John Elliott McCormick, 78, former state and regional editor and Do-It-Man for the Deseret News, died March 1, 1991, in a Salt Lake hospital after a short illness.

Mr. McCormick began his newspaper career with the Salt Lake Telegram after graduating from the University of Utah in 1935.He graduated from Westminster College in 1930 and received a degree in commercial art from the U., with aspirations of becoming a cartoonist. But there were no openings in that field at the newspaper, so he accepted a position as a copy courier. While working for the Telegram from 1935 to 1947 he also was a general assignment reporter, drama and movie editor and during part of World War II served as city editor.

During 1947 and 1948 Mr. McCormick was a reporter for the San Diego Union, returning to Utah in 1948 to become a Deseret News reporter.

He also was photo editor, personnel director and the newspaper's first Do-It-Man, working in that position for 10 years before retiring in 1977.

He was born June 26, 1912, in Coffeyville, Kan., to Charles J. and Oakey Lockridge McCormick. He moved with his parents in 1921 to Salt Lake City, where he attended Wasatch Elementary School, Roosevelt Junior High School and was graduated from East High School in 1930.

He and his wife, the former Irene Olsen, were married April 9, 1938, in Salt Lake City. Mr. McCormick joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1984, and their marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple Aug. 29, 1985. His conversion to the church was featured in a Dec. 7, 1986, Church News story.

He was a high priest in the Stratford Ward where he served in the Sunday School presidency and as treasurer of the ward's Boy Scout troop.

Services will be at noon Monday in the Stratford Ward, 2605 S. 1500 East. Viewing will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Wasatch Lawn Mortuary, 3401 Highland Drive, and from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. Monday at the church. Burial will be in Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park.