Thomas Joseph “Tom” McCarthy

Thomas Joseph “Tom” McCarthy

MADISON-Thomas Joseph “Tom” McCarthy passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, after a fall at his home.

He was born on Aug. 8, 1930, in La Valle, Wis., and moved to Madison when he was three years old. Madison is where he spent his childhood and where his lifelong passion for athletics began. In 1946, while in the 10th grade at Madison East High School, he met the love of his life and future wife, Joanne Saddy. Tom and Joanne were married in 1950, and began their new life as husband and wife, living in Madison.

A man of honor, Tom served on the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Korean War and in 1953, he joined the Madison Police Department. After seven years as a patrol officer, he was promoted to detective. Tom had a colorful and interesting career in law enforcement that included being injured in the UW-Madison campus riots in 1967. In addition to his law enforcement career, Tom worked with Frank Productions and liked to tell stories about his many close interactions with great music legends such as Elvis Presley, Andy Williams, Neil Young and many others. A favorite story of Tom’s was a poker game he played with Elvis, where Elvis asked for his badge to add to his wall of badges at Graceland. Ever proud of his profession, Tom refused to hand over his badge to Elvis; a decision he never regretted.

Outside of work, Tom was an avid athlete and a longtime member of the Princeton Club. He competed in numerous marathons and triathlons, including the Boston Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon. Highly competitive, he won his age group many times over and relished defeating his children in a race or two.

Everyone that knew Tom recognized how much he loved his family. His wife, Joanne, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren made his life complete. Tom loved family gatherings and always made sure family traditions were recreated year after year. Christmas was his favorite holiday, mostly because of his enormous heart and generous soul. He particularly treasured watching his family (including dogs) walk down the stairs on Christmas morning, youngest to oldest, to the overflowing presents under the tree.

Tom will be greatly missed by his family and friends. Tom is survived by his wife of 66 years, Joanne; children, Thomas (Kay) McCarthy, Barbara McCarthy, James (Jennifer LaMore) McCarthy, Mary (Steve) Mussey and “third daughter”, Mary Manering; grandchildren, Amanda (Ryan) Knerr, Thomas (Christi) McCarthy, Nick Mussey, Sean (Amy Brigioli) Mussey and Austin Mussey; great-grandchildren, Emily, Anna, and Casey Knerr, Gabriel McCarthy, and Noah and Ava Ehrlinger; sisters, Helen Vickerman and Kay (Carl) Chelius; and many other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; granddaughter, Mary Ehrlinger; brothers, James (Elizabeth) McCarthy and Larry (Catherine) McCarthy; and sisters, Margaret (Harold) Dottle and Sally (B.) Spiegel.

A Memorial Mass will be held at ST. BERNARD CATHOLIC CHURCH, 2450 Atwood Ave., Madison, at 12 noon, on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. Visitation will be held at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of the Mass on Saturday.

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