L. Jean McCarthy

Jean McCarthy passed away peacefully on February 16, 2023.  Jean recently celebrated her 93rd birthday on January 22, 2023 with her family.  She was a wonderful daughter, wife, mother and especially grandma and great grandma.

Jean was born on January 22, 1930, in El Reno, Oklahoma to Frank and Beulah White.  They moved to Blackwell, Oklahoma for a short time, before moving back to El Reno, where her father worked for the Rock Island Railroad.

Jean attended El Reno High School where she met Paul J. McCarthy, who had transferred there from Okarche, Oklahoma, 15 miles away.  After high school, Jean worked as a bookkeeper for a car dealership in Oklahoma City.  She lived at the YWCA during the week then took the bus home to El Reno on the weekends.

Paul and Jean were married on June 11, 1952 in El Reno.  They were married for 60 years until Paul’s death in 2012.  After there wedding, they lived in South Bend, Indiana where Paul was attending Notre Dame University.  There they had two children, Margo (1953) and Mark (1955).  After Paul received his Ph.D., they moved to Worcester, Massachusetts where Paul taught at Holy Cross University.  They moved to Tallahassee, Florida where Paul taught at Florida State.  In the summer of 1961 they moved to Lawrence, Kansas where Paul taught at The University of Kansas.  They enjoyed many years as Jayhawk Basketball season ticket holders.

Paul and Jean along with their children, took many summer road trip vacations.  These included The Seattle World’s Fair, Canada, Washington DC, and many trips to Colorado.

In the fall of 1973 Paul and Jean were able to travel to and live in Nottingham, England for several months while Paul taught at the University.  They fell in love with the country.  After Paul’s retirement, they twice traveled back to England and lived, both times, in the same flat for each summer.  One of these trips included traveling the entire way on the cruise liner, Queen Elizabeth II.  On another trip they spent several weeks on a Rhine River Cruise enjoying all the sites and history along the way.  Even though they loved Europe, their favorite place to go was Vail, Colorado.  They enjoyed walks, the shops and, of course, the mountains.

Paul and Jean were members of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church and later Corpus Christi Catholic Church.  Jean was a member of the University Women’s Club and PEO Chapter AZ. 

She also worked book sales at the Lawrence Public Library.

Jean was preceded in death by her husband, Paul (2012), daughter, Margo (2010), grandson, PJ (1988) and her brother, Richard (1938).

Jean is survived by her son, Mark; grandchildren, Matt Larkin, Amanda (Bryan) Boyce, Emily (Blake) Hegeman and Eric McCarthy; great grandchildren, Tyler Pardue, Aiden Boyce, Chloe Boyce, Owen Boyce, Blaine Larkin, Annabelle Hegeman, and William Hegeman, sisters-in-law, Mary Keefe and Ann Reich; former daughter-in-law, Debbie (John) Wingebach, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Jean’s family thanks the caregivers at Lawrence Presbyterian Manor for their compassion and to Visiting Nurses.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 3, 2023 at Corpus Christi Church.  There will be a visitation at the church prior to the service from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.  A luncheon will follow the services, also at the church.

There will be a private burial.

Memorial contributions may be made in Jean’s name to Friends of the Library and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

2 Condolences

  1. Jeff and Robin Joseph on February 23, 2023 at 7:40 pm

    Mark and family. We are saddened to hear of Jeans passing. May you all have strength at this time. May she Rest In Peace.

  2. Vicki Tennyson on February 28, 2023 at 10:39 am

    Mark, im so sorry for your loss. You took such good care of her. You’re in my thoughts.

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