Patrick's Story

TOPSHAM - Patrick Edward McCarthy, 85, of Topsham, Maine, and Christmas Cove, Maine, died in the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 13, 2015, at Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick, Maine, following a heart attack suffered at his home in Christmas Cove Monday afternoon. He was born July 23, 1930, in Rumford, Maine, one of ten children and the eldest son of John Wallace McCarthy, Sr., and Margaret Clare Whalen McCarthy.

In the Irish tradition, Patrick as eldest son was named for his paternal grandfather, Patrick Edward McCarthy, a 1902 graduate of the University of Maine who for many years was Superintendent of the International Paper Company mill in Rumford. Two of Patrick's great-great-grandfathers were also named Patrick McCarthy: one of Dungarven, County Waterford, Ireland, and one of Skibbereen, County Cork, Ireland.

Patrick served in the U.S. Marine Corps and graduated from Bridgton, Academy in Bridgton, Maine. He attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and the University of Maine at Orono, and graduated with a Masters of City Planning from Harvard University. He served as a City Planner for Boston on the Charlestown Project, and as head of the Worcester Redevelopment Authority in Massachusetts. In 1963, he moved to Ireland for four years to serve as Chief Advisor to the United Nations mission for economics and planning research. Upon his return from Ireland, Patrick was employed in a series of positions with the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education before being appointed in 1972 as Chancellor of Higher Education for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 1975, Patrick became Chancellor of the University of Maine System, where he served for 11 years before becoming President of the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions in Boston until his retirement in 1995. He served as both Commodore and President of the Christmas Cove Improvement Association and was a member of the Megantic Fish & Game Corporation.

On December 2, 1956, Patrick married the love of his life, Norma Joan "Tiger" Leary, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They had five children. Patrick and Tiger formed a dynamic and intrepid team and loved life together for almost 60 years, until Patrick's death parted them. Patrick was intelligent, insightful, and simultaneously charming and challenging. He was big and strong, with a lion's mane of white hair and bright blue eyes. He loved good food, and he loved to cook, banning interlopers and kibitzers from his kitchen while he was at the stove. He loved boats and sailing races, and, the poetry of his friend Seamus Heaney. He loved fly-fishing, especially in Ireland, Canada, the far northern reaches of Maine, or off the dock in Christmas Cove. He loved Maine to his core. He took justifiable pride in his Irish and Maine heritage. He was a gifted artist and produced watercolors and drawings of talented awareness and joyous execution.

Most of all, Patrick loved his family, and they loved him. He is survived by his wife, Tiger; his children, Seán Wallace McCarthy and his wife Tammy of New York City; Megan Elizabeth McCarthy Jackel and her husband Donald of Worcester, Massachusetts; Cait Searles Kelly and her husband Michael of Westport, Connecticut; Hannah Ryan McCarthy of Yokohama Japan; and Patrick Edward McCarthy, and his wife Jennifer of New Canaan, Connecticut; and by 10 beloved and loving grandchildren, Patrick and Christine McCarthy; Molly and Brynn Jackel; Caleb Kelly and his wife Sarah Thorndike Kelly, Maggie, and Emma Kelly; and Caitlin, Kaleigh, and Rory McCarthy.

Patrick is survived as well by siblings, Margot McCarthy Anderson of Hancock, Maine, and Swan's Island, Maine; Mary Catherine McCarthy Hoffman and her husband, Everett, of Coral Gables, Florida, and Swan's Island, Maine; John Wallace McCarthy, Jr., and his wife, Leigh, of Yarmouth, Maine, and Swan's Island, Maine; Michael Andrew McCarthy and his wife, Marilyn, of Westport, Connecticut, and Swan's Island, Maine; Kevin Ryan McCarthy and his wife, Margaret, of Cohasset, Massachusetts; and Terence Edwin McCarthy of Salem, South Carolina.

Patrick was predeceased by his brother, Denis McCarthy; and by his sisters, Ellen McCarthy Trafton Howe and Veronica McCarthy MacDonald Loud.

A funeral mass for Patrick will be celebrated at 11:00AM on Monday, October 19, 2015, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Newcastle, Maine. Burial will at the St. Patrick's Catholic Church Cemetery at the conclusion of the Funeral Service. A celebration of the full and richly realized life of Patrick Edward McCarthy will be held in Christmas Cove, Maine, next summer.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in remembrance of Patrick Edward McCarthy may be made to The Damariscotta River Association, 110 Belvedere Road, Damariscotta, ME 04543, or by visiting: www.damariscottariver.org.

Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543. Condolences, and messages for the family, may be expressed by visiting: www.StrongHancock.com.
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