Jim was one of those journalists who I looked up to and tried to follow. He welcomed me into the fold with a big smile and no hesitation. His son, Bob, follows in that tradition and does his father proud. Thanks, Jim.
Our winters in Florida were always made brighter and happier because of our friendship with Jim. We looked forward to his lectures each year at Anna Maria's library. Being Canadians we loved to get Jim's perspective on American politics. We knew he was a staunch Democrat but if we lived in the USA, we would be too. He and Molly kindly invited us into their lives - something we appreciated so much. We will miss his smile, his wit and his wisdom.
Life was better knowing he existed.
Jim had a smile that could cut through steel and win over hearts. Like all his colleagues in the Gridiron Club, he had no shame when it came to wearing ridiculous costumes to portray politicians. On top of all that, he could see through the verbiage and dissembling of politicians and government officials and write penetrating stories. We all have good reason to miss him.
I will miss Jim's friendship, humor, energetic if fractured Shakespeare performances, and thoughtful, uncensored political insights. I will also miss being in the same room with the warm happiness that he and Molly exuded as a couple.
Jim and I first became acquainted when I showed up at the Michigan State News in 1947. He befriended and mentored me as our relationship developed and I was embraced by his entire family. What a joyous crowd it was. We went through good and bad together and he was always there for me when times were toughest. With Jim there was always time for fun and laughter He knew how to enjoy life and tell a good story. I'm grateful for the memories he left me.
Eye met Jim through Bill Eaton; those two were echte Chicago reporters, always looking for the telephone to make the blue streak, street edition. McCartney was deceptive, in that he hid a quick, penetrating mind behind a warm sense of humor. Bill and Jim, Northwestern's gifts, are irreplaceable. Murray Seeger, Silver Spring, MD
Laughs are in short supply. Jim provided many, and for that I'm eternally grateful.
i have known mr. mccartney since 1968 when my parents, younger brothers, and i moved next door. mr. m was always very cheerful and outgoing his kids babysat us. the last time i saw him was a few years ago when he visited us at the beach. he was very bubbling & outgoing as ever. although it's been many years since we were neighbors i will never forget him & miss him.
I became a friend of Jim's when he was at Knight Ridder in DC and I was Bureau Chief at the Detroit News, the dreaded competitor.
That never got in the way, for 10 years. I left for other jobs, he stayed.
And lo and behold, we run in to each other at a media lunch group we both later joined here in Sarasota, FL.
Met his whole family at a Sarasota bayside, outside lunch spot, the Salty Dog, shared more memories, stories, laughs.
I miss him as do his wife, friends, students, readers, and colleagues.
Rest well old friend!
Besides being a wonderful newsman, conversationalist, story-teller, and dear friend, Jim was a tenacious golfer. What he lacked in talent, he more than made up for in zeal. During the many years we played golf together, I leaned you could never count him out, either as a partner or as an opponent. Just when you thought you had him down, he would hit a chip shot stiff to the pin or hole a 30-foot putt to beat you. I had the wonderful good fortune to play golf with Jim followed by dinner with Jim and Molly and my wife, Dorothy, during a visit to Florida last February. That is a memory I will always cherish.
I knew Jim McCartney years before I actually met him -- through my job of editing his columns for my editorial pages in the Bradenton Herald. I was always amazed at the depth of his analysis of the events in D.C. and around the world. Imagine my pleasure, then, at actually meeting him in person, one Sunday back in the '90s when I attended a panel discussion in Sarasota where a mutal acquaintance, former Free Press Editor Kurt Leudtke, was speaking. I recognized him in the audience and after the event went over and introduced myself. That meeting led to his second "career" as a monthly columnist in the Bradenton Herald, a job that paid very little but one I think he thoroughly enjoyed.
I thought of Jim as the kind, helpful big brother I never had. During the roughly 15 years we were personally acquainted we spent many hours trying to solve the world's problems, and failing dismally. I very much looked forward to those meetings, usually over lunch at the Pier (later Twin Delphin and now Mattison's) in downtown Bradenton. He always had a wry twist on current events, and his recounting of past adventures in journalism was spell-binding. Jo Anne and I also enjoyed the dinner parties with Jim and Molly, at our house or theirs, in recent years. Most memorable was my 70th birthday party in 2010, when they presented me with a "crown" to celebrate my elevation to "king" in Tallahassee (as a member of the PSC). Ha! Little did we know that six weeks later I would once again be a serf.
I am missing him terribly. His sudden passing was a profound shock to both of us. Our sympathies go out to Molly and all of his family.
David Klement, Bradenton, FL
Jim was a wonderful, warm friend, dating all the way back to the early 1970s when Nanette and I were new to Washington (and I was trying to learn how to cover the White House). Even though he was as dedicated a Democrat as I am a Republican, and even though we never could stop jocularly arguing about politics, it always was delightful to be in his company. His genuine charm and self-deprecating good humor were contagious -- even at events like the three lavish lunches he had to buy me at The Palm in the late 1990s when I won election bets. (Jim loved a long shot and always could be convinced to wager on some outlandishly unlikely election outcome, but dear Molly, my colleague at both The Houston Post and API, finally put her foot down and made him stop betting with me). When my own world fell apart and I lost my executive's job in 1999, the first people to call and invite us to spend a lovely, long weekend with them at the beach in Delaware were, predictably, Jim and Molly. And when I got a new and even better one in New Orleans, they joined us for Mardi Gras. God rest you, Jim. Your absence males the world a sadder, colder place.
Jack and I found Jim as Pierian Spring students just five years ago. We have loved him and clung to him like barnacles ever since. No matter how far he has gone to try to escape, we will never let him go. Our bi-monthly lunches were intellectual lifesavers for us, and for the rest of the world, a savior of another kind as well. No one could fix what's wrong with Washington, the Middle East, and the over-armed USA or stimulate contention on those subjects like Jim (and his eye-rolling mate), and we refuse to believe, like Molly, that he isn't working on all those issues still. With thanks for an abiding friendship from both Newsoms, two of Jim's most ardent and now bereft admirers.
I never knew Jim McCartney, but I have fond memories of working with Molly Sinclair and for Bob McCartney, so I send my sympathies to each of them. And what a wonderful place to be sent off from, Anna Maria Island.
I knew Jim over a lot of years and admired his journalism, his zest for life, his commitment to doing things that made a difference. Wherever he was was better because he was there.
Jim was a person who impacted my life with spellbinding stories of his journalistic experiences. He was always questioning and asking for an opinion. He was also a warm and close friend with a winning smile, a twinkle in his eyes and a big hug. I will miss him immensely.
Jim was far better at being a friend and a journalist than he was at being a golfer, but he poured more passion into those three endeavors than most of us could summon for one. It was a privilege to be able to share in that trinity for the last four decades with one of the most special pals I'll ever have. Miss you partner.
As a former city editor who relished his return to reporting, Jim was a wonderful role model for many of us in the Knight Ridder Washington bureau in the 70's & 80's. Some of us became city editors who also later relished our return to reporting. Wishing now that I got to spend more time with Jim during the years he and Molly have been in Florida, but very glad to have been his friend.
Jim McCartney was one of the nicest people I've ever known: he made people feel good. Always friendly, always funny, always smart. He and Molly made a great couple -- and he clearly adored her. What wonderful memories she must have -- what wonderful memories of Jim we all have!
Jim made other people happy. Say his name, people smiled. And he was brilliant and had a social conscience and was a good, good newsman. And he made a great life with Molly.
Jim's phony flirting and gentle "hello kisses" will be terribly missed. His ability to zero in to the crux of a matter was only one sign of his mighty intelligence. He will be missed by a wide swath of knowledgeable, politically aware people. Rest in peace, Jim, or as much peace as your overly-active mind will allow! You've left us better people for having touched our lives.
We loved Jim--not only for his brilliance but for his humor. He made us laugh, he challenged our thinking-- he was one of our very favorite friends of all times. We will miss him more than you can know.
I know Jim....and I know God is tasting some fine cheap red wine about now. No man leaves a finer legacy than smiles among those who were lucky enough to be his friend. Thank God for the smiles -- they'll help us catch our tears. Godspeed, my friend.
Always a favorite speaker, I enjoyed hearing his last talk at the Holmes Beach Library.
My sincere condolences.