Donald McGarrity Sr.
Donald John McGarrity, Sr., aged 86, passed peacefully at home on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 after a courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Born in Coventry, Rhode Island to parents Martin and Alfrida (nee Czajka) McGarrity, Don served as a church altar boy and enjoyed bridge diving with boyhood pals. Don was nicknamed “Duckie” by his Boston Red Sox buddies who frequented the Dew Drop Inn in West Warwick, Rhode Island.
Don served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict and was honorably discharged with the rank of Corporal. He received the Korean Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and the National Defense Service Medal.
Don met the love of his life, Anna (nee Schiff) during a dance at the Pig and Whistle in Browns Mills, New Jersey. Married in 1955, Don helped construct the family home on property formerly owned by his Hungarian father-in-law, Anthony Schiff. Don was a tinkerer with many talents including automotive upholstery, carpentry, and working on his tractor and countless lawnmowers. He was a huge football fan (New York Giants!) and loved to watch car and motorcycle racing. He enjoyed fishing trips with his friends and took his family on camping, canoeing, and seaside trips. He passed on his love of gardening to his daughter, Toni. Don worked as a crane operator at Roebling Steel (later purchased by Colorado Fuel and Iron) and Fairless Steel. He retired from Sybron Chemicals, where he proudly served as President of the Steel Workers Union, after 17 years of maintenance and repair work.
Don served as Commander of the Pemberton American Legion, Post 294 and received the “Legionnaire of the Year” award for 1998-1999. When other area Legions were closing due to financial and membership issues, Don was instrumental in keeping his Post open and solvent through hard work, dedication, and a unique fundraising prowess. He was a member of the Bordentown Elks and the Veterans of Foreign War, Pemberton Post.
Don loved his friends and enjoyed holding many (often raucous) poolside parties at his home. Don held a special place in his heart for animals and had many cats and dogs throughout the years including Golden Retrievers, Zimmie and Bud.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Anna, his son Donald McGarrity, Jr. and his girlfriend Julie Petix, daughter Toni Lynn McCay and her husband, Christopher, grandsons Jason and Kyle, great-grandson Dominick, brother-in-law Alexander Schiff, niece Tina Tucker, her husband Derrick, and their children Quintara, Tianna, and Derrick, Jr., and special friends William Carr, Steven Porter, and Joshua Lathrop. The family would like to gratefully acknowledge nurse Bobbie and home health aide Samia of Lighthouse Hospice, Cherry Hill, New Jersey for their service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Bordentown Elks, Animals in Distress, or a veterans or animal welfare organization of choice.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 at 10 AM at the Bordentown Home for Funerals, 40 Crosswicks Street, Bordentown City, New Jersey under the supervision of Robert Pecht. An 11 AM service will be held by Father Martin O’Reilly of Mary, Mother of the Church Parish. Interment will follow at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Memorial Cemetery, 350 Province Line Road, Arneytown, New Jersey.