Harold "Corky" McRaeSeptember 12, 2017
Harold “Corky” McRae died peacefully in his sleep at home with family by his side. He died on Tuesday September 12, 2017 due to complications from Alzheimer’s.
Corky was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He was the youngest of three sons to Zion and Bodil McRae. His long life of civil duty began in November 1950 when he joined the US Army. He served in the Korean War, receiving four Bronze Stars. He returned home in 1952 where he worked briefly with his father in the Detroit Shipyards. Finding this work to be too dangerous, he chose to join the Detroit Police Department! He attended the Detroit Police Academy class of 1953, and after graduating spent 27 years on the Detroit Police Department. He worked in several different aspects of the job, but his favorite were the years he spent on the special task force known as MINT (Michigan Intelligence Network Team). Upon retiring from the Detroit Police Department in 1980 he continued his career as Chief of Police in Linden, MI. He loved the quieter pace of life in Linden and small town charm. The Michigan winters, however, began to get too cold for him. Since three of his five children were living in Florida, he retired from law enforcement in 1986 and moved south to DeLand, Florida. In December 2013 he moved to Asheville, NC to live with his son and his family.
It was at the Detroit Police Academy where he met his future brother-in-law, Joe Bannigan, and through Joe that he met the love of his life, Margaret “Peggy” Bannigan. They were married in 1955 and raised five children together. It was not always easy raising 5 children but through thick and thin, they always stressed the importance of family, hard work, and enjoying the simple things in life.
Corky was a cowboy at heart. He loved horses and animals of all kinds and bought his first horse when he was just a teenager living in Detroit. He continued to have horses and all kinds of animals through most of his adult life. It was his passion and an integral part of his identity. He loved taking care of his animals, but even more so, he loved sharing his love of animals with others, always opening up the farm to anyone who wished to be involved. He also enjoyed working with wood, especially if it meant building or re-building old horse buggies!
Corky was known by everyone who had the joy of meeting him as one of the kindest, most gentle human beings ever. He treated each person he met with the utmost respect and love. He never met a stranger, and welcomed everyone into his life and home with love.
Corky is survived by his children: James McRae and wife Pamela, Susan Smith and husband Thomas, Joseph McRae, Cindy McRae, Kevin McRae and wife Danika.
Six Grandchildren: Patrick McRae, Sean McRae, Kyle Smith and wife Bethany, Amy Genao and husband Persio, Ellerie McRae, and Zion McRae.
Three Great Grandchildren: Olivia, Thomas and Amelia
Three amazing and kind caregivers: Phyllis, Lauren and Sharon
Corky was predeceased by his wife Peggy, parents Zion and Bodil and siblings John and Earl.
A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday September 30, 2017 from 3-6 pm at the home of Kevin and Danika. Please contact one of the immediate family members for directions or email Kevin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice or any of these organizations that were instrumental in the final years of Corky’s life.
MemoryCare is an amazing resource and assistance to those fighting memory loss through dementia or Alzheimer’s and their families. Corky and his family benefited greatly from their support and assistance. www.memorycare.org.
Corky’s family and friends will be participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday Sept 16th in Asheville as team Code 30. When Corky worked undercover they used Code 30 to signify they were “taking a break”. When he retired to Florida he named his farm, Code 30 Ranch. In memory of Corky and in support of the Alzheimer’s Association, we will be raising money for a cure to Alzheimer’s. For more information on the Walk to End Alzheimer’s or our team Code 30, visit http://act.alz.org/site/TR/Walk2017/NC-WesternCarolina?team_id=410423&pg=team&fr_id=10572
CarePartners Foundation (Hospice) is such a caring and compassionate organization that was there for Corky and his family during his final days. www.carepartnersfoundation.org