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Paul Brian McCarthy

1959 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Paul Brian McCarthy Obituary
Paul Brian McCarthy

Paul Brian McCarthy, 58, died of natural causes in Las Vegas on April 29, 2018. His untimely passing shocked and saddened his many friends and family. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 28, 1959, he was the tenth of Michael and Margaret McCarthy's eleven children. As the son of an Air Force officer, he spent his childhood supporting his family on assignments at the Pentagon, Williams AFB, Craig AFB, Randolph AFB, Saudi Arabia, and California, attending several elementary schools, a consulate school in Al-Khobar, Notre Dame International High School in Rome, and finishing high school at Bishop Montgomery in Torrance. A gifted athlete, he was a member of several award winning teams, including a 1971 Texas State Championship Pop Warner team. Graduating from the University of Texas at Austin in 1985 with a BA in Geography, he started his career as a U.S. Customs Officer specializing in border patrols and drug interdiction in Texas. When working at the Bush Intercontinental Airport, he excelled at identifying international travelers of interest for drug smuggling. He moved from the Houston Airport to the Seaport in 1998, joining teams searching vessels for drugs and stowaways in Beaumont, Galveston, the Houston Ship Channel, Freeport, and Corpus Christi. Hardly one to promote himself, his numerous accomplishments include multiple Special Act and Service Awards and Letters of Commendation, two Vice Presidential Reinvention of Government Awards, and one of the highest honors awarded by the Customs Commissioner, The Blue Eagle Award, for stopping a large shipment of narcotics from entering the U.S. From 2004 – 2008, he served with CBP's Container Security Initiative in foreign locations such as France, Korea, and Sri Lanka. He was instrumental in forging outstanding relationships with his foreign counterparts and imparting his expansive Customs knowledge to other nations. In 2006, he shared his expertise and experience conducting targeting classes for other Customs personnel. His CBP family describes him as hard working and dedicated to protecting the country and its citizens, as well as one whose sense of humor, compassion, and friendliness will be sorely missed. Paul was interested in history, particularly military history. One of his greatest unfulfilled wishes was to pursue a career in the Army. He was a Commissioned Officer, First Lieutenant, in the US Army Reserve, from 1987 – 1995, a Distinguished Military Graduate in 1987, and a Distinguished Honor Graduate in the Officer Candidate School's Quartermaster Officer Basic Training Course in 1995. He turned down a commission, sacrificing that career for his Houston family. He loved travel and knew a bit of Italian and French and became fluent in Spanish. Even when his own life was difficult, he tried to brighten the day of those who surrounded him. To know him was to recognize someone endearingly charismatic, intelligent and fiercely private, alternately shy and paradoxically gregarious to strangers; humble, kind, protective, sweet, friendly, and playful, with a great and often self-effacing sense of humor, a warm smile, a ready laugh, and an Irish twinkle in the eye. Predeceased by his father and mother, he is survived by a daughter in whom he took his greatest pride and whom he dearly loved, Sally Phillips, and her husband Tyson Phillips; his three brothers, Jeremiah, Michael, and Kevin; his seven sisters, Mary Anne Grubiak, Kathleen Barranco, Patricia Siudzinski, Christine Barney, Jeanne, Laureen, and Maureen McCarthy, and several in-laws. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews, many of whom he lovingly held in his arms tirelessly for hours at a time. After a funeral mass and reception at St. John Fisher Church on Saturday, 30 June, he will be buried at Green Hills Memorial Park next to his mother.
Published in Palos Verdes Peninsula News on May 16, 2018
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