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Roger McCarty was a 'very proud family man'

March 05, 2006|By MARLO BARNHART

MaryAnn McCarty said she first met her future husband, Roger, at the former National Restaurant in Hancock.

The restaurant might be gone, but their rather unconventional 32-year marriage lasted until his death on Feb. 20 at the age of 72.

Born in Hancock, Roger had two children and MaryAnn had two children from previous marriages when they were married Jan. 18, 1974, at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church. They had two children together, bringing their grand total to three boys and three girls.

"He was a very loving husband," MaryAnn said. Their married life was filled with children, socializing, volunteering at the American Legion and camping as a family whenever they could get away.

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Brittany, the youngest child, turned 15 the day her father passed away.

"He was 57 years old when I was born," she said. But nonetheless, he spent a lot of time with her - time she says she always will treasure.

"I was fishing with him once when I hooked him in his ear with a fish hook," Brittany said.

She also recalled how cooperative he was when she wanted to practice hairdressing and nail polishing on someone and he would volunteer.

Robin Hovermale, who said she called Roger "dad" from the beginning of their relationship, formally was adopted by Roger when she was 18.

"I got the best years of his life," Robin said. "He came to all my games when I was playing Little League baseball."

Teressa Risinger was 21 when Roger adopted her.

"He said he wanted to wait until we were old enough to decide for ourselves," she said of herself and her sister, Robin, the children from MaryAnn's first marriage.

She remembered her father instructing her in the proper procedures for displaying the U.S. flag.

"I'll always remember that - he'd tell people if they were doing it wrong," she said, a clue to the strength of his patriotism.

Steve McCarty, Roger's son from his first marriage, said he was 9 when his father married MaryAnn. At that time, Steve was living with his mother, but saw his father a lot.

"He wanted to keep up with me, so we did a lot of hunting and fishing together," Steve said, recalling that his first steps as a child were in the woods with his father.

Now the Hancock police chief and a deacon-in-training at St. Thomas', Steve said he credits his father for the path he has chosen in his life.

"My assertiveness comes from him and it has served me well," Steve said.

Contacted by telephone, older son Roger Jr., known as "Kee," is a trucker. Once he took his father on a cross-country trip by truck - a memorable journey for both, as it turned out.

Son Bradley enjoyed sitting on the porch listening to his father's war stories. He also took Roger to his first - and as it turned out, his last - NASCAR race.

The Rev. F. Allan Weatherholt Jr. said he knew Roger all 26 years he has been the rector at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church.

"Our families were very close," Allan said, adding that he presided at the couple's 25th anniversary renewal of their vows.

"I told a joke at the funeral about Roger and the cooking skills he often shared with the church," Allan said. "We asked Roger to fix something once, and he said he thought we were turning the church into a snack bar."

Allan said Roger once told him he had thought early in his life of a career in the ministry, but instead opted to work 38 years at U.S. Silica, retiring 10 years ago.

"I think that had a hand in Steve's choice to choose the ministry," Allan said. "Roger was a man of deep faith and a very proud family man."

Roger McCarty is shown in 2005 with his wife, MaryAnn. The couple first met at the former National Restaurant in Hancock.

Roger McCarty served in Korea during the Korean War when he was a U.S. Army cook. McCarty instructed one of his daughters on how to properly display the U.S. flag.

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