John McCarthy, 47, formerly of Syracuse, passed away peacefully with his family by his side Wednesday, July 25, 2012 morning at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. He courageously fought a nearly two-year battle with leukemia. John was born on Saturday, April 24, 1965 and was raised in Syracuse.
John graduated in 1983 from West Genesee High School where he was an accomplished athlete in both football and lacrosse. His lacrosse team went on to win two NY State Championships in 1982 and 1983. At Cortland State University, John received a BA in Economics. His aggressive play earned him the distinction of All-American Defender for the Red Dragons in 1987. During these years, John forged lifelong friendships which proved to be of immeasurable value throughout his life and his illness. If a man is defined by friendships developed and maintained, John was indeed an extraordinary man.
His professional career began at Oscar Mayer and he later joined the Sara Lee Corporation where he was recognized for his leadership and business results. John continued to distinguish himself as a valued business partner to both his customers and his Sara Lee teammates. He held positions of increasing responsibility in sales and marketing, eventually achieving the position of regional vice president. After several business consolidations, John was named southeast director and team leader in Central Florida.
In addition to John's successes as an athlete and business leader, he enjoyed his greatest accomplishments and proudest moments as a dad and a husband. John was devoted to a family that looked to him for leadership, encouragement, wisdom, support, and love.
He is survived by his wife, Anne (Antil); three beautiful children, Jake, Kelly and David, who made him so very proud; parents, Robert and Marie of Syracuse; sister and brother-in-law, Anne and Bob Irving of Beverly, Massachusetts; brother, Rob of Overland Park, Kansas; and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.
John is also survived by many high school and college friends, colleagues at Sara Lee and the Joker's Lacrosse community. Coach Messere, at West Genesee, taught John the importance of giving back to a sport and community that gave him so much. John was a co-director of Jokers Lacrosse in Central Florida, helping to grow the club from its infancy to more than 200 youth players and coaches.
The McCarthy family would like to offer a special thanks to the medical professionals who assisted John at Moffitt Cancer Center.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated Monday, July 30 at 10 a.m. in Holy Family Church, Fairmount. A celebration of John's life can be viewed in the foyer of the church before the Mass at 9:15 a.m. Additionally, there will be calling hours in Oviedo, Florida on Friday, August 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. at National Cremation & Burial Society. The funeral Mass will be Saturday, August 4th at 11a.m. at Most Precious Blood Catholic Church.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in John's memory supporting college lacrosse players at the John McCarthy Mac31 Fund, P.O. Box 372, Jamesville, NY 13078 or the Moffitt Cancer Center Foundation, c/o Dr. Pidala's Leukemia Research, 12902 Magnolia Dr., Tampa, FL 33612.