In Loving Memory of Chris McCormack

January 16, 1957
Pittsburgh, PA
April 30, 2020
Trumbull, CT
Funeral Home

Spear-Miller Funeral Home

39 South Benson Road,
Fairfield CT US 06824


Memorial Celebration to be held at a later date


Family Gathering


Norwalk Symphony Orchestra

Christopher McCormack Memorial Fund

25 Van Zant St. Suite 14-3,
Norwalk CT 06855

Christopher Paul McCormack

Christopher Paul McCormack of Trumbull died on April 30, 2020 from complications due to cardiac arrest. Born on January 16, 1957, he was the son of the late Donald P. and Patricia S. McCormack of Westport, CT. He graduated from Yale with a B.A. in musicology in 1974. At Yale he played viola in the Yale Orchestra and conducted the Gilbert & Sullivan Society. He received a Master of Music degree from Eastman School of Music in 1981. After trying his hand at conducting local theatre groups, he went to law school at Fordham University, graduating in 1987. He married Sarah Doyle McCormack, formerly of New Canaan, the same year.
Chris began his Law career as a clerk for Judge Thomas Meskill, and then worked for Tyler, Cooper & Alcorn in New Haven for 17 years. He moved to Pullman & Comley in Bridgeport in 2004. Chris specialized in Environmental Litigation, and was recognized and listed as a top lawyer in the country by several publications such as Best Lawyers and Chambers USA. He also received awards for his work, such as the 2013 Distinguished Legal Writing Award, granted on behalf of the Burton Awards for Legal Achievement in association with the Library of Congress. Chris served as Chair of the environmental section of the Connecticut Bar Association from 2015-2017, and has been the section’s Legislative Liaison for the past few years, providing ‘must-reads’ for the Environmental Section of the CT Bar Association. His quick, sometimes sarcastic wit made these updates extremely entertaining to all who read them and purported to be entertainment for the whole family.Chris kept up his love of music by playing viola in the Norwalk Symphony and by singing in his church choir at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fairfield, where he also served on the Vestry from 2008-2011. His first love was always music, and he was a steadfast patron of classical performing arts organizations from the local to the international. He served on many boards over the years, but was most recently the Vice President of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra Board of Governors. He was a former president of the Housatonic Community College Foundation (2013-2018). He served on the Trumbull Conservation Commission from 2017 until his death. One of Chris’s greatest loves was sailing. Every weekend in the summer was looked forward to with anticipation. Would there be good weather and wind? He loved Long Island Sound and Captain’s Cove, and puttering around on his J 30 any time he could. Chris and Sarah lived in Trumbull. They raised two children, Benjamin and Elijah, both of whom inherited his love for music and became professional musicians, which made him very proud. Chris will be remembered for his witty sense of humor, his love for his family, and his music. He is survived by his wife, Sarah; his children, Benjamin of Bridgeport and Elijah of Conway, Arkansas; as well as James J. Steele, who became a part of their family in 2011; 2 brothers-in-law, a sister-in-law, and 2 nephews; and many cousins. A memorial celebration will be planned at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra,, or the Christopher McCormack Memorial Fund, 25 Van Zant St. Suite 14-3. Norwalk CT 06855. For information or to sign an online register, please visit

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23 Guestbook Entries for Christopher Paul McCormack

  1. As a classmate of Chris at Yale, I have a lifetime of wonderful memories. I loved to watch Chris conduct, to sail with him, to see his pride in his children and love for his wife. I will miss his laughter, his way with words, and yes, even his sarcasm. I am a better person for knowing him. I am grateful that he rests in peace.

  2. I am so saddened about Chris’ passing. What a sudden, unbelievable loss! I have enjoyed working with him at Norwalk Symphony and having him as part of the orchestra for so many years. I wish you all peace. Kate

  3. I served with Chris on the NSO Board. A wonderful gentleman, kind to all, intelligent always, gracious at all things. He will be missed. My deepest sympathies to the family.

  4. Please accept our sincere sympathy for the loss of Chris. Our love and prayers are with
    The McCormack Family.

  5. Chris was a truly amazing person, who touched the lives of so many people. We loved him, and love you, Sarah, Ben, Eli, and Jimmy. You’re in our thoughts and prayers.

  6. Sarah I was so saddened to hear of Chris’ passing. He will be greatly missed at St. Paul’s and all who knew him.

  7. Heaven will have a musical genius!!
    It was a privl edge and honor to have known you! God Bless You!!

  8. We are so shocked to learn of Chris’ passing. Our prayers go out to the entire family.
    May God’s Peace rest on you during this sad time.
    Our love,
    Hope and John Ogletree

  9. Most favorite memories with Chris and Sarah, sailing on the sound, and thanksgiving 1992, with Chris’ parents. I saved the day with homemade gravy! RIP Chris.
    May God carry those remaining through this time of mourning. Much love.

  10. Sarah,

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I admired your husband… he was a fixture at St Paul’s. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this very sad and difficult time. The children and I share your grief and life you up in our hearts.

    Sarra, MaryGrace and Liam Kennedy

  11. Quite the resume. We knew very little of it before now. A mere word or two matched what I knew. The best thing is that it was simply great to be in Chris’s company, even without having to know anything else.

  12. I am so sorry for your loss. Chris was such a wonderful person & talented musician who shared his gifts with all of us at St. Paul’s. He was taken from you & his St.Paul’s family far too young. He will be sorely missed. May God grant you and all who loved & cared for him comfort & peace.

  13. Having had the privilege of playing with Chris for so many years in nso I cannot imagine a concert without him. Such a sudden loss his kind patient presence will be sorely missed by his many music friends. Big vicarious hugs to everyone our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Kathie flute

  14. Dear Sarah,
    We are sorry for your loss. Chris was a wonderful person with many great talents. We will miss seeing him at St. Paul’s, most of all we will miss hearing him play his Viola in church on special Sundays. My heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family.
    Heather and Ned

  15. So sorry for your loss. Chris & I played in the NSO together for many many years and served a bit on the board as well. I liked his sense of humor and wit. Will miss him….

  16. With my deepest sympathy to Chris’ family. I worked with Chris at Tyler, Cooper & Alcorn. I was so shocked to hear of his passing. Very sad day just like the day he left the firm although I was very happy for him. Within our hearts and memories those we love remain with us always. May all your beautiful memories be held close to your hearts.

    Rusti Leonardo

  17. Dear Sarah,
    We are so very sad to learn of Chris’ passing. St. Paul’s won’t be the same without him. Sending lots of love, Katie and Bill Magee

  18. I would like to express the sincere condolences of the entire Ridgefield CT WPCA – we are so sorry for your family’s loss. Chris was a lively and intelligent counsel to us and he will be missed.

  19. Dear Sarah and family,
    We are so sorry to hear about the loss of your husband and father. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time.
    The Pulie Family

  20. Dear Sarah and Family:
    I am sorry for your loss. I knew Chris for many years. He always was very kind and friendly.
    He will be missed by many. Let me know if I can do anything.
    Love, Betsy

  21. Chris and I were colleagues at ASTM International engaged in addressing environmental legal issues. Long after we found ourselves working on environmental issues, we discovered our common passion for music. Because so many of the tributes in this guestbook come from Chris’ colleagues in the world of great music, I would like to share my tribute to Chris at ASTM in this forum. Please forgive the length of my comments, but learning of Chris’ passing brought back so many memories of working with him. To Chris’ family and friends, please accept my deepest condolences for your loss.

    I cannot even begin to calculate the loss we have just suffered. Chris was one of those rare individuals who combined extraordinary intelligence, outstanding creativity, tremendous kindness, impeccable character, good humor, grace, and well-earned self-confidence. Chris and I were both environmental lawyers working on a common cause to develop sound environmental standards, and I always found myself fortunate when Chris and I worked on the same projects. Chris used the gifts with which he was endowed to make the world he shared with many of us a better place. Although there is a universal sense that he left us far too soon, there is no doubt that even in his short life he made a tremendous positive difference.

    Environmental law was not our only common activity. We accidently discovered another common interest during one of our ASTM meetings. One day I had forgotten to turn off the ringer on my cell phone and the inevitable occurred – a call came in and it took me two or three seconds to turn off the sound. Most people in the room justifiably glared at me, but Chris had a different idea. During the next break in the meeting, Chris let me know that even with a three second sound bite, he knew that my ringer was Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries.” We both discovered that we are passionate lovers of opera and classical music. At subsequent meetings, we often compared notes of recent opera or concert performances we had seen. And on another occasion, he showed me that he had chosen a different leit motif from Wagner’s Ring cycle for his cell phone ringer.

    The story of the “Ride of the Valkyries” seems apt today. According to this medieval German legend, the Valkyries would swoop up fallen heroes in battle and carry them to Valhalla, the home of the gods. I suspect Chris boarded the “Ride of the Valkyries” and is now among mankind’s greatest heroes.