Long-time Menlo Park resident Emmett “Mac” MacCorkle dies at age 77

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on March 9, 2019

Long-time Menlo Park resident Emmett W. “Mac” MacCorkle III died March 2, 2019, after being struck by a delivery truck while walking in the Casa Dorinda retirement community in Montecito where he had moved last year. He was 77.

Mac was a larger-than-life figure, in spirit, personality, and physique. He bore a physical resemblance to Daddy Warbucks but possessed the warmth and charm of a spirited parish priest. He was a man with a common touch, yet an uncommon generosity of spirit.

“My brother was loved by everyone who knew him,” said his sister Alice Carrott Eidson, “and he treated everyone he encountered with respect and good will.”

Mac was the founder of MacCorkle Insurance Services in Burlingame, which he oversaw for 50 years. In 1980 was named “Man of Year, Peninsula Association Life Underwriters.” He sold the company that bears his name to his employees, retiring to Santa Barbara in June 2018.

Born in Virginia, the son of Nelda and Emmett W. MacCorkle, Jr., Mac was raised in Portland, Oregon, and San Marino, California, graduating from San Marino High School.

He attended Cornell University and remained an active alumnus. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps and served in Vietnam in 1966-1967.

Mac was a respected and beloved member of the Bohemian Club and served as its president. He served as Chairman of the Dawn Redwoods Trust and was a member of the Board of the San Mateo Historical Society and Board of Regents of Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose. He was a past president of Cornell Club Northern California and a member of the Menlo Circus Club.

In addition to his sister Alice, Mac leaves his wife of 54 years, Carol, son Jeffrey of Beijing, China, son Steve of Los Angeles, daughter-in-law CJ Chen, grandchildren Christina, Aubrey, Quinn and Liam, nephew Philip Carrott, and nieces Molly Taylor and Lucy Mayor.

A small private family service will take place in Santa Barbara with a larger gathering planned for the future.

For those interested in honoring Mac’s memory, the family suggests making a donation to the Dawn Redwoods Trust, 1 Blackfield Drive, Suite 331, Tiburon, CA, 94920 or the MacCorkle Family Scholarship (Fund # 992612) at Cornell University, Cornell Office of Development, Attn: Advancement Services, 130 E. Seneca Street, Suite 400, Ithaca, NY 14850

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