Robert McCarthy | Obituaries | The starry lighthouse

December 1, 1938
April 24, 2022

Robert Joseph McCarthy, 83, of Daytona Beach, FL died on Sunday, April 24, 2022. He is survived by Gloria Catherine (McNerney) McCarthy, his beloved wife of 59 years and Tom (Mary) McCarthy, his last brother . He also leaves behind seven children, Robert (Tricia) McCarthy of Vienna, VA, Mary McCarthy of Casselberry, FL, Dan (Mui) McCarthy of Dallas, TX, Catherine (Jeff) Howard of Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Colleen (Mike) van Carême of Ann Arbor, MI, Edward (Kakoli) McCarthy of Falls Church, VA, and Sheila (John) McGee of Hudson, OH, as well as fifteen grandchildren, Robert, Sydney, Pele, Michael, Molly, Libby, Natalie, Christopher, Catherine, Becca, Milly, Sully, Maggie, Aidan and Maya.
Bob was born on December 1, 1938 in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, the youngest of five children (Tom, Mary, Libby and Bill) born to Captain Edward Thomas McCarthy and Mary Duane (Hogue), both of Corning, NY. During World War II, the family moved back to Corning when her father was called up for active duty. The family later moved to Ashtabula, where her father was a manager at Union Carbide. Bob attended Ashtabula Edgewood High School and was active in athletics and football. The family moved to Niagara Falls before Bob’s senior year, where he graduated from Bishop Duffy High School.
Bob attended the Catholic University in Washington, DC and received his doctorate in nuclear physics in 1965. His thesis explained the non-existence of a fifth isotope of the hydrogen atom. Shortly after graduating, Bob Peer reviewed a research paper on atomic forces submitted by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Hans Bethe. He later received a thank you note from Dr. Bethe after finding an error in the document.
Of all Bob’s accomplishments at Catholic University, his greatest was falling in love with and marrying Gloria, an outgoing young nurse working at nearby Walter Reed Hospital. Bob and Gloria complemented each other perfectly and they were married on February 23, 1963.
Bob then held research and teaching positions in physics at Rice University in Dallas, TX, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ and Kent State University in Ashtabula, OH. Bob conducted summer research at Ames Laboratory in Ames, IA and Oak Ridge Laboratory in Oakridge, TN and a research sabbatical at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA. He is the author of more than two dozen publications in peer-reviewed journals on the study of microscopic nuclear theory.
Bob and Gloria lived in twelve different cities during their marriage. Along the way, they had seven children in six different states. They viewed life as an adventure and encouraged their children to do the same. He and Gloria have visited every state in the United States and have traveled to over a dozen different countries. They really established themselves in Ashtabula, where Bob had many friends at work, at the Mother of Sorrows church, and through his membership in the North End Club.
Bob enjoyed family camping where he parked in a camping chair with a book. Even when camping, he always had his reading glasses and pen in his front shirt pocket so he could complete the crossword in the journal. He could always be counted on to help his children with their math and science homework and became a mainstay at their sporting events at Ashtabula Harbor Secondary School.
Bob has always stressed the importance of education and becoming a productive member of society. He and Gloria produced seven successful college graduates – this has always remained one of his proudest accomplishments.
A celebration of Bob’s life will be held at a later date in Ashtabula Ohio. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Robert and Gloria McCarthy Scholarship Fund for Kent State First Generation Students. Donations can be made at:

Published on April 25, 2022

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