NEAR Hall of Famer, NEMA President & Championship Owner
Tilton, New Hampshire – John L. McCarthy, 84 a long time resident of Tilton died at his home Saturday, December 6, 2014 after a period of declining health.
Son of Alma (Levis) and John L. McCarthy, Sr., he was born in Mount Vernon, NY on June 21, 1930. John spent his youth in Quincy, MA. He was a graduate of Boston College High School (’48), attended Boston College, and earned an MBA from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He served his country in the Army National Guard and lived for many years in Shrewsbury.
During his youth, John was a clubhouse boy for the Boston Red Sox and during breaks, often played cribbage with Ted Williams. John had a brilliantly analytical mind and was at the forefront of the Electronic Data Processing/Information Technology revolution as a Senior Executive at Wyman-Gordon Company for 29 years, retiring in 1985. He revolutionized Midget Auto Racing as well.
Upon retirement, John relocated to Tilton, NH from Shrewsbury and began a long career in public service as an active civic leader, having served as Selectman (chair), Police Commissioner, Planning Board member, and School Board member. He was hugely instrumental in the development of the Lakes Region Mall and often spoke at State House and Senate hearings on issues he felt important for the citizens of Tilton. He was involved with charitable work and served on the Board of Directors at St. Vincent Hospital and was a member of the Local Elks Lodge in Laconia and Worcester.
Inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2007, McCarthy was a championship car owner, designer/builder, and innovative promoter who brought Midget Auto Racing from the brink of extinction to the mainstream as President of the North East Midget Association during the 1960s-70s. Also in retirement, McCarthy pursued his first love – Auto Racing – at New Hampshire International Speedway where he was Vintage Coordinator for 20 years, bringing antique race cars from across America to the largest gathering of its kind in the country.