Frederick "Fred" Joseph McCarthy

  • Born: April 15, 1923
  • Died: December 30, 2017
  • Location: Austin, Texas

Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home South

2620 S. Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704
Tel. (512) 442-1446

Tribute & Message From The Family

Life's journey for Frederick Joseph McCarthy of Austin was completed December 30, 2017, at age 94.

Fred, an Austin resident since 1992, is survived by his wife, Leora Callahan Wilson McCarthy of Austin; daughter and son-in-law, Tara Jeanine Munoz and Stacy Munoz of Forsan, Texas; stepson, Michael Alan McCarthy of Duluth, Minn.; sister, Rosemary Irwin of Austin; grandchildren, Alisa Munoz, Tonie Munoz, Travis McCarthy, and Casey McCarthy; and numerous nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dennis and Rose McCarthy; brother, Dennis McCarthy; sister, Nancy McCarthy; first wife, Karen Adams McCarthy; and second wife, Joan James McCarthy.

Few can say they enjoyed the life of a scholar, pilot, priest, attorney, educator, and husband… but they weren't Fred McCarthy.

Born April 15, 1923, in Chicago, Ill., Fred grew up steeped in Midwest values in Springfield, Ill. After graduating from Springfield's Cathedral High School, he attended Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. Fred served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1945 as a B-24 co-pilot for the 8th Air Force, which included 35 bombing missions from England.

Upon conclusion of World War II, he returned to school and earned a degree from Georgetown University Law School in Washington, D.C. He passed the Illinois Bar in 1948, but put his law career on hold.

Alternatively, Fred leaned into his Roman Catholic upbringing, education and thirst for social justice, choosing to study ministry in Baltimore, Md. That decision resulted in Fred being ordained as a priest in the Catholic Church-Roman Rite, serving from 1953 to 1968. He ministered to numerous faithful in Illinois for a dozen years, followed by a three-year mission in Peru.

Upon leaving the priesthood in 1968, he turned to his training as an attorney for the next phase of his life. He moved to the Four Corners region of New Mexico and Arizona, working as an attorney in a variety of public and private capacities until retiring in 1991.

In 1992, Fred arrived in Austin to be closer to family members. He met Leora while teaching an adult Bible study class at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church. On Feb. 14, 1998, he and Leora were married, launching a 19-year loving companionship that ended with his passing.

An Irish descendent to the fullest, Fred's unique combination of humor, wit, charm and charisma will be missed by all who knew him. He thoroughly enjoyed his associations with Corpus (an association of married priests), American Legion members, family and friends alike.

A memorial Mass celebrating his life will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, January 5, at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Austin. Please join family and friends at a reception immediately following the memorial Mass at Onion Creek Club (2510 Onion Creek Parkway, Austin, TX 78747).

A private burial service will be held at a later date at Assumption Cemetery in Austin.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Benedictine College (attn: James Kew, Office of Advancement, 1020 North Second Street, Atchison, KS 66002-1499).

Sincere appreciation goes to the assisted living staff at Village on the Park at Onion Creek, his physical therapist Jessica from TheraCare, and all who assisted with helping Fred enjoy life's journey to the very end.

Please join families and friends at a reception immediately following the memorial Mass at Onion Creek Club (2510 Onion Creek Parkway, Austin, TX 78747).


Condolence & Memory Journal

Fred was one great guy. He was a charter member of the UT QUEST program which is where I met Fred and Leora. He will be greatly missed.

Posted by Larry Hall - Cedar Park, TX - Friend   January 13, 2018

Dear Leora -- Bob and I met you and Fred at UT's QUEST program about ten years ago. We shared many seminars and lectures together. We went on a QUEST bus trip out to the Big Bend country and looked at the stars at McDonald Observatory. It was great getting to hear Fred's humorous comments. We'll miss him.

Posted by Barbara Clark - Lakeway, TX - Friend   January 05, 2018

My thoughts and prayers are with Leora and family during this time of sorrow. God bless.

Posted by Myrna Petty - Austin, TX   January 05, 2018

Posted by Mike, Nancy and family Schroeder - Bloomington, MN   January 05, 2018

Dear Leora and Family, We are deeply saddened by your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. We will always remember Fred's friendly smile, his openness, his Irish humor, and that twinkle in his eyes when he spoke to us. What a life he led: WWII bomber pilot, priest, lawyer and educator. He continued to serve and strongly promote veterans' programs as an active member of Onion Creek American Legion Post 326 as a Chaplain and Commander. His life's story would make a wonderful movie someday. I once asked Fred if he was ready to meet his Lord and Maker and he said absolutely, I am looking forward to it. We know he is in a better place meeting old and new friends as he did in life and having loving conversations with God. He will be missed. Love, Tony and Sue Nuccio

Posted by Tony and Sue Nuccio - Austin, TX - Friend   January 04, 2018

Dear Leora and family, we are so sorry we can't be there but please know that you and Fred are in our prayers.

Posted by Debbie and Roger Ingersoll - The Woodlands, TX - Family Friend   January 04, 2018

In the seventies Fred was married to my wifes sister and we spent a week with them in Belen, New Mexico at Christmas. We made luminarios out of old milk cartons with sand in the bottom and lit candles in driveways to light the way for Santa. Also Fred and I had great success with a ouija board. Great memories.

Posted by Jon Mitchell - Pickerington, OH - Family   January 04, 2018

Fred was a great member of our Onion Creek American Legion Post 326. He always had a cherry personality and always contributed his knowledge and energy to enhancing our volunteer programs. I will truly miss his wit and calming influence. Thomas L. Harder (512) 656-7410

Posted by Thomas Harder - Austin, TX - Friend   January 04, 2018

Please join families and friends at a reception immediately following the memorial Mass at Onion Creek Club (2510 Onion Creek Parkway, Austin, TX 78747).

Posted by Charley Wilson - Austin, TX - Family   January 04, 2018

Truly sorry to read of Fred's passing. What I will miss most will be his friendship and wit. I will never forget the story he told about returning from a mission over Germany and meeting with a group of Catholic Sisters who had come to England. One of the Sisters walked up to Fred and said "You were bombing us" to which Fred replied, "But Sister, you were shooting at us". That's Fred.
Sorry I cannot attend the service but you know you all are in my prayers.

Posted by Jerry Prestridge - Austin   January 03, 2018

Family Album