James Michael McCarthy, Jr., 74, of Mattapoisett died peacefully at home on December 20, 2021 following a hard-fought battle against pancreatic cancer.
Born at St. Luke’s Hospital on February 25, 1947, Jim spent much of his youth in Louisiana and Florida before returning to New Bedford in his high school years. He lived the rest of his life in the New Bedford area, which he loved for its history, people, culture, and connection to the sea. From 1976 until his death, Jim resided in Mattapoisett with his beloved wife Mary Louise (Griffith) in a home he built himself and where they lovingly raised their three sons Daniel Patrick, Michael Patrick, and James Michael III.
Generous and kind, Jim possessed a reserved demeanor that often belied his considerable talents. A skilled musician who helped put himself through college performing in a wedding band, Jim also achieved success as a freelance journalist and screenwriter. Later in life he took up portraiture and found great joy in the talented Deborah Macy’s Tuesday night painting classes at Greater New Bedford Regional Voc-Tech. Jim was always open to new experiences and challenges and he leaves his family with numerous cherished “dad” memories like the time he ran the Boston Marathon without telling anyone because he didn’t want to make a fuss.
Jim gave freely of himself to his family and his community, and sought to support local artists, performers, and institutions whenever he could. He cherished the years he participated in the St. Anthony’s Parish Choir and memories of the times in the early 1980’s when he joined other parents to help grow Mariner Youth Soccer. He believed – despite considerable evidence to the contrary – that he had perfected the design of the ideal Mattapoisett River Race boat.
A graduate of New Bedford High School, Jim secured a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Southeastern Massachusetts Technical Institute (UMass-Dartmouth) in 1968 and soon thereafter found himself with the opportunity of a lifetime working as a young engineer on the lunar module. Following that exhilarating experience Jim secured a Master’s degree in journalism from Boston University and took a position working on submarines with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island where he would make significant contributions for the next 31 years and forge deep and lasting friendships.
Predeceased by his father James McCarthy, Sr. and mother Rose (Walsh) McCarthy, Jim is survived by a sister Maureen of Mattapoisett in addition to his wife and partner of 52 years Mary Louise; his sons and daughters-in-law, Dan and Charis McCarthy of Raynham, MA, Mike and Holly McCarthy of Great Falls, VA, and Jay and Chelsey McCarthy of Weston, WV; and his three beautiful granddaughters Quinn, Eleanor, and Josephine.
His Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday December 31, 2021 at 10 am at St. Anthony’s Church in Mattapoisett. Visitation will be held on Thursday December 30, 2021 from 4-7 pm at the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd, Route 6, Mattapoisett. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Gifts to Give, www.giftstogive.org, 1 Titleist Drive, Acushnet, MA 02743. For online condolence book, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.