March 24, 2021
Round Rock, TX -- Marilyn Joyce (Rousey) McCorkle Moore, M.D., age 90, passed away peacefully of natural causes at 8:43 a.m. on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 surrounded by her loving family.
Born February 9, 1931, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Marilyn was the eldest daughter of the late Schuyler Colfax Rousey, M.D. and Erma Gussie (Porter) Rousey.
She is survived by her two sons and two daughters, Schuyler McCorkle of Chandler, AZ, Elizabeth “Beth” (Bruce) Gilbert of Round Rock, TX, Marilyn (Paul) Fowlé of Houston, TX, and Charles “Charlie” McCorkle III of Sagle, ID; six grandchildren, Alyssa (Will) Ehrlich of San Diego, CA, Gavin (Nina) McCorkle of La Mesa, CA, Alexandra Cooper of Pflugerville, TX, Catherine Cooper of San Diego, CA, Andrea Fowlé of Lubbock, TX, and William Fowlé of Lubbock TX; four great-grandchildren, Ellis Ehrlich, Adair Ehrlich, Graham McCorkle, and Hudson McCorkle; a sister, Erma (Rousey) Schlotman of Munster, IN; and two nieces and one nephew, Deborah (Jim) Cherrier of Munster, IN, Chris (Joan) Schlotman of Munster, IN, and Jenny (Joe) Weber of Weldon Spring, MO.
Marilyn graduated with honors from Lockland High School, in Cincinnati, OH in 1948, where she always put an artistic flair to everything she touched. She grew up in a tightknit family where she and her sister learned at an early age that music and service to God and others always came first. Under her mother’s watchful eye, she learned to play the piano and sang in both the church choir and her high school’s glee club, and had leading roles in both middle school and high school theater productions. Never one to have idle hands, she was an avid reader, painted, knitted and loved to take care of her parents’ garden, interests that continued to give her pleasure throughout her life.
While her female classmates sought more traditional roles, Marilyn’s intellectual curiosity and independent streak helped her forge a new, unorthodox path into what was then only a man’s world. She earned a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry at the University of Cincinnati (UC), with a minor in German, which she mastered thanks to her maternal grandmother living with her family while growing up. She graduated in the top of her class, and after facing much resistance - but with her father’s steady hand supporting her decisions within the tightknit medical community - she was accepted as one of three women in the UC Medical School class of 1956.
She quickly won over her professors and fellow male colleagues with her work ethic, becoming the top surgical intern in her class. But even her amazing surgical skills and precision couldn’t win over the hospital administration, who told her they had to give the position to a man. She endured such discrimination throughout her life, being told she would never practice medicine a day in her life, and would end up “wasting” her med school spot to become a housewife. Instead, she chose to take on what others deemed impossible, and practiced medicine for over 30 years, saving multiple people’s lives during Ohio tornadoes and delivering (or what she called “catching”) babies, thus proving how wrong those administrators were – making the impossible, possible. She was licensed in three states before she retired in 1986 due to increasing health issues. One of her fondest memories was attending her 50th class reunion at UC, and reconnecting to her many classmates who had her back as she forged this new path for women.
Upon graduation, she married her lab partner, Charles McCorkle, Jr. M.D. (deceased) and together they interned at Highland Park Hospital, Detroit, MI, and completed their residency at the University of Cincinnati Hospital, where Charles received the chief resident surgeon position she once sought. Marilyn joined her father’s long-established medical practice in Cincinnati, where she continued the tradition of making house calls, operating an in-house pharmacy, and utilizing one of the first x-ray machines in the Midwest (now on display at UC’s medical museum). She never forgot the less fortunate, and often set up free clinics in the poorer parts of Cincinnati during her free time, where residents would line up around the block for much needed medical care and vaccinations, which she paid for out of her own pocket.
Later, when she and her husband moved to Sidney, OH to live with his parents, she opened a family practice in Ft. Loramie, OH, where she also ran an in-house laboratory and pharmacy that served as a hands-on trade school for the local youth she hired. During this time, she selflessly provided free care to those without means, often without anyone knowing.
After a difficult divorce, Marilyn moved with her children to Mesa, AZ, where a distant cousin who also lived in Mesa, introduced her to Marcella and Gary Garland, local ministers at the Church of Unity in Mesa. Through them, Marilyn reconnected with her musical and spiritual side, becoming the church’s musical director, playing the organ and often serving as one of two vocalists during services. She also made sure her children were part of the youth choir and any holiday musical performances.
Not one to sit still, she established a small practice counseling at-risk adults, incorporating preventative, non-traditional and eastern medicine, including acupuncture, into her practice. And somehow, as a single mom and no such thing as daycare at the time, she found time to paint china, hike up Camelback Mountain and Piestewa Peak (formerly Squaw Peak), taught her children how to knit and play the piano and organ, as well as gave into their pleas to adopt a 6-week old beagle puppy (who became a companion to Marilyn for another 22 years) and start a fish tank (which failed miserably).
When the Garlands were assigned a church in Southern California, Marilyn decided follow, moving her family to Escondido, CA, and in turn, giving herself physical and emotional space away from her ex-husband who had moved to AZ. She quickly re-established her small counseling practice for at-risk adults in CA, and became the musical director at the Christward Ministry at Questhaven, in San Marcos, CA, where she and her children worked with its founder, Flower Newhouse, to develop its musical program and plant many trees that continue to grace its grounds. She also continued her love of hiking, taking the kids on many trips including an infamous one up Mount San Jacinto from the Idyllwild, CA, side, with only a few pbj sandwiches and a small bottle of water each to last the nearly 18 hours of hiking. Realizing her miscalculation too late in the day, she didn’t miss a beat, and focused the kids on singing show tunes and telling jokes the entire time. That was just who she was, and she conveyed it to her children and grandchildren throughout her life – focusing on the positive and beauty of life no matter how bad things may seem at the moment.
Marilyn was in her element in CA, but being mindful of her service to family and others, she didn’t hesitate to give it all up when her father’s health started failing. She moved back to Cincinnati to help him practice medicine until the day he died at 86 years of age. Before his passing, though, he introduced her to a local pharmaceutical representative, Charles “Charlie” Moore, Jr. (deceased), who was the son of another local doctor. The two married later that year and were together until his death from Alzheimer’s nearly 25 years later.
She remained in Cincinnati until the fall of 1998, when both her and her husband’s health took a turn for the worse. Her daughters moved her to Austin, TX over the holidays, where she remained a resident of the area until her death. Ever witty and tongue-in-cheek, she took pride in avoiding Covid-19 over the past year and celebrated being fully vaccinated, stating in her last coherent moments – all while knowing she was facing her impending and inevitable passing -- that “at least I won’t die from bloody Covid!”
Public visitation for Marilyn will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 10 at Hodapp Funeral Home, 7401 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH (513) 821-0805, with a celebration of her life to follow at 11 a.m. and interment near her late parents and favorite aunt and uncle at Oak Hill Cemetery 11200 Princeton Pike, Cincinnati, OH, (513) 681-7526. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in Marilyn’s name to Unity Village, MO, or the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine. Condolences on hodappfuneralhome.com