John R McCarthy

June 7, 1939 ~ February 15, 2019 (age 79)


John R. McCarthy, passed away on Friday, February 15, 2019, at Lowell General Hospital, in Lowell, Massachusetts, surrounded by his loving family, at the age of 79.

John is survived by his loving wife Priscilla (Josephson) McCarthy, of Dracut, MA, his children, Robert McCarthy, of Wakefield, MA, John McCarthy, of Dallas, TX, Darren McCarthy and wife Michelle McCarthy, of Winchester, MA, and Kristin McAuliffe and husband Jason McAuliffe, of Malden, MA, and his brother George McCarthy and wife Charlotte McCarthy, of Hamilton, MA.  He is also survived by nine grandchildren.

John was born on June 7, 1939 in Everett, Massachusetts, to John and Madelyn McCarthy.  He was one of four children, brother of Bob, George, and Connie.  He graduated from Everett High School and attended Newman Preparatory School and Suffolk University.  He spent the first 60 years of his life in Everett, where he raised his four children with his wife Priscilla.  John and Priscilla McCarthy were married on September 30, 1967 in Woburn, Massachusetts and spent over 51 years together until John’s passing.

John started his career with New England Telephone, where he spent 25 years helping develop and expand the telecommunications network throughout New England and New York.  John retired from NYNEX as a Director of Technical Planning where he was responsible for the NYNEX regional area.  He is better remembered for his career in local politics, serving on Everett’s Board of Aldermen for four years before being elected Mayor of Everett in 1985.  His twelve year tenure as Mayor resulted in a legacy of accomplishments that still benefit the city to this day, including the establishment of the city’s first Conservation Commission, the first Disability Commission, the first curb side recycling program, and the countless renovations of schools, parks and public buildings, including the Everett Armory, and the award winning renovation of the Parlin Library in Everett Square.  His leadership in office also resulted in the re-purposing of a large portion of the Monsanto Chemical Company site into what today is known as the Gateway Shopping Center.  These accomplishments were all achieved while reducing Everett’s residential tax rate to the lowest among all surrounding cities.  John was passionate about his hometown, and was proud to have served six terms as its mayor, paving the path for years of future prosperity.  

As Mayor of Everett, John developed longstanding relationships with Mayor Tom Menino of Boston, Senator Ted Kennedy, Senator John Kerry, Speaker George Keverian, Congressman Ed Markey, Governor Michael Dukakis, and Speaker Tip O’Neil, and had the opportunity to meet President and Mrs. Clinton to discuss the impact of federal policy on local communities.  He was elected President of the Massachusetts Mayor’s association in 1992, and the Massachusetts Municipal Board of Directors from 1986-1992.  John was also an active participant in the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which influenced local government nationwide.  John was elected to the U.S. Conference of Mayors Advisory Board from 1993-1997, and served on several subcommittees, including Health Reform, Health Care Financing, Health Insurance, and the subcommittee on Aging.

John had a deep connection to the residents of Everett and the Italian and Irish heritage that many residents shared.  He established a sister city relationship with Orsogna, Italy, and led a delegation that traveled to Italy to formally recognize the relationship, and later hosted a group from Orsogna when they visited Everett.

After leaving office in 1998, John and his wife Priscilla remained in Everett until 1999 when they retired to their lake house in Dracut where they had spent summers while raising their family.  John and Priscilla spent the next several years traveling the country, visiting with old friends and making new ones, while maintaining their residence in Dracut.  In true snow-bird fashion, they spent their winters in Florida, either in New Smyrna, Del Ray Beach, or the Villages. At home in Dracut, John was the proud “Grampy” to nine Grandchildren:  Connor (18), Brendan (15), Kayla (13), Dillon (11), Sloane (11), Caroline (10), Michael (8), Sinead (8), and Sean (7).  John and Priscilla had an open invitation for all of their children and grandchildren to visit Dracut and enjoy time on Long Pond. 

In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center in honor of John (

A wake is scheduled at Murphy & O’Hara Funeral Home on Broadway in Everett on Friday, February 22, 2019, from 4:00PM-8:00PM, and a funeral mass is scheduled for Saturday at 11:00AM at the Immaculate Conception Church, on Broadway in Everett.  All are welcome to attend and celebrate John’s life.

To send flowers to John's family, please visit our floral section.


February 22, 2019

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Murphy & O'Hara FH
519 Broadway
Everett, MA 02149

Funeral Mass
February 23, 2019

11:00 AM
Immaculate Conception Church
489 Broadway
Everett, MA 02149


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