“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”St. Augustine
As a deeply committed connoisseur of the Irish exit, David Malcolm McCarty performed his final disappearing act on October 19, 2022, as he left us to be with his Lord and Savior. If he knew of his imminent departure, he told no one. As far as everyone knew, the divine banquet had been scheduled to continue for many years to come. It turned out that his Father in Heaven had different plans. Dave was just 80 years old.
The oldest of three boys, Dave was born on March 2, 1942, to Malcolm and Martha McCarty in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, arriving at the height of World War II and just on the heels of the Great Depression. He grew up terrorizing his brothers Larry (deceased) and Newell (74), and the rest of his suburban neighborhood in Oklahoma.
He was part of the first generation of post-war America that watched the country become a world power, when anything was possible, and everything seemed to be within reach. He attended Northwest Classen High School, where he most notably skipped school, drove fast cars, dressed like a dandy, and somehow managed to convince Janet Lynn Johnson (a faculty award winner at Northwest—as he was fond of teasing) that he was worth the trouble.
They both attended Oklahoma University, and were married on June 1, 1962. He graduated in 1964, and went to work for the Fife Corp, which manufactured high-tech equipment for printing presses. After a few years, he left to attend Faith Seminary in Pennsylvania, which later became Biblical Seminary.
In the summers, he sold Nave’s Topical Bibles, door to door, for the Southwestern Company. He was such a good salesman that he earned enough during three months to support his family for the entire rest of the year while he attended seminary. Eventually, he moved the family to Nashville, where he worked as a regional sales manager.
He would return to Oklahoma and work again for Fife briefly, before coming back once more to Pennsylvania to work for Biblical Seminary. This was followed by years of working for World Harvest Missions, before finally founding Gospel Friendships, the organization close to his heart, that he ran until his death.
Somewhere along the way, he managed to help raise six kids, two of whom were adopted: Stacy Lynn Barton, David Todd McCarty, Bradley Scott McCarty, Michael David McCarty, Jason Robert McCarty, and Cicely Lynn McCarty.
He was the mender of hearts, and the buyer of used cars, a fountain of advice, and a compassionate ear. He was a fast walker and a fast talker, a lover of Doo-Wop and comedy, and a passionate proponent of charcoal-broiled hamburgers. He loved sports, but disliked games. He loved driving fast on open roads, and was always up to run errands for others. He loved pie and Breyer’s vanilla ice cream, fresh sweet corn, and good well water.
He loved a bargain.
He remained married to Janet for 60 years, which is, in and of itself, a pretty incredible accomplishment. They were always a team, high school sweethearts, soulmates, kindred spirits, and loyal partners in life. They were known as Dave and Jan to many, Mom and Dad to a few, and Mimi and Papa to 27 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.
Up until his death, he continued to counsel a wide range of people, from foreign missionaries and pastors, to businessmen and students. He preached a simple message of faith and grace that came from a position of humility as the chief repenter. He loved the Lord with all his mind, body, and spirit, even as he struggled with a world he felt was broken.
As many who knew him intimately via phone, text, and email can attest, he was not fond of the in-person meeting and rejected the notion that he need be a social animal in order to have meaningful relationships. He spent many hours writing emails and talking to people on the phone. He had a gift for turning any question about himself into a question about you. He was a passionate listener, a fierce advocate, and a loyal friend.
Dave loved to ride his motorcycle, eat in diners and cafeterias, and watch his 4k television in incredible clarity. He adored John Candy, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and anything by the director John Hughes. He quoted Anne of Green Gables and the Bible, comedian James Gregory and the writer Brennan Manning. He was fond of saying, “Oh Marilla, how much you miss.” As a matter of fact, he was fond of saying many things, and his recitation of quotes will live forever in the minds of those he left behind.
Within his family, he remained a reliable counselor, ready to listen and provide thoughtful advice, but only when asked, as he was a big believer in refraining from dispensing any advice that was unsolicited. He was everyone’s cheerleader and often their biggest fan.
The day before he died, he was enthusiastically cheering on the Philadelphia Phillies, his adopted baseball team, as they continued their push for a world championship. He resisted his competitive nature in many areas of his life, but he loved the triumph of the human spirit and always rooted for the underdog. He loved a good redemption story. He loved to cheer on David in the face of Goliath.
In the end, he saw himself as the ultimate underdog, unworthy of glory, but triumphant in the acceptance of the gift of grace. In the end, he transcended the earthly bounds of his imperfect body to move to a life in eternity, without pain and suffering, in the presence of his Abba.
He was our champion, after all.
A memorial service will be held on Nov 1, 2022, 1pm. New Life Presbyterian Church in Dresher. PA. 2015 Limekiln Pike, Dresher, PA 19025. There will be receiving line for those who wish to greet the family starting at 12:15pm. We ask that you keep your comments brief so that all who want to—can.
For those unable to attend service in person, there will also be streamed live on YouTube via https://youtube.com/channel/UCDyyY2Hth3YhZCDor40i0jw, which will also be recorded and can be viewed later.