John Linley McCarthy
1920 – 2015
John Linley McCarthy was born at home in Oakland, CA on September 22, 1920 to John Nicholas McCarthy and Edith Linley Jones McCarthy. He was a third generation Californian, his family coming from Ireland and Wales. John had four children, Kathleen, Maureen, Janet and Paul, and two step children, Michael and Elizabeth Ann. John had three sisters, Barbara, Pat, and Alice who predeceased him many years ago.
He entered the University of California, Berkeley majoring in music and minoring in mathematics and speech graduating Phi Beta Kappa in music in 1943. He received his Master’s Degree from the University of the Pacific in counseling and psychology. He loved marching in the Cal band for five years playing his flute and piccolo. He was in the 40th Division California National Guard From 1937-1941 where he served as a medic. In 1935 at the age of 15 John became a professional musician playing church organ earning $1 a week. He gave his earnings to his parents. He was a Life Member of the Stockton Musicians’ Association. John moved to Stockton in 1947 to teach. He was the choral music teacher at Stagg High School where he had 120 students in the general choir, 60 in the advanced choir and 40 in the A Cappella Choir. John played organ for 75 years until he lost his sight in 2010.
He played flute in the Stockton Symphony for 25 years. Manlio Silva was his first Stockton maestro. Musically John served eight churches as an organist and three institutions as a Choir Director. His longest tenure was at St. John’s Episcopal Church where he played for 12 years. He was an Episcopalian. He was on the last faculty at Stockton High School and the first faculty at Stagg high School where he composed the Stagg Alma Mater. For 38 years he thoroughly enjoyed teaching. The final 12 years were spent at San Joaquin Delta College where he retired at 62 years of age “so he could see the world”. John received the 33rd Stockton Arts Commission “STAR Award” in 2010, and the Stockton Opera Guild “Curtain Going Up Award” in 2014.
Memorial Services were held on Thursday, January 14 at 11 a.m. in Central United Methodist Church in Stockton where he married Beverly Ann Fitch McCarthy in 1973. John always said, “The making of friends, who are real friends, is the best evidence we have of a person’s success in life.” John passed away in Stockton, CA December 16, 2015 at the age of 95.
Donations are welcomed at the Stockton Symphony Association or any charity of your choice.