Noel F. McCarthy
December 26, 1927 – October 17, 2018
Noel F. McCarthy, born in New Zealand on December 26, 1927, died on October 17, 2018, in his home in San Rafael, CA, where he raised his five children with his beloved wife, Mary. He was 90 years old and proud of it.
Noel immigrated with his family to the United States when he was six years old. Born to Daniel and Nora McCarthy, Noel lived with his parents and three brothers – Daniel, Michael, and Leo – in the Mission district of San Francisco. After graduating from St. James High School at 16, he attended U.C. Berkeley where he earned a degree in Physiology. He spent the next two years in the Army. Upon returning to S.F. he decided to join his brother Dan in the field of pharmacy, graduating from U.C.S.F. in 1956. Noel remained an avid Cal fan (Go Bears) holding season tickets for many years and often having to decide between Cal and 49er games. Noel practiced in pharmacies for the majority of his career, followed by relief work for many years.
Relief pharmacy was a good fit for Noel, as it turned out. It fulfilled his love of travel, challenge, and adventure. Noel was an avid traveler. He and Mary - sometimes with their five children, Tim (deceased; Elizabeth), Bill (Allison), Mary Catherine, Michael (Natalie), and Anne, as well as their grandchildren, Ryan (Wanty), Sarah (Joel), Kyle, Nick, Matt, and Andrew, and great grandchild, Gwyn - traveled the globe together. From China to Russia, from New Zealand to Europe, from Peru to Canada, Noel and Mary extensively traveled 5 of the 7 continents. Africa was on his list, but he did not make it there. Their adventures were many and their stories even better. When meeting up with a McCarthy from our family, be sure to ask about the Russian airline “flight” and the “watch your head” trip to Peru. And of course, ask about our family trip back to Ireland, where we visited the village where his parents married.
Noel loved adventure. In his 80th year, he traveled to China with Mary, skydived with his daughter Mary Catherine, and rode in a WWII fighter jet, courtesy of a birthday present from his five kids. Not bad, for an old guy who was always very young at heart.
Noel also loved reading, learning, and sports – especially football. His adored 49ers gave him endless joy and heartbreak over the years (mostly joy) – a 49er sweatshirt the highlight of his burial garb.
Throughout his life, Noel was often ahead of the curve in his thinking – from the proper use of antibiotics to the need for us all to reduce, reuse, and recycle to save our planet (not to mention, turn off the damn lights when you’re out of the room; also, close the fridge door and turn of the faucet!) – well ahead of when most of the population took up those causes. One could always rest assured that Noel would tell you what he thought.
Most especially, though, Noel loved his wife and family. No matter what, every day of our lives, we knew that we were loved by Noel and that he would do anything for us. We miss him dearly.
Friends are invited to the Memorial Mass, Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 11 a.m. at St. Isabella Catholic Church,, 1 Trinity Way, San Rafael, CA 94903
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The Family House, UCSF, 540 Mission Bay Blvd. North, San Francisco, Ca 94158 or Casa Allegra, 35 Mitchell Blvd., Suite 8, San Rafael, CA 94903. Assisted by Monte’s Chapel of the Hills, San Anselmo.