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Elizabeth McCarthy


1925 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Elizabeth McCarthy Obituary
Elizabeth Jane McCarthy

June 17, 1925 – February 3, 2018

EJM was born in San Francisco, daughter of Isabel Bannan and Honorable C. Harold Caulfield.

She was Betty to her parents, younger brother and contemporaries, Lizzy to her husband of 61 years, and finally Liz.

Betty attended Nôtre Dame des Victoires grammar school, and Convent of the Sacred Heart Broadway High School. She graduated from Lone Mountain, now part of USF, where she was president of the student body.

Young Betty nurtured dreams of attending Stanford and pursuing a career in journalism in New York, but the Second World War and Captain McCarthy changed all that. The newlyweds shared dreams of change– making the world a better place for everyone. How? Politics. Liz spoke at one end of the state while Bob, who served in the California State Senate 1954-1958 gave speeches at the other end during his political campaigns.

They also shared 11 children. Liz rose to the challenge of managing the household and its ever increasing population with grace and humor and, above all, by mastering the art of ignoring the noise and chaos around her.

When Bob resumed his law career, Liz enrolled at Hastings Law School. She started writing a column in the San Mateo Times. She interviewed local personalities, writing portraits of them and of their work. She developed her talent for painting. She was inspired by Martha Ryan's initiative in creating Homeless Prenatal Program, and became a lifelong supporter.
She was always an avid reader on a wide and eclectic range of topics.

In later years she veered between periods of robust health and near death illnesses, but her joie de vivre defied every doctor's grim prognosis of no possibility of recovery, a pattern which inspired a new nickname, Lizerus as in Lazarus.

Through the years, her home continued being grand central station for her growing family and new generations, as well as their dogs and cats. Her generosity was boundless, as was her optimism.

Every morning Liz watched the sunrise from her window, and she would often say, "I FEEL SO PRIVILEGED TO STILL BE A PART OF THIS MIRACLE THAT LIFE IS…

After 92 years and 231 days, Liz, matriarch, mother of many, friend of many more - left us. She was preceded in death by her husband Robert I. McCarthy, her daughter, Colleen, and her grandson Kaleb McYates. She is survived by her daughters Maureen McCarthy (Finn Karentius Hansen) of Gilleleje, Denmark, Monica McCarthy (Brian Billings) of Davis, Margery McCarthy Hall (David Hall) of Rockville Maryland, Sheila O'Brien (Scott O'Brien) of Sebastopol, Jennifer McCarthy of San Francisco, Elizabeth McCarthy of Berkeley, Isabel McCarthy of Concord, Cathleen McCarthy of San Francisco, Brigid McCarthy (Daniel Charles) of Washington DC, her son, Robert McCarthy of Berkeley, 15 grandchildren, 3 step grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren , 8 step great grandchildren, 4 nieces and 5 nephews.

We are all thankful to her, grieve her departure, and will miss her until we meet again.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the Homeless Prenatal Program, 2500 18th St., San Francisco 94110.

Mass and memorial to be held at a later date.
For more info contact [email protected]

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Feb. 18, 2018
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