Cover photo for Charles McCarthy's Obituary
Charles McCarthy Profile Photo

Charles McCarthy

July 14, 1927 — November 11, 2023

Charles McCarthy

July 14, 1927 — November 11, 2023

Charles Dean McCarthy was born July 14, 1927, in Topeka, Kansas, to Charles Henry and Beryl Mildred McCarthy. He spent his childhood in Topeka and attended Topeka High School. In 1944, he joined the U.S. Navy and served on a hospital transport ship during World War II. After the war, he attended the University of Kansas, majored in business, and was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. At KU, he met the love of his life, Marie Schumacher. They were married on October 26, 1951. They had three children, Kellye, Kent, and Kregg.

A natural leader with a great sense of humor and a quiet, influential style, Charles quickly rose through the ranks of the mercurial oil business, launching his highly successful career at Sinclair Oil in 1951. Charles and Marie were transferred often, making multiple cross country moves. During his professional years, Charles worked in Kansas, Missouri, New York City, Minnesota, Illinois, Rhode Island, and California. He retired from Atlantic Richfield in 1985.

In 1991, Charles and Marie moved to Sun City Palm Desert, where he played tennis, swam, served at Palm Desert Community Presbyterian Church, volunteered, participated in the Finance Club, traveled with Marie, and spent countless hours of quality time with his grandchildren. He survived a broken neck in 2010 and effectively lost the use of his hands and feet but rarely complained. Despite losing his beloved wife Marie to pulmonary fibrosis in 2013, Charles continued to lead an amazingly active life, cheering on his grandkids at sporting and school events, celebrating marriages and career milestones, and welcoming two great grandchildren, Dagny, and Brady. Throughout his life, Charles was a passionate supporter of the University of Kansas and KU sports. A loving and inspirational father, grandfather, and great grandfather, Charles leaves his family a timeless legacy of humor, courage, hard work, and unflagging tenacity. Here's to you-Dad, Grandad, Great Grandad-Rock Chalk!

Charles passed away peacefully in his home on Veteran's Day, at the age of 96, 79 years after he fought in WW2. He is survived by his daughter, Kellye Abernathy, son, Kent McCarthy (Missy), son, Kregg McCarthy (Jo Ann), grandchildren Ian Abernathy (Melissa), Brendan Abernathy, Mackenzie Abernathy, Kayla McCarthy, Dylan McCarthy, Annie McCarthy, Charlie McCarthy, Molly McCarthy, and, great grandchildren, Dagny Abernathy and Brady Abernathy.

The family is grateful to Charles' faithful caregivers and friends, Daves Singian, Kathy S. Reddick, Armando Ellamil and Nita L. Dingle.

A service will be held on Friday, November 24th at 11:00 a.m. at Palm Desert Community Presbyterian Church. For those unable to attend in person, the Friday service will also be livestreamed here:

A burial in Topeka and a celebration of life will be planned for early 2024. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations supporting Kansas Athletics be made to KU Endowment, P.O. Box 928, Lawrence, KS 66044 or online at

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation of Charles McCarthy

Friday, November 24, 2023

10:00am - 2:00 pm (Pacific time)

Palm Desert Community Presbyterian

47-321 California 74, Palm Desert, CA 92260

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