James J.F. McCarthy, 77, of East Northampton Street in the Heights section of Wilkes-Barre, passed into eternal life Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 8, 2013, in Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Plains Township, surrounded by his loving family, following a prolonged illness.
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Born Sept. 24, 1935, in Plymouth, he was a son to the late James J. and Claire Metzger McCarthy. Educated in local schools, he attended James M. Coughlin High School, Wilkes-Barre. Following his education, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps, proudly serving our country during the Korean War.
A lifelong broadcast reporter, Mr. McCarthy's career becan as a disc jockey at WAEB in Allentown. He then spread his wings to become a reporter with WSCR in Scranton, WPTS in Pittston and later the Mutual Broadcasting Co. in Washington, D.C. He eventually earned a position with the CBS Broadcasting Corp. as a reporter, with federal politics on Capitol Hill as his beat. He worked under several notable presidential administrations, including late past Presidents Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy.
Upon his return to the Wyoming Valley, he and his wife, the former Patricia Kessler, who together would have shared 57 years of married life on March 9, purchased a local tavern and together would operate the family business, "Jim McCarthy's Tavern on the Hill" for some 35 years.
His love of politics, community and civic involvement continued until his passing. With the exception of his first attempt, he won every race for Wilkes-Barre City Council, and later, lost his bid for Luzerne County commissioner.
His deep, melodic voice and tall stature were distinctive characteristics for which most have come to know him.
He was a member of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church, Wilkes-Barre, where he served as lector and usher for many years.
He also held membership in various fraternal and civic groups, including the Wilkes-Barre Lions Club, Lodge 61, Free and Accepted Masons, where he continued to serve as chaplain; was a former member of the Irem Shrine; the Knights of Columbus, Council 302, Wilkes-Barre; the Catholic War Vets, the Elks Club of Wilkes-Barre; and the Marine Corps League, just to name a few.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Thomas, and more recently a sister, Denise.
Surviving, along with his wife, Pat, at home, are their sons, James, Nanticoke; Harry and his wife, Anna; Justin S. and his wife, Josie, and Timothy, all of Wilkes-Barre; grandchildren, Seanna, Elysia, Justin Jr., Molly and Erin; great-grandchildren, Christopher and Connor; numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services for Mr. McCarthy will be conducted at 8:15 a.m. Saturday from John V. Morris Family Funeral Homes Inc., Wilkes-Barre Heights Chapel, 281 E. Northampton St., Wilkes-Barre, followed by a Funeral Mass at 9 a.m. in Our Lady of Fatima Parish, St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, with Monsignor Michael J. Delaney, his cousin, serving as celebrant.
Interment with Rite of Committal will follow in St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery, 1594 S. Main St., Hanover Township.
Relatives and friends may join the McCarthy family for visitation and remembrances from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.
In lieu of floral tributes, memorial contributions may be made in Jim's name to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
To send his wife, Pat, their sons and family online words of comfort, support and friendship, visit our family's website at johnvmorrisfuneralhomes.com.
Published in Citizens' Voice on Jan. 10, 2013