Betty McCrary McCorquodale, 87, a lifelong resident of Jackson died in a local hospital early Sunday morning, Feb. 22, 2009 after an extended illness.
She was born May 25, 1921, the daughter of the late Dr. and Mrs. Gaines C. McCrary. Betty was the wife of former two-time Alabama House Speaker Joseph C. McCorquodale. For the 24 years Mr. McCorquodale served in the Alabama House of Representatives, Mrs. McCorquodale was at her husband's side. Mr. McCorquodale played a key role in state government, culminating in his two terms as Speaker of the House from 1974-1982. Mr. McCorquodale retired from public office after an unsuccessful bid for Governor in 1982.
Mrs. McCorquodale graduated from Jackson High School and attended Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla., where she was a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority. She was actively involved in all school-related affairs when her sons were in school including being a substitute teacher, assisting with the Cub Scouts, helping with the development of the Little League Baseball organization and was Band Mother of the Year. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Jackson where in past years she taught Sunday School classes.
Before Mr. McCorquodale was shipped to the Pacific Theater to serve as bombardier on a B-28 during World War II, Mrs. McCorquodale was selected as a Beauty Queen of the Cadet Corps while they were stationed at Big Spring, Texas Air Force Base. She also served as president of the Cadet Wives Club during this time in Texas.
Mrs. McCorquodale assisted her husband in many ways during his time in the Alabama Legislature. She was involved in organizing the Legislative Wives Club and served one year as its president. She was instrumental and chairman of the program of having replicas of the original gas lights in the Capitol Building in Montgomery installed in the Lobby of the entrance to the Capitol and also in the House Chamber.
Mrs. McCorquodale was a Founding Member of the Jackson Women's Club and served as its first president. She was also active in the civic and cultural activities in Jackson.
Mrs. McCorquodale is survived by her husband of 67 years, Joseph Charles McCorquodale Jr., of Jackson; two sons, Joseph Charles "Mac" McCorquodale III; Gaines Cowan McCorquodale, both of Jackson; four grandchildren, Elizabeth M. Percy and Joseph Charles McCorquodale IV, both of Mobile, Martha Virginia "Ginny" Stewart, Centreville and Mary Helen Marks, Birmingham; seven great-grandchildren; one sister, Jean McCrary Payne, Jackson, nieces, nephews and other relatives.
She was preceded in death by a sister, Dorothy Gaines McCrary who died in 1941.
Funeral services were Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Jackson with Rev Jim DuFriend and Rev. Dr. Rhett G. Payne III officiating. Burial was in Pine Crest Cemetery in Jackson in the McCorquodale Family Plot with Lathan Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Pallbearers were Charles McCorquodale IV, Aidan Marks, David Stewart, Ivy Griffin, Kathy Brown, Ciara Mitchell, Bill Payne, Ann Parker, and Willie Grace Fendley.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First United Methodist Church Elevator Fund, P.O. Box 385, Jackson, Alabama 36545.