Posted by Newspaper Transcriber on Saturday, October 21, 2006 at 18:35:37 :
Lucy Cormack, mother of El Granada resident Vicki Cormack, died peacefully in her sleep June 2 at age 87 in San Francisco, her home for 17 years.
"She will be remembered lovingly and with great humor by friends and family," said her daughter.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Lucy Bachmann Cormack moved to Los Angeles in the 1920s when her father, J.P. Bachmann, helped found Paramount Pictures. There, she began a career as an executive assistant in the entertainment industry, a career that spanned the mid-1930s to 1989 and gave her a front-row seat to Hollywood.
"She was secretary to the stars," said her daughter.
Ms. Cormack worked for Florence Selznick, wife of film producer David O. Selznick. During World War II, she participated in the Hollywood Canteen, a club for servicemen visiting Hollywood.
Later, she worked for Samuel Arkoff, executive producer of American International Pictures, and for producer Louis "Deke" Heyward, also of American International Pictures, on the "Beach Party" movies. Her favorite job was her last one, in New York, working on Broadway for Cy Feuer and Ernie Martin, producers of "Guys and Dolls," "Cabaret" and "Chorus Line." She retired in 1989.
Her mother was "very humorous," said Vicki Cormack. "She had a very upbeat personality and was very positive, though she lived through a number of tragedies."
Ms. Cormack was a "very good friend" who kept in touch with friends from high school for the rest of her life.
"Though she dealt with people in the theater primarily, she'd get to know the man behind the sandwich counter or the person who helped her at the pharmacy," Vicki Cormack said.
"She was a great dame, and a terrific broad," recalled Ms. Cormack's friend, script supervisor B.J. Bjorkman, according to Ms. Cormack's daughter.
Ms. Cormack was married three times, divorced once and widowed twice. She did volunteer work for political campaigns in New York, while she was employed.
Upon retirement and after coming to San Francisco, she became an active volunteer with the San Francisco Public Library system. She also continued volunteering for political causes including Art Agnos' campaign. She was also a great cook, her daughter said, and though she did not live on the Coastside, she "told me it was the most beautiful place on the coast. She had traveled through here in the '30s on her way to San Francisco when it was an artist community."
Ms. Cormack is survived by her children, Vicki Cormack of El Granada and John Santo of Queens, N.Y., and grandchildren Benjamin Barsocchini and Rafi, Shuvi and Lani Santo. She is also survived by a nephew, Richard M. Shapiro of Berkeley and a sister-in-law, Betty Crosby, of Ojai.
She had requested to be cremated. No formal services were planned.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Ms. Cormack's name to Meals on Wheels at Senior Coastsiders, 535 Kelly Ave., Half Moon Bay, CA 94019.
Half Moon Bay Review and Pescadero Pebble, Wednesday, June 21, 2006
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