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Margaret L, (Lawyer) McCarthy
October 13, 1932 ~ September 21, 2023 (age 90) 90 Years Old
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Margaret Lawyer McCarthy, 90, known to all as “Peg,” was born on October 13, 1932, to
Charles and Clara Lawyer. Peg was proud to be from the west side of Syracuse, as she
affectionately referred to as “Skunk City.” Her childhood neighborhood near West
Onondaga Street included a large extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins who
attended Most Holy Rosary Church and School. Following her 1950 high school
graduation, Peg had intended to pursue business studies at CCBI in Syracuse when her
high school Business Teacher, Sister Virginia, called about an opportunity for a
secretarial job at a Syracuse law firm. On August 1, 1950, Peg entered the University
Building, to the law office of Frank C. McCarthy. It was there that Peg met Frank’s son
and Syracuse University law student, John “Jack” McCarthy. They married on
September 11, 1954.
Peg and Jack went on to have four children while residing in Syracuse but were drawn
to the North Shore of Oneida Lake to raise their kids. They moved to Constantia, New
York in 1961 where Jack and Peg worked as a team to build a small-town law practice.
In Constantia, Jack and Peg were among the original families of St. Bernadette’s
Catholic Church. Peg’s dedicated involvement in the parish included Religious
Instruction teacher for 28 years, member and officer of the Altar and Rosary Society,
and eventually, Director of Religious Education.
Peg, devoted to her faith, spent her entire life in service to others. Beginning in the
1950’s, when her employer and future father-in-law established the Onondaga County
ARC, she meticulously took on the extensive groundwork required for its fruition and
was recognized for this accomplishment at both the ARC’s 50 th and 60 th anniversaries.
After Jack passed away in 1988, Peg worked at the rectory of St. Mary’s and St.
Bernadette’s. It was there, through her friendship with pastor Father Robert Jones that
she was drawn to volunteering at Unity Acres, a Catholic based house of hospitality for
homeless men in Orwell, New York. Peg was a full-time volunteer, splitting her time
between her home in Constantia and her live-in quarters at Unity Acres, from 1989 until
her health declined in December 2022 at the age of 90. In addition to her volunteer
work at Unity Acres, she and Father Jones founded Elizabeth House, a hospitality
house that served senior citizens of the North Shore. After Elizabeth House closed,
Peg volunteered at “The Bistro” Senior Center through Oswego County Opportunities.
Through her years of volunteering and dedication to the service of others, Peg touched
the lives of many.
Peg is predeceased by her husband and parents, as well as her beloved son, John J.
McCarthy, Jr., brother Charles J. Lawyer, nieces Margaret Meccariello and Mary Jo
Spano and brother-in-law, Frank C. McCarthy, Jr. She is survived by sons James
(Deirdre) McCarthy of Central Square, NY and Jerry (Sandra) McCarthy of Constantia,
NY, daughter, Melanie (Daniel) Dunne of Greece, NY, grandsons, Jeremy (Andy Yurgin),
Jared (Emily), Cian and Shane McCarthy, granddaughter, Mary Rogers, great
grandchildren Mia, Waylon and Walker McCarthy, and nieces, Beth Killian, Amy Duke
and Katie Jackson.
Calling hours will be from 4:00-7:00 pm on Thursday, September 28, 2023, at Traub Funeral Home, 684 N
Main St, Central Square, NY. Funeral Services will be held on Friday, September 29,
2023, at 10:30 AM at Divine Mercy Church, 592 S Main St, Central Square, NY 13036, followed by
burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Lake Road, Cleveland, NY. In lieu of flowers, please
consider donating to Unity Acres, 2290 County Rte 2, PO Box 153 Orwell, NY 13426.