Former Daily Press publisher leaves lasting legacy

ESCANABA – People who knew him remember Edward “Ed” McCarthy as a great man. The long-time Daily Press publisher died at the age of 84 on Feb. 5.

Family and friends attended his wake and funeral Monday, reminiscing about his school days, family memories, work ethics, and community involvement.

For 32 years of his life, McCarthy worked at the Daily Press. He was hired in July 1949 to sell advertising for the daily newspaper. Over the years, he moved up in the ranks, serving as head of the ad department and then ultimately being promoted to publisher. He left the Daily Press when the company changed ownership.

“Ed had a strong rapport with the community and the staff at the Press,” recalled Peggy Bryson, former editor of the Daily Press. McCarthy had hired her as a reporter in the 1970s.

“Ed had a good personality,” she said. “People loved and appreciated him… We were dear friends.”

Bryson described McCarthy as “the ultimate people person” who also threw a great St. Patrick’s Day party.

“Ed was devoted to his family. The community was important to him and he gave back in many different ways,” Bryson added.

“Ed was a distinguished leader of the community and the Daily Press,” said former Daily Press Sports Editor Denny Grall. “He cared as much about our readers as he did about the Daily Press employees. He held us to a high standard and always supported us, and had a great relationship with every department in the paper. He was demanding but fair, and cared deeply for each of us and for our families. It was a pleasure to work for him, and in turn for our readers. I am proud to have been one of his many friends.”

In addition to his 32 years at the Daily Press, McCarthy worked at Mead paper mill for 11 years.

He was past president and former member of the Highland Golf Club, member of the Wells Lions Club, Lake Bluff Golf Club, Mead Retirees Club, and a former member of the Bay Pines Board, and St. Anne’s Church and church council.

He was president of Wildlife Unlimited for 19 years and a member of the Remnants Barbershop Chorus which he joined in 1955.

McCarthy’s long-time friend and barbershop brother, John Decker of Escanaba, was hired at the Daily Press print shop the year after McCarthy began working there in the ad department.

“He was fair to everyone,” said Decker, recalling the times when McCarthy would join him and his co-workers in the basement for a beer at the end of a day.

“We’ve known each other’s families – we laughed together and we cried together,” said Decker. “He was just a beautiful person… He’ll be missed.”

McCarthy’s son-in-law, Tom Sealander, described his father-in-law as “a great guy.”

Sealander explained that McCarthy began feeling ill during hunting season and went to Marquette General Hospital where he was admitted for respiratory problems. He returned home to Escanaba where he was later cared for at Christian Park Health Care Center. He died there Wednesday.

McCarthy was born on Aug. 25, 1929, in Escanaba, a son of John J. and Laura A. (Quinn) McCarthy. He graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1947. Ed then continued his studies at Michigan State University for forestry. He served in the National Guard for six years.

On June 16, 1951, he married Patricia Bovin at All Saints Church in Gladstone. In addition to his wife, McCarthy is survived by two sons, Ed (Sue) McCarthy, Jr. and Tim (Julie) McCarthy, both of Escanaba, a daughter, Patty (Tom) Sealander, of Gladstone, 15 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143, jlancour@dailypress.net