James J.F. McCarthy

Jan. 8, 2013

Mr. James J.F. McCarthy, 77, of East Northampton Street, in the Heights section of the city, passed into Eternal Life Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 8, 2013, in the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Plains Township, surrounded by his loving family, following a prolonged illness.

Born Sept. 24, 1935 in Plymouth, he was a son to the late James J. and Claire (Metzger) McCarthy. Educated in the local schools, he attended the James M. Coughlin High School, Wilkes-Barre. Following his education, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and proudly served our country during the Korean War.

A lifelong broadcast reporter, Mr. McCarthy's career began 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 Company in Washington, D.C. He eventually earned a position with the CBS Broadcasting Corp. as a reporter, having Federal Politics on Capitol Hill his beat. He worked under several notable presidential administrations including late past presidents Nixon and 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, losing his bid for Luzerne County commissioner. His deep, melodic voice and tall stature were distinctive characteristics most have come to know him for. 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 E.L.K.S. 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 on Saturday morning at 8:15 a.m. from the 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 the Rev. 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 Friday from 2 until 4 p.m. and from 7 until 9 p.m. at the funeral home.

In lieu of floral tributes, memorial contributions may be made in Jim's name to the 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, please visit our family's website at www.johnvmorrisfuneralhomes.com.


Published in Times Leader on Jan. 10, 2013