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Joseph McCarthy Jr.

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Joseph McCarthy Jr. Obituary

Joseph H. McCarthy, Jr.

A & P -C.O.O., WW II 'China Marine,' Villanova Hall of Famer

Mr. Joseph H. McCarthy, Jr., former Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, Inc., Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, World War II veteran in the Pacific Theater and Villanova University Hall of Fame football player and graduate, passed away on August 20, 2013 in Naples, FL.

Joseph H. McCarthy, Jr. was born in Derby, CT on December 21, 1921 to his father, Joseph H. McCarthy and mother, Katherine McCarthy (Feeley) and raised in Stamford, CT. Mr. McCarthy was well known as an outstanding tackle, playing offense and defense, a full 60 minutes under the coaching of John 'Clipper' Smith and Jordan Olivar.

Mr. McCarthy graduated Villanova early in December 1944, as a 1st lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps.

After finalizing his training at the U.S. Naval Gunfire Liaison School, Coronado Amphibious Training Base in San Diego, CA, he sailed to Hawaii for final deployment to the South Pacific. Here he ran into his roommate from Villanova, Navy Lieutenant Richard Ryan. As was common at the time, Joe asked if any of Dick's three sisters were still single<$> Dick gave him his youngest sister's address back in Rockville Center, Long Island. Joe and Jean Ryan, who never met, started writing letters back and forth for close to two years while he was overseas.

Joe served in the Okinawa and China Theaters of War as a Forward Observer. Joe's job was to land first on the islands and work his way to higher elevations and radio back coordinates of the Japanese installations for our Navy's big guns. Joe was among the 1st Marine Division also known as the 'China Marines.' For over a year after the war ended, he lead forces protecting the Chinese citizens from the non-surrendering Japanese soldiers in and around the city of Tientsin, North China. During the down time, Joe started a boxing program amongst the different military outfits and coached and boxed with some of the best known boxers in the South Pacific. He was later promoted to Captain USMC when he was recalled during the Korean conflict. Joe was ram rod straight U.S. Marine.

When Joe arrived stateside, he finally had a chance to meet Jean Ryan. They began dating and soon after were married in June, 1947.

Beginning his career in the food industry as a store manager with Finast (First National Supermarkets), the dominant food retailer in New England, Joe was promoted through various operations and merchandising positions to that of Senior Vice President. During his 30 years of service with Finast he was selected in 1955 to represent the chain the International Food Congress and helped set up the first supermarket in Rome, Italy. In 1959 Joe was selected to set up and manage the largest supermarket in the Metro New York area at the time: the Finast located at Cross Country Center in Yonkers, NY.

He was associated with the Grand Union Company from 1977 to 1981 as Regional Vice President and was later promoted to the position of Senior Vice President.

In June 1981, Joe joined The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, Inc. as Senior Vice President of the Metro Group. Joe was subsequently elected Executive Vice President and Chief Operating of A&P of the United States and Canada. He retired from A & P in 1990. During his leadership, A & P and its German owners experienced significant growth in sales and earnings.

During his career, many honors came his way. Notably, he received the 1972 Man of the Year Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews in New York. He was named 1981 Man of the Year from the Catholic Institute of the Food Industry and a year later was honored by Boys Town of Italy. In 1987 he was honored by St. Peter's College and in 1988 was voted into the Villanova Football Hall of Fame. In 1992 he was named Honorary Tour Chairman of the New York Athletic Club Rugby Team's Tour de France, and then in 2005 was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the New Jersey Food Council.

Joe was always giving both his time and gifts including to St. Elizabeth's R.C. in Wyckoff, NJ, Villanova University, the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Foundation and to the Covenant House in New York City.

'Big Joe' McCarthy loved golf and was a great Irish American as his great grandfather; Timothy McCarthy emigrated from Castle Island, Cork, Ireland. Joe visited Ireland 16 times, mostly with his infamous golfing group, the 'Green Jackets' of the New York area. Big Joe was a member of six golf clubs over the years: Wallingford Golf Club in Wallingford, CT, Hackensack Golf Club in Oradell, NJ, Weston Golf Club in Weston, MA, Eastward Ho in Chatham, MA and Imperial Golf Club in Naples, FL. Joe was also a daily communicant at St. John the Evangelist RC in Naples, FL and Holy Redeemer RC in Chatham, MA.

Mr. McCarthy is survived by his wife of 66 years, Jean K. (Ryan) of Naples, FL; and their five children, Timothy McCarthy of Woodstock, VT, Maureen McCarthy of New York City, Barbara Blue of Tampa, FL, Richard McCarthy of Naples, FL, and Joseph H. McCarthy, III of Kinnelon, NJ. Mr. McCarthy is also survived by six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Viewing will be at Hodges Funeral Home at Naples Memorial Gardens, Naples, FL on Sunday, August 25, 2013 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

The Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, August 26, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Naples, FL.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Foundation.

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Published in Naples Daily News on Aug. 25, 2013
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