Claim this Obituary
Ipswich - John "Jack" W. McCarthy, 90, of Ipswich and Gloucester, died peacefully at his home on Oct. 7, 2019. He was married for 51 years to the late Ginette "Gigi" (Hakim) McCarthy, of Ipswich and Magnolia. Jack was born and raised in Gloucester, one of eight children born to John and Lillian (Astrom) McCarthy.
His family's history is woven into Gloucester's historic fishing industry.
Jack's father was born in St. Pierre and Miquelon, French islands close to Newfoundland, initially inhabited by French fishermen because of the cod fishery. After his father immigrated to Gloucester, he worked in the flake yards where they dried the salt cod on wooden piers near the State Fish Pier. Later on the family owned and ran McCarthy's Package store in Gloucester. His mother was one of four sisters, who moved from Lowell to Gloucester.
Jack's grandmother ran a boarding house for fishermen. They all called her "Mom McCarthy" as proclaimed in the newspaper headline of her obituary. Another relative, William J. McCarthy, died at sea in 1917 when he was washed overboard while on the schooner Governor Foss. He is listed on the Fisherman's Memorial cenotaph at Gloucester Harbor.
Jack graduated from Gloucester High School where he was part of the high school's ROTC program.
After high school, he worked odd jobs to pay for night classes at Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study engineering. He started a steel fabrication company, Industrial Engineering, in Salem. He later ventured into another business, Engineering Construction, doing large jobs throughout New England, New York and Pennsylvania. He was known for bidding on difficult jobs, and many times was the sole bidder. Once, he was given 30 minutes to install a pipe three stories above the street level to connect two buildings of the Mr. Boston distillery because they would only shut down traffic for that period of time.
When he retired, he continued with his detailing work for First Fabricators based in Ipswich, a company owned by his son Greg and nephew Ron.
Jack was known to his family and friends for his love of fishing, reading, golf, boating and the Patriots. In Gloucester in the early 1960s, he refurbished a derelict boat he loved, called The Seafarer, on which he took many fishing trips to the Isle of Shoals. He later purchased a boat, which was named "Gigi and The Saint."
His children remember him for teaching them how to be responsible, to have a good work ethic and to be prepared for whatever life may bring.
Jack and Gigi raised their large family in Ipswich. They held weekly festive family dinners with their children, and those gatherings grew as the next generation of grandchildren were raised in that same tradition. Neighbors on Great Neck knew them as the family that dined in the garage, next to the swimming pool.
They often talked about how lucky they felt to have such a wonderful family and were extremely proud of their grandchildren.
Jack and Gigi loved to travel alone, and with friends and family, especially loving trips and cruises to the Caribbean. They also traveled on occasion to Europe, and wintered in Las Vegas for 20 years.
Jack is survived by six children: Cheryl, married to Bill Shisler; Tom McCarthy, married to Gail, and children Haley, married to Rob Clausen (and their child Jacob), Sabrina and Michael; Jeff McCarthy, married to Lesley, and children Ryan, Heather and Shannon; Greg McCarthy and children Kaitlin and Derek and his long-time partner Jen Durant; David McCarthy, married to Holli; and Jackie, married to Mike Kelley, and children Luke, Angela and April.
He is also survived by extended family on Cape Ann and throughout New England, and one sibling, Ron McCarthy, married to Shirley, of Ipswich.
A graveside service will be held on Friday, Oct. 18 at 2 p.m. at Highland Cemetery. Arrangements by Morris Funeral Home, Ipswich.
Published on October 16, 2019


Plant a tree in memory
of John
Plant a tree

Obituary published in

Arrangements by


Print Guestbook

A place to share condolences and memories.
The guestbook expires on January 13, 2020.

Showing 10 of 3 posts

Barbara Smith Notte
Oct 16, 2019
Uncle Jack was a special person. I loved it when he and Uncle Ronnie would visit us in North Pownal. They always made us laugh with their antics. He'll always be in our hearts.
Barb and Marty
Dave DeGagne
Oct 16, 2019
sorry to here of the passing of your dad, he was a real nice man. remember the fun we had hunting at his home. and working at his company, lots of good memories.
Susan Smith Nutting
Oct 16, 2019
I am the daughter of Gladys Smith (Everett). Jacks oldest sister. We didn't get to see each other very often but when we did he and Ginette were always happy to see us and made us feel very special. He will always have a place in my heart.