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James H. McCartney 1925-2011

James H. McCartney

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July 05, 2015
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July 05, 2015
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May 19, 2011
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.
May 19, 2011
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
May 16, 2011
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.
May 16, 2011
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.
May 14, 2011
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.
May 14, 2011
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.
May 13, 2011
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.
May 12, 2011
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.
May 12, 2011
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.
May 12, 2011
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!

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