|Birth: ||Nov. 22, 1920|
|Death: ||Feb. 7, 2005|
Obituary from Helena's Independent Record 7/24/2005:
Camilla Josephine Fox McCormick, age 84, passed gently away on February 7, 2005, surrounded by her daughters, son-in-law and grandchildren at her home in Polson.
Born on November 22, 1920, at the family home in Missoula, Camilla was the youngest daughter of Edna Fox McCormick Phillips and Washington Jay McCormick and sister to Angela and brother Jay.
A lifelong Montanan, Camilla's early pioneer roots instilled a dedication to public service, civic activities, a passion for education, music, the arts, people and the land of her roots.
Her grandfather, Washington Jay McCormick, Sr., first arrived in Montana in 1863, served as secretary of the first Democratic convention held in 1864 and was a member of the Territorial Legislature. He came to Missoula in 1868 where he founded and edited Missoula's first newspaper. He gave land in Missoula to the Catholic Church, where St. Patrick Hospital and a school were established, and was instrumental in securing the building of the Northern Pacific Railroad to Missoula. In 1869 he married Kate Higgins, sister of Captain C.P. Higgins and co-founder of Missoula. Following suit Camilla's father was the first Representative to the United States Congress.
Camilla attended Catholic school in Missoula and after graduating from Hellgate High School attended William and Mary College, where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. She returned to the University of Montana to obtain her masters degree in early childhood psychology and worked on her doctorate. She married John Thomas Vance and for 20 years they enjoyed a full life of politics, community affairs and golf, raising their four daughters in Helena, Missoula, Polson, the Big Hole Valley and the Washington, D.C., area before returning to Missoula.
Camilla was a founding member of the League of Women Voters in Montana, an early student and supporter at the Archie Bray Foundation, president of the Helena Symphony board for eight years, a founding member of the first womens investment group in Montana, and longtime early childhood educator in New York, Washington, D.C., and Montana. She was involved in numerous civic and charitable activities, including the Retired Senior Companion program and the Missoula Hospice program. In her retirement she tutored special needs students in the Missoula County Public Schools and assisted with the debate team program in Polson, and volunteered with the Montana State Fiddlers.
Her pioneer roots instilled in her a passion for Montana and all her native people and treasures. She loved to share with others stories of the rich culture of Montana, search for arrowheads, straddle the headwaters of the Missouri, read the journals of Lewis and Clark or Chief Joseph's travels through Western Montana. She was an avid reader with a passion for the arts and nature, and was a gentle friend to all she met from every walk of life and every age group.
Her last years were spent in her home in Polson, where she was treated to music, stories, baseball games, great food, tender loving care, surrounded by cherished friends and family, and lively political discussions. Her passionate love for her grandchildren, and first great-granddaughter and their friends strongly colored her later years. She devoted her life to teaching them the value of our native land and the responsibility to preserve it for future generations.
Survivors include her daughters, Margaret B. Vance of Missoula, Katherine McC. Vance (Bruce Sewell), of Coweta, Okla., Angela F. Vance (Paul Pendery) of Polson, Mary Camilla D. Vance (Jeff Strange) of Portland; former husband John T. Vance, of Missoula and Washington D.C.; grandchildren John C.P. Vance (Andrea) and great granddaughter Taylor M. Vance, Elizabeth L.C. Vance-Kaye, Isabella M.B. Vance-Kaye, Grant C. Sewell, Emily A. Sewell, Kelsah C. Pendery, P. Ross Pendery, and Charlotte K. Vance-Strange; her sister's family, George F. Weisel Sr., niece Thula V. Weisel, nephew George F. Weisel; and many extended family, friends and admirers. She was an inspiration to all and dearly loved and admired in life. Her memory and contribution will be cherished. Graveside services will be held at the Missoula City Cemetery on Wednesday, August 3, 2005, at 11 a.m., under the direction of Grogan Funeral Home of Polson. Reception to be announced.
The family asks that the life of Camilla be remembered in contributions to the Sussex School Scholarship Fund, Missoula; The Archie Bray Foundation, Helena; or the Missoula or Polson Hospice.
Washington Jay McCormick (1884 - 1949)
Washington J McCormick (1916 - 1932)*
Camilla Josephine Fox McCormick (1920 - 2005)
Created by: A Marine's Daughter
Record added: Jul 25, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 11425589
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