building an airplane from parts. The plane, a 1946 Ercoupe nicknamed “Josie” after his maternal grandmother, was initially built in his garage at home, and then moved a hangar at the Osceola, WI airport. As with everything else, Denny built the plane with meticulous attention to detail in both mechanics and aesthetics. He was working to make the hanger accurate for the period, complete with an aviation themed pinball machine and old-fashioned ice cream shop. Denny had almost completed the plane at the time of his death and was hoping to fly it this summer.
Denny is preceded in death by his parents, Everett and Isabelle McCormick, and siblings David McCormick, Diana Stefani and Dean McCormick. He is survived by his partner of over 30 years, Patti Lee of Richfield, MN, sister Darlene McCormick of Indianapolis, IN and aunts Maxine Bough and Ginny Berkholz. He is also survived by his children Katie (Brad) Johnson of Amery, WI, Brian (Kathaleen) McCormick of Coon Rapids, MN, and Dave (Anne) Lee of Chaska, MN and grandchildren Brady Johnson, Paul Johnson, Allie Anderson McCormick, Bradan McCormick, Alexander McCormick, Ashton Lee and Avery Lee.
A celebration of Denny’s life will be Tuesday, May 23, 2023, 6:00 P.M. at BRADSHAW CELEBRATION OF LIFE CENTER, 2800 Curve Crest Boulevard, Stillwater with visitation one hour prior to the service.