John F. McCarthy, Jr., a beloved educator for over 41 years, passed away after a long illness on Monday, October 19. He was 64 years of age.
Raised in Medford, he was the son of the late John F. McCarthy, Sr., and the late Ruth (McConnell) McCarthy. John graduated from St. Francis of Assisi Elementary School and Austin Preparatory School in Reading. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Merrimack College.
Immediately after graduating from Merrimack College, John returned to Austin Preparatory School to begin his teaching career. John expanded his teaching credentials at several universities. He taught in the Science Department at Austin Prep for 20 years. John then transferred to the Arthur W. Coolidge Middle School in Reading, where he taught science for 21 years before retiring in 2014.
During his career, John became very active with the National Science Olympiad competition volunteering his time for over 22 years. He led numerous teams of students to earn multiple awards. John also chaperoned student trips to France; taught drivers education and mentored students privately. John was known for his insect collections and wide variety of pets including piranhas, a turtle named “Sully”, and several Doberman Pincer dogs that lived with him at the home he built in Wilmington.
“Mr. McCarthy” was loved by his students and colleagues. He was known for his trademark sayings; “Migrate!,” To bad, so sad!,” and “Don’t imitate a vestigial organ!” Even after retiring, he returned often to check in on his students and to organize Science Olympiad Day, one of his favorite annual events at Coolidge Middle School. His humor and teaching will be missed by all who knew him.
John is survived by one sister Mary Frances McCarthy McGurn and her husband Michael Shawn McGurn of Medford; and two brothers, Gerard Mark McCarthy and his wife Debra Ann McCarthy of Charlotte, NC, and David B. McCarthy and former sister in law, Sandra McCarthy of NH. He is also survived by four nieces and nephews, Ruth McCarthy, Debbie McCarthy DuBreuil, Shannon McCarthy, and Patrick McCarthy. John is further survived by many family members and close friends.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Dorothy’s Church, 120 Main St. (Route 38), Wilmington, on Saturday, October 24 at 10:00 am. Burial will follow at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Medford. There are no calling hours. Contributions in John’s memory may be made to the Coolidge School Science Olympiad 89 Birch Meadow Drive, Reading MA 01867. Arrangements by the Graham Funeral Home, Woburn.