Gerald John “Jerry” McCarthy passed suddenly on March 15, 2022 of heart failure. His beloved wife of 63 years, Myra Marie (Vadney) McCarthy had passed peacefully in hospice of Alzheimer’s disease and kidney failure on November 21, 2020.
Jerry was born the younger of two children to Elizabeth (Meehan) and James McCarthy in Somerville, MA, on July 3, 1934 and grew up with his brother James in the Savin Hill section of Dorchester, MA. After attending Boston Tech High School, Jerry enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard with his best friend Jack McKinnon, serving on the USCGC Duane and the Chambers and later being stationed at Boston Light. His passion for boats and the sea led Jerry to a long career with the Dept. of the Navy, first as a shipwright in the Boston Naval Yard, and later with SupShip Boston in restoring the U.S.S. Constitution.
Jerry enjoyed being a big part of the “Old Ironsides” annual turnaround sail in Boston Harbor every Independence Day. Myra was born the youngest of 13 brothers and sisters to Mary (LaFort) and Roy Vadney in Boston, MA on January 10, 1936. Myra grew up in the Fields Corner section of Boston, attending Dorchester High for Girls and later working for one of the insurance giants downtown.
Jerry and Myra met while in high school and started dating, Jerry walking the railroad tracks across town to Myra’s home. After Jerry’s service with the Coast Guard, they married in 1957, starting their family in Dorchester and eventually settling in Braintree, MA. When their children were young, they were both very active in Scouting, with Myra serving as a den mother for Cub Scouts, and Jerry helping out with the Boy Scouts at their different events, sharing his knowledge of knots, wood working, and even building the track for the annual Pinewood Derby miniature car races.
Devout Catholics, Jerry and Myra were long time members of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Braintree. Myra also taught CCD for many years at the parish and volunteered as a Teacher’s Aide at the local elementary school. When the children had all grown and flown the nest, and Jerry had retired from his longtime service to the Dept. Of the Navy, they retired to a cozy home in West Yarmouth, MA. Jerry got himself a canoe and enjoyed fishing in the nearby lakes and hitting the stripers from the shores of the Cape Cod Canal. Myra loved taking walks in the pristine surroundings with their German Shepherd Maxine and enjoying the Cape Cod lifestyle.
In their later years, arthritis and the rough New England winters finally convinced Jerry and Myra to head south, where they settled for good in Ocala, Florida. They were lucky to have some wonderful neighbors and enjoyed the conveniences of their new senior community.
Jerry and Myra are survived by their three children – son James and Dixie (Gaynor) of Gerrardstown, WV, son Kevin and Yvonne (Mellott) of Laguna Niguel, CA, and daughter Karen of Columbia, SC; two grandchildren, Matthew of Quincy, MA and Gianna of Chicago, IL; Jerry’s brother James and his wife Regina of Hanson, MA; and many nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.
Jerry and Myra McCarthy will be laid to rest, side by side, in the Bourne National Cemetery, complete with a military color guard and salute. The service will be held at 11:00am on May 18, which would have been their 66th wedding anniversary.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Coast Guard Museum in Hull, MA.
Arrangements by Leighton-MacKinnon Funeral Home, 4 W. Washington St., (Corner Rte. 58), Hanson, MA.
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