Charles G. McCarthy

Mr MacCharles Godchaux McCarthy, born July 27, 1936 to Justine Godchaux and Richard McCarthy of New Orleans, LA, died of a hemorrhagic stroke on September 26, 2020. He was raised in New Orleans and attended Metairie Park Country Day School. He graduated from Yale University, where he swam on the varsity swim team.

As a man of endless curiosity and commitment to personal growth and transformation, Charlie had several careers throughout his life. He served four years as a naval officer in the Philippines followed by several years in the reserves, retiring as a lieutenant commander. His greatest impact was as the 20-year Executive Director of Vocational  Guidance Service, a United Way agency, where he expanded programs dedicated to substance abuse treatment, employment and career development. When he left VGS he briefly “retired” before pursuing a new passion as a substitute teacher in several HISD magnet schools where he was loved and admired by his students as “Mr. Mac.”

Charlie had a passion for travel, sailing, opera and politics. Throughout his life he volunteered his time in a variety of community, arts and political organizations. His children fondly remember “Dots” joyfully filling roles as supernumerary in Houston Grand Opera productions, PBS auctioneer, Poe School Carnival spaghetti chef, “room father” for their classrooms, loudest cheerleader for school swim and track meets, poll worker for elections and delegate to political conventions. He traveled to international opera festivals and sailed with family and dear friends. He was known for his various fashion statements – a myriad of hats, bowties, scarves, suspenders, buttons and socks.

One of the most significant parts of Charlie’s life was his commitment to 12-Step recovery in several programs including Alcoholics Anonymous, a member of which he had been for nearly 53 years. He was eternally devoted to both his own recovery and to helping others with their journey.

He often spoke of the joy he had in his life because of his membership in 12-step programs and always sought out meetings in whichever part of the world he might be visiting. During the six months of the Covid pandemic he relished the zoom technology that provided him access to his social and spiritual “family” lifeline.

Charlie was gifted with an amazing 33 years with his wife, Susan. Together they created a life of beauty and community fellowship. Charlie always said that love was the most powerful force on earth and that force was evident in every aspect of their marriage.

Charlie is survived by his wife of 33 years, Susan McCain Cole, his children: Kirsten Tuohy (Seamus), Shannon McCarthy (Mary Jo Kane), Kevin McCarthy (Beverly Bontrager) and step-daughter Caroline Cole (Lynn Lovat). He is also survived by his brothers, Richard McCarthy lll and John McCarthy (Carole); six grandchildren: Miller Tuohy, Finn McCarthy, Angus McCarthy, Tempest Kane-McCarthy, Avery Peters, Elise Peters; and his former wife Alice McCarthy.

Charlie was a colorful and complicated man of great sensitivity, curiosity, compassion and creativity. He was large in life and rarely went unnoticed. He is survived not only by those connected to him by blood and law, but by those he loved and who helped make his life what it was and whose lives he touched. Good bye, Charlie M (“Dots”), you will live on in our hearts.

A celebration of Charlie’s life will be announced at a later date due to Covid.

In lieu of flowers, you are invited instead to contribute to:
The Council on Recovery
PO Box 2768
Houston, TX 77252