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Noel H. McCormick

March 31, 1931 March 8, 2020
Noel H. McCormick
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Obituary for Noel H. McCormick

Noel H. McCormick, age 88, of Stevens Point died on March 8, 2020 after a short stay at Stevens Point Health Services, formerly known as Atrium.

Noel was born to the late Harland & B. Fern (Isherwood) McCormick on March 31, 1931 in Plover, WI. He attended the local schools and graduated from PJ Jacobs High School in 1948. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1955.

He joined the National Guard in February of 1949 and resigned as a Captain after 16.5 years in May of 1965. He spent his entire career working for Sentry Insurance in a variety of management positions.

Noel married the love of his life, Barbara Kulas on July 31, 1954 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Stevens Point.

Noel was a dedicated Christian who remained active in the Plover and Stevens Point United Methodist Churches and shared his love of his faith throughout the Plover and Stevens Point assisted living community with bible study. Noel was one of the original Plover Village Board members and served on various committees for the Village of Plover. In his earlier years, he played on the Portage County Baseball League and was a volunteer fireman with the Plover Fire Department.

Noel was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. In his free time, he enjoyed tandem bike riding with his wife throughout Stevens Point and Plover, fishing, canoeing, cross country skiing and sailing. He also enjoyed traveling throughout the United States but especially relished many Februarys down in Myrtle Beach walking alongside the ocean.

He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Barbara; daughter, Lisa Ceplina of Stevens Point; son, John (Lisa) McCormick of Minneapolis, MN; and grandchildren, Scott, Melissa, Ted, Kyle, and Katie. He is further survived by great-granddaughters, Cayla and Kiera; and brothers, Jim (Shirley) McCormick and Fred (Ginny) McCormick.

He was preceded in death by son, Jim; son-in-law, Dale Ceplina; great-grandson, Conner Noel; and sister, Shirley (Bob) Ciesielski.

A Funeral Service was scheduled for this coming Saturday, March 21, 2020. Due to COVID-19 and the ban on gatherings of more than 9 people, the family has decided to postpone funeral services. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Green Circle Trail or Portage County Public Library. Donations may be made online to the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin at

The family would like to thank the loving and caring staff at Stevens Point Health Services and Ascension Hospice for the dignity and compassion that was given to Noel and his family.

Due to COVID-19 and the postponement of funeral services, here are some kind words about Noel.

Family Reflections of Noel McCormick

Thank you for being here today to celebrate the beautiful life of our Dad. We feel privileged and honored to have had such a fine man as our father. Our Dad was a devoted Christian who cared deeply about his family. He married our Mom in 1954. They started dating shortly after they graduated from high school in 1948. Mom loved to tease Dad about how long they dated before getting married. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary last July. Their love and commitment to each other was an inspiration to all who knew them. They enjoyed being together very much. Their interests together included sailing, canoeing up river, cross country skiing, biking on their tandem bicycle on the green circle, stopping at garage sales, getting ice cream and reading. They went to the library every week to get new books. Dad loved to play cribbage and he and Mom played every day. He taught his kids and grandkids to play too and would always enjoy a good cribbage game with any family or friends willing to play.

Dad dearly loved his three children. He showed his love to us in many practical ways. He lovingly taught us to be strong, tenacious, use our intelligence, be determined to work hard and always do the right thing. He modeled how to be a good father and a good person. We learned to provide for our families and always put family first. As kids, Dad was always present for us. He cared about us and our lives. It was apparent to us that being a father was a very high priority in his life.

Losing his son Jim was devasting but Dad’s Christian faith helped him persevere. Dad’s faith was a core source of strength to him. As much as he missed Jim, he demonstrated grace and love throughout his life. He was a calm and caring man who shared his gifts with those around him, teaching Sunday school and bible study classes at church and also at several senior communities in the Plover and Stevens Point area. Dad was something of a knowledgeable bible scholar. We remember the delight he experienced when someone from another religious faith would stop by the house with the goal of conversion. He would invite them in and promptly begin to debate religious principles. He probably was put on the “do not contact” list for more than one group.

Dad felt great joy about being a grandfather and great-grandfather. He loved them as little babies and delighted at holding them for hours on end. When his Grandson Kyle was born, he was pleased that the McCormick name was going to be passed on for a least another generation. Dad formed a unique special relationship with each of his grandchildren or great-grandchildren. For each of them, his constant unconditional love helped them to feel grounded and supported with that special love only a grandparent can give. He simply loved his grandkids and great-grand-kids for who they were. He was very generous to them with both his time and resources. There were no boundaries to his love.

Noel McCormick Eulogy (Fred- Noel's Brother)

Our father died when we were young. Noel was a teenager and assumed the role of male head of the family, being the oldest boy. He took this seriously and was most protective of his mother, and older sister, and two younger boys. I was seven years younger and knew that he was in charge as times were tough…the end of WWII.

Since I was younger, I really did not get to have many close relationships with Noel until we became adults. I do, however, have one moment that he greatly touched me. I had made the high school baseball varsity as a sophomore, and the only time someone from my family attended a game was when Noel, coming home from UW Madison on Friday, surprised me and was there to support me! It was important to me…he knew it. That’s the kind of man he was.

He joined the National Guard when he came of age and encouraged me to do the same. We were mobilized for the Berlin Crisis and sent to Ft. Lewis, WN. Noel was a 1st Lietutenant and I was 2nd Lieutenant, both being assigned to the Stevens Point artillery; Noel was the battery executive officer. I remember some advice from him which I cherished throughout my life. I was gung-ho and sometimes a bit too much. In the military in inspections, one always look for what was out of the ordinary. One day, he pulled me aside and said, “Can’t you see anything right? You’re always looking for what’s wrong!” That was great advice as Noel was a “positive thinker.” He was a follower of Norman Vincent Peale and later the Rev. Robert Schuller. He and I became great followers of Schuller, frequently sharing messages and writing of his…we affectionately called him “Father Bob.” His advice of positive thinking has been an ingredient of my life since! I hope to be as positive as Noel was!

Noel also loved to play cribbage, something I picked up at Ft. Lewis. He was a sharp player, frequently counting the points I missed counting. That taught me another lesson.

Noel and I had many of the same attributes, however, Barb and Ginny agree that if you could put us together, we’d be great. Noel was frugal and I am somewhat the opposite…much more extravagant.

After we had both retired, we got together with Noel and Barb frequently. On one occasion, we took a trip to Galena, IL, Grant’s home. In our motel room after dinner, we decided to play some cribbage. Noel and I were playing Barb and Ginny. They proceeded to beat not only one, but two and swamping us the third game. At the point, I got up and proceeded to tear the cards and throw them in the waste basket! That brought a great laugh from all! Didn’t tell them I had another deck along…but that was the the cribbage that night!

Also, in retirement Noel and I shared our love of reading. We discussed various books and authors. We had our favorites which we shared. Every time we spoke, they question of what are you reading came up. The public libraries have benefitted from both of us.

We frequently drove to Stevens Point to be with Noel and Barb, most times going out for lunch. In the latter days, we would also take a ride out to the Village of Plover, where we would ride the streets, talking about who lived where, their families we knew, etc. Noel especially appreciated this and provided many historical insights. We also would drive the streets of the Town of Plover…to the farm where our mother was born and Maine School where she taught. Each time after lunch, we covered another part of Portage County that was important to us.

Noel was a GREAT Badger, Packer and Brewer fan. There probably was not a more loyal fan in Portage County. When the Badgers played, you could always find Noel huddled up to his radio listening to the game. His daughter-in-law Lisa felt that was terrible as he should be seeing, not listening to the game. So she, in her kind but forceful way insisted the have cable TV to be able to SEE the games. I know Barb was not and avid sports fan, however, in the last few years she and Noel watched as many baseball and football games as they could. A great tribute to her…showing her love for him and sharing what he appreciated! I do not know how many calls we had between us to make sure they did not miss anything.

Noel and Barbara were a model couple. Ginny and I have learned much from observing them. They were always concerned about one another, their family and their relatives. They made sure they did things together…biking, boating, reading, you name it. We’ve tried to do the same.

Noel was a great brother, brother-in-law and uncle to our family. I know he was a great father, grandfather, etc. He was a friend to all he touched. He will be greatly missed by all of us. I like to think of Noel, kind of as how I think of our LORD. You’re not able to see him, but you know he’s there and he is with you. (PAUSE). I will cherish the fond memories I have of Noel and will miss him every day!

Your youngest brother,
Fred (Gaylen)

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