Barbara K. McCarthy

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Barbara K. McCarthy of Evanston, and formerly of Quincy, passed away peacefully on Friday (May 23, 2014) two days after her 97th birthday.

Barbara was the only child born to William H. and Erma Meyer Koenig on May 21, 1917, in Quincy.

She excelled in school, studied music and graduated from Quincy High School. She then attended her beloved MacMurray College, where her piano performance earned her a public

personal thanks from the visiting aviator Amelia Earhart. She attended the University of Colorado at Boulder for three summers and transferred to Northwestern University. A Latin scholar, she also appeared in celebrated Waa Mu shows and, in 1938, performed Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" at College Night at Chicago's Edgewater Beach Hotel and also played at the Illinois Governor's Mansion. She earned her B.A. and, in 1941, a master of arts degree.

During World War II, Barbara taught English at Quincy Junior High School and gave musical performances on WTAD radio in Quincy.

Barbara met Dan McCarthy, who had just returned from the Pacific after the end of World War II, on New Year's Eve, 1945, at a party arranged by a mutual friend. They married in June 1946. Their son Todd was born in 1950 and daughter Kerry followed in 1952. While Dan helped run the family Charlotte Charles fine foods business and began what would become a successful real estate career, Barbara vigorously pursued her musical interests.

Barbara played cello in the Evanston Symphony Orchestra for more than 40 years. Long active in administrative affairs as well, she served as the orchestra's president and a board director and, in 2011, was honored for her lifetime of service to the organization.

She was also president and longtime officer of the Evanston Music Club, organizing many of the group's meetings and events even into the past decade, and was also an active member of the Winnetka Music Club. She hosted an untold number of receptions and events for both organizations. In 1971, Barbara and her daughter Kerry, a violinist, performed in a concert tour throughout Europe with an American chamber orchestra.

She is survived by a son, Todd (Sasha) McCarthy; a daughter, Kerry (Richard) Stilwell; and four grandchildren: Justin and Tyler Stilwell and Madeleine and Nicholas McCarthy.

She was preceded in death by her husband.

SERVICES: 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 30, private graveside service will be held in the Greenmount Cemetery, with the Rev. Larry Wentzel officiating.

MEMORIALS: Evanston Symphony Orchestra (P.O. Box 778, Evanston, IL 60204) or Midwest Palliative and Hospice Carecenter (2050 Claire Court, Glenview, IL 60025).

ARRANGEMENTS: Hansen-Spear Funeral Home, Quincy.


Funeral Home
Hansen-Spear Funeral Home
1535 State Street Quincy, IL 62301
(217) 222-4907
Funeral Home Details
Published in Quincy Herald-Whig from May 27 to May 29, 2014
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