John T. McCarthy


McCarthy, John T. Sr. (Veteran, U.S. Navy)

DELAVAN --- John T. McCarthy, Sr., age 89, quietly slipped the bonds of Earth on Saturday, March 7, 2015, at the Aurora Lakeland Medical Center in Elkhorn Wisconsin. With him at the time of his death was his large and loving family, who would like all to know that even though John’s body finally gave out, he himself never gave up.

John was born on January 9, 1926, in Hibbing, Minnesota, the second son of Daniel and Bernice (Wirkus) McCarthy. The Great Depression hit the McCarthy family hard and John spent much of his childhood traveling with his family as his parents sought employment. Despite the hardships of the era, John always remembered his childhood with wonder and affection, especially a summer in Alexandria, Louisiana exploring the bayous with a motley assortment of friends, a chapter in his life that always seemed lifted from the pages of Huckleberry Finn. It was in Louisiana, bearing witness to the obscenity of Jim Crow, that John began to develop a social awareness that altered forever the way he viewed the world and his place in it.

When America was drawn into the Second World War, John felt the call of history and served in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1946, and it was on March 17, in the year of his discharge, that he met the beautiful woman who was to become the love of his life, Rose Marie Van Ert. They were married in West Allis on May 8, 1948 and remained deeply in love until Rose Marie’s passing in November of 1988.

John was a life-long learner who knew more about the world, and what made it tick, than most Ivy League professors, often dazzling people with his grasp of politics, science, philosophy, history, art and just about everything else. In retirement he began to write and had several pieces published in Reminiscence Magazine and elsewhere. He remained until the day of his death a passionate advocate for society’s underdogs, which probably explains his steadfast devotion to the Milwaukee Brewers, and the University of Wisconsin football program.

John leaves behind a heartbroken but resolute family including his children, John (Kathy), Michael (Claudia), Jimmy (Sue), Amy Hurwitz, and Kathy (Joe) Sibilski; grandchildren, Mike, Danny, Chris, Sean, Emily, Jack, Henry, and Mary; great-grandchildren Aiden, Ava, Eliza, Clara, and Mike Jr.; a sister, Dorothy Buchholtz of California; and Sisters-in-Law, Betty Moshe, Dorothy Edwards, Marnie Buer, and Bonnie Ziolecki.

Prior to his own death John bravely endured the passing of his parents; his brother, Dan; his wife, Rose Marie; a son, Danny; a grandson, Kevin; his sister, Dolores; his Brothers-in-Law, Herb Moshe, Tommy Haynes, Jack Buer, Bill Van Ert, and Jim Ziolecki; and his devoted mixed-breed rescue dog, Spaz.

A Memorial Service/Irish Wake will be held on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2015 in the fellowship hall of the Delavan United Church of Christ-Congregational

123 East Washington Street, Delavan WI 53115, starting at 4:30 P.M. and John’s family hopes that all come wearing their Irish Green, and ready to celebrate the life of a wonderful, loving, funny, brilliant, and all-together unforgettable man.

In lieu of flowers, John requested that any memorials should be made to the St. Benedict the Moor Community Meal Program in care of the St. Benedict Parish, 1015 North 9th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233.

Online condolences may be made at

Monroe Funeral Home & Cremation Services

604 E. Walworth Avenue

Delavan, WI 53115

(262) 728-3353

Print Friendly and PDF