William's Story

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Dr. William G. McCarthy, of Terre Haute, passed away early Saturday morning, August 26, 2017, at St. Vincent Heart Center in Carmel, IN. He was a Professor of Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Indiana State University. He was born September 26, 1926, in Mill Valley, California, to William Matthew McCarthy and Honora Josephine Nolan McCarthy.
Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Susan Gans McCarthy; children, Mary Catherine McCarthy (Charles Bales), Isabel McCarthy (Rod Kirk), Daniel McCarthy (Susie Marvel), Joe McCarthy (Mary Ann McCarthy) and Susan Reynolds (Trevor Reynolds); and grandchildren, Alison Bales, Sarah Bales, JD Bales (Jan-Marie Bales), JR Bales, Christina Collins (Brett Collins), Katie Kirk, Kevin McCarthy (Bethany Bannister-Andrews), Regan McCarthy, BJ McCarthy (Sara McCarthy) and Francesca McCarthy. Also surviving are great-grandchildren, Raymond McCarthy, Kyla Collins and Henry Bales; his sister, Ellen Rossi, two brothers-in-law, and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Lillian, Lucille, Catherine, and his son, William McCarthy, Jr.
Dr. McCarthy was a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and earned his doctoral degree from Stanford University. He served as Department Chair and Professor of Elementary Education at Indiana State University from 1969-91. His publications and presentations focused on the development of reading skills through music, as well as teaching thinking skills and reading comprehension, and teaching culturally disadvantaged children. He wrote about research concerning promotion and non-promotion of elementary school pupils and created a diagnostic reading inventory. Dr. McCarthy was interested in moral development, as evidenced by his doctoral dissertation, "A Comparison of Discussion and Role Playing as Techniques for Influencing Children's Thinking about Social Values."
Dr. McCarthy started his career teaching at the Oakland Public Schools, grades two, three, five, and six. He was principal and acting superintendent of the Hopland Unified School District. Prior to teaching at I.S.U., he taught at the University of California at Berkeley and Arizona State University.
Bill, a veteran of the United States Army Air Force during World War II, served in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. He was a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church, served as lecturer for St. Mother Theodore Council #541 Knights of Columbus, and treasured his time as a Eucharistic Minister at Union Hospital. He studied to become a Master Naturalist for the State of Indiana and founded the Prairie Hoosier Music Group. Bill volunteered for the Red Cross, assisting at three major disasters, as well as responding to local crises. A family man, Bill always made time for dinner with his wife and children. With his family, he enjoyed picnics in the park, excursions to museums, clam digging along the California coast, camping trips, visiting relatives, and Elder Hostel adventures with grandchildren.
The visitation is scheduled for Thursday, August 31st, from 4:00-7:00 P.M., with a Rosary to be recited at 6:30 P.M., at St. Patrick Church. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 A.M., Saturday, September 2nd, also at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 1807 Poplar Street, with Father Dan Bedel officiating. There will be a Celebration of Bill's Life at Nature's Return after the funeral service.
Memorial contributions may be made to the William G. McCarthy and Susan Gans McCarthy Endowment, c/o Indiana State University Foundation, 30 North 5th Street, Terre Haute, IN 47809. This endowment grants funds to faculty members or administrators who propose projects to support children's literacy or to reduce poverty. Arrangements are under the direction of Callahan & Hughes Funeral Home, 605 South 25th Street.
Funeral information may also be found at:
Published on August 29, 2017
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