ALBANY, Ga. — Anna Louise McCormack, the daughter of Bob’s Candies founder Bob McCormack, Sr., and a dedicated patron of the arts, died Monday. She was 91.
McCormack, along with her sister and brother, helped steer the company her father built, serving as it’s chief financial officer until handing it off to the third generation of McCormacks.
A philanthropist, McCormack sat on various boards and cultural organizations including the board of Directors for Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce and the Albany Symphony Orchestra.
In 2011, she was appointed a lifetime trustee of the Albany Museum of Art along side her sister, Bee McCormack, and Jane Willson; an organization in which she and her sister co-chaired a fundraising effort that raised more than $1 million to help build the museum.
Karen Kemp, the executive director of the Albany Museum of Art, called McCormack a pioneer for business leaders and a dedicated force in the arts community.
“To say that she laid the groundwork for the arts here in Albany would be a dramatic understatement,” Kemp said. “Her presence in the artistic and business community will be deeply missed.”
Kemp recalled how McCormack was present at the groundbreaking of museum’s new wing in January, much as she was in 1978 when the museum broke ground.
McCormack and her sister, Bee, helped establish Bob’s Candies as a company whose trademark candy canes satisfied sweet tooths the world over for decades.
In a 2005 interview with the Herald, Anna Louise McCormack recalled life growing up in the McCormack house and the role she and her siblings would play in the family business, all while downplaying her role.
“We would love for Albany to be known as the candy cane city, but we can’t take much credit for Albany being know for that,” she said.
Beginning at the tender age of 2, Anna Louise became the mascot and public face of her father’s candy empire, trotting around as the “Candy Kid” in a custom-made dress her mother had crafted, singing a jingle that promoted the company.
In 2005, family sold the company to Farley and Sayer’s Candy Company, which then closed the Albany plant.
It was decision that grieved the McCormack sisters.
While the move ended the story of Bob’s Candies in Albany, the McCormacks continued their philanthropic work in Albany.
Anna Louise McCormack continued to support the arts, attending concerts, plays and events at the art museum right up until her death.
“She was the kind of woman that sought no recognition, but would move mountains in the background. This town owes a lot to her service,” Kemp said.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced by Kimbrell-Stern Funeral Home.