2019 Irish Mother of the Year - Chris McCormick Pries

Chris McCormick Pries
Photo by Jessica Gallagher, article by John Marxs, Dispatch-Argus

"My goodness, what a spirit,'' Moline's Bill Albracht said of McCormick Pries. Albracht and his wife, Mary, with permission from the Pries family, sent the initial nomination letter to the St. Patrick Society, Quad Cities, U.S.A., on behalf of McCormick Pries.

"She exemplifies the spirit of the honor bestowed on her,'' continued Albracht, who winters in Florida but will fly home to share the big day with McCormick Pries. "I'm a huge fan of Chris' husband, Hugh  just a great man. And like many, we are huge fans of Chris. She is the true spirit of that family. What an amazing woman.''

Albracht said he and his wife discovered firsthand the tour guide magic of McCormick Pries.

"We were fortunate enough to share a trip to Ireland with Chris and Hugh,'' Albracht said. "Talk about someone that knows her way around Ireland. And everyone over there absolutely loves her. We stayed in hotels I believe twice while we were there, and the other days were spent in gorgeous bed-and-breakfast outlets because of Chris.

"Seriously, everywhere we went, we were treated so well because of the relationship Chris has with so many. She is absolutely the best.''

For over four decades, McCormick Pries has served in a variety of nursing capacities at the Vera French Center for Mental Health in Davenport. She was named an Athena Award winner for leadership in 2018.

McCormick Pries, who was caught off guard by the campaign to gain her selection as Irish Mother of the Year, shared similar sentiments.

"I have found out a few things, but I had no idea what was going on,'' said the mother of two and grandmother of two. "It's a pleasant surprise, and I'm honored, but I had no idea. I was caught off guard.''