John Clarence “JC” McCarthy, a 61-year resident of Venice and World War II veteran, died of natural causes at his home Nov. 24. He was 91.
McCarthy was born June 24, 1921 in Hartford, Conn. to Evelyn LaChance and John Joseph McCarthy. He was the oldest among four siblings – Francis, Barbara, Charles and Veronica – and attended Provost Catholic High School in Fall River, Mass.
After high school, “Sunshine,” as his uncle called him, worked on a tobacco farm and eventually joined the U.S. Marine Corps to serve in the Pacific Theater during WWII. As a technical sergeant, McCarthy acted as tail gunner and mechanic on the Douglas Dauntless, a low flying bomber.
While stationed at El Toro Marine Base, he met his future bride, Kathryn “Kitty” Elizabeth Luond, of Holtville, Calif. After McCarthy completed his time in the service, he and his wife moved to Connecticut, where he continued his passion for aircraft and worked for Pratt Whitney.
In 1951, the couple moved to Venice with their two young daughters, Kathryn and Pamela, and McCarthy began his long career with the Douglas Aircraft Co., which later became McDonnell Douglas.
McCarthy and his wife bought their house on Amoroso Place in Venice, the only home they ever lived at in California, and raised four more children: Susan, Theresa, David and John. A devout Catholic, McCarthy was a member of St. Mark Church in Venice, as well as the Holy Name Society and Knights of Columbus.
He was a minister to the sick and frequent reader/server during masses. McCarthy was also active at St. Mark School, training student readers and visiting classrooms to support teachers in religious education.
Among his loves were bowling, bike riding, camping and riding dune buggies. He also loved cars and for years repaired all of the family autos right out of his home garage.
Having a lifelong passion for aeronautics, McCarthy enjoyed his work with RAMS (Recovery and Modification Services), a department within McDonnell Douglas that he managed. He traveled extensively around the globe, assessing and repairing aircraft.
After retiring, he continued to stay involved with aircraft through the Santa Monica Museum of Flying and stayed active in both church and local affairs.
McCarthy was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Francis and Charles. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, six children, 11 grandchildren, three great grandchildren, and Felix, his cat.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the St. Mark School JC McCarthy Scholarship fund, 912 Coeur d’Alene Ave., Venice, CA 90291.