SA life lived
STAN JOHN McCORLEY
Shopkeeper, property owner
Born: Taroom, December 1, 1913
Died: Taroom, May 4, 2009
TAN McCorley was many things to a great many people.
The Taroom resident, who died on May 4, aged 95, was a son, a brother, a neighbour and a friend.
He was a star winger, a shopkeeper and a property owner. He made prize- winning pickles, he made it down the Toowoomba Range without brakes and he made you feel welcome whenever you dropped in.
Stan was a loving husband, a proud father and a true gentleman. He offered a helping hand, a listening ear, a genuine smile and a was familiar face around town.
To the St Vincent's de Paul Society, Stan was a long-serving treasurer and to the parish priests at St Mary's he was a devout Christian and a regular at Mass.
To his loving family he was simply “dad” or “grandad”.
Stanley John McCorley was born in Taroom on December 1, 1913, to John and Maud (nee Parsons) McCorley. He was the eldest of four children, Phyllis, Noel (dec) and Max (dec).
Stan's formal education began in 1918 at the Taroom State School where he fell in love for the first time - with his teacher Maggie Hickey.
Sadly, the romance was to be short-lived. At six years old Stan was moved to the newly completed convent school. He would no longer see his beloved Miss Hickey and instead would be taught by the Sisters of St Joseph.
The young Stan spent his mornings coaxing unco-operative dairy cows back in their paddocks after the milking. He spent his days at school and at night it was his job to ring a bell and announce which films were playing at the pictures in exchange for free tickets.
In 1924 Stan's family bought the Co-ee Café and the 10-year-old began serving at the counter alongside his mother and sister. He was even once left to manage the shop for an entire weekend while his mother travelled to Theodore.
Stan was sent to boarding school when he was 13 and attended Toowoomba Brothers School, then Nudgee College in Brisbane.
In 1929, after his father died of tuberculosis, Stan left school and returned to Taroom to work at the McCorley's shop, later run by his brother Max as St Theresa's Café.
During this time, Stan became interested in rugby league and in a blonde, blue-eyed girl he'd met at a St Patrick's Day social. Eileen Kerlin lived on her family's property, Bottle Tree Park. The young athletic shopkeeper, would ride his pushbike across the mountains to visit her.
In 1938, they married and Stan became sole manager of the shop. Over the coming years he would also become a father to Joe, Bryan, Peter, Mary and Anne.
In 1951, the family sold the shop and bought Wattle Brae. At 40, Stan had become a farmer and property owner. Times were tough, one drought seemed to follow another, but they still managed to send the five children away to boarding school.
After 30 years or so at Wattle Brae, Stan and Eileen moved back into town.
Stan would take Eileen to Mass each day and take her TAB tickets to the Pub Tab sometimes many times a day. They celebrated 59 years of marriage before Eileen's death in 1997.
Stan missed Eileen tremendously but he soon renewed his commitment to life and the service of others. He spent his last 12 years reading, gardening, cooking, putting in his footie tips, sharing a laugh with family over a glass of red wine, running a few dollars through the pokies, working for St Vinnies and attending Mass.
Stan was mentally acute until his sudden death in Taroom Hospital. A requiem mass was held for him at St Mary's on May 8.
Stan is survived by his sister Phyllis, his five children, Joe, Bryan, Peter, Mary and Anne, his 23 grandchildren and 31 great-grandchildren.
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