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Sunday, November 27, 2005

Byline: Ben Cohen; Staff Writer

Dr. Donald McCormick of Sun City, Ariz., who performed more than 25,000 surgical procedures during his medical career and led surgeons at two Twin Cities area hospitals, died of complications from melanoma in Minnetonka on July 11.

He was 90.

A colleague, Dr. William Remole of Bloomington, said that McCormick, who began his private practice in 1948, performed all kinds of abdominal general surgeries. "No particular specialty. He just did them all well."

McCormick, who had been a longtime resident of Golden Valley, received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota in 1941. He landed in the Army toward the end of World War II.

He arrived in Italy the day the German Army surrendered, and was responsible for the care of German POWs, making sure they would not be subjected to unnecessary amputations.

After the war, Capt. McCormick served at a hospital in Springfield, Mo. The Army decided he would perform on troops, especially burn victims. "He helped them rebuild their lives after being wounded," said his son Don of Maple Grove.

"He was such a lovely man. Everybody who knew Mac loved him," said Dr. John Haserick of Pinehurst, N.C., a friend since their medical school days.

McCormick once served as chief of surgery at the former St. Mary's Hospital of Minneapolis, and later at Unity Hospital in Fridley. He practiced at several area hospitals and had his office in downtown Minneapolis.

McCormick retired in 1984, playing golf, bridge and enjoying the outdoor hunting and fly-fishing skills he learned in Montana as a youngster. He loved golf, but his game caused his buddies to "look away and laugh," Haserick said. "He had the wildest swing you ever saw, but he worked at it."

McCormick served on several boards and gave medical care to members of the Christian Brothers order and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

He also gave his time and money to help support medical students and research through the Minnesota Medical Foundation in Minneapolis.

In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife of 63 years, Sylvia of Sun City, Ariz.; sons Jim of Minnetonka, Robert of Minneapolis and Lee of Sacramento, Calif.; daughters Carol Batty of Golden Valley and Monica Linhoff of Minnetonka; a sister, Catherine Meehan of Seattle, and 15 grandchildren.

A private family service was held.

Ben Cohen is at bcohen@startribune.com.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Star Tribune Co.