Robert P. McCarthy
Robert Patrick McCarthy, 87, formerly of Anaconda passed away in Great Falls on September 22, 2021, following 32,100 days of life and a short illness. We all know that upon passing he returned to the river with his faithful dog Wes and is now gracefully and surefootedly coaxing large browns from undercut banks with his own hand tied flies and a perfect five weight three-piece rod.
Bob was the first-born son of Patrick J. and Madge McCarthy. He was a born storyteller and proud of his Irish Catholic union democratic roots. He grew up in the shadow of the smelter in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. His love of the fine arts of fishing and hunting and all things outdoors were nurtured and fostered by his close relationship with his uncle Rob Astle and his experiences with hunting partners Ed Emmett and the Dewing brothers. His parents instilled in him the work ethic of the Irish immigrant and a lifelong respect and appreciation for science and nature. His garden in Stockett featured sixty rare perennials, annuals and biennials. He attended St. Peter’s and Anaconda Central and attended Carroll College where he was influenced by Archbishop Hunthausen who was then Dean of Men. He was a self-taught engineer who started his work life as an Anaconda electrical lineman. His career path took him from work as an electrician into mechanical and electronic process instrumentation and engineering. He was proud of his contributions to the development of the mechanical processes necessary for the exacting production of time release medications; developing and designing safe uranium processing equipment in Namibia; and of his role in the supervision and development of the processes and instrumentation used in the smelting and refining of minerals at Kennecott Copper.
In the late 1960s and early 1970’s he built home amateur radios and connected US soldiers in Viet Nam with their stateside families. He developed his understanding of instrumentation when he started repairing electrical appliances, rewinding motors and building electronics and computers in the 1970s. He left Anaconda when he was hired by Davy McKee Construction after working as a construction supervisor at the Arbiter Plant. His next position with Davy McKee was as the Supervising Plant Engineer for the construction of Swakop Uranium in Swakopmund, Namibia. As the result of an accident with a table saw, which kept him home, he developed a driven interest in personal computers in the early 1980s which he brought to his employment with AH Robbins. He was instrumental in the implementation of PC based instrumentation and changing the methods of engineering measurement and calibration of engineering instruments. While others his age were retiring because of advances in technology he championed the advances of the computer age and brought them to his employers.
In work, his ability to take engineers’ concepts of how things should work to actual profitable and dependable production allowed him to travel the world. His primary professional focus was pharmaceutical microencapsulation which allowed for the production of time release drugs. He retired as the Chief Electrical, Chemical and Instrumentation Engineer for American Home Products in 1999. He returned to Montana to be with his family and to pursue and research his interests in photography, gardening and family genealogy. He was always willing to take a time out for a day of fishing, or duck hunting with his boys and his hunting dog, Wes.
Bob married Marilyn Ferguson in 1956 and together they had seven sons. They divorced in 1973. Bob married Susie Murdoff in 1977 and they were happily married until her death in 2012. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, spouse Susie, son Daniel, sister Colleen Fadness, sister Susan Menicucci Kilmer, brother Bernard “Bo,” grandson Joseph McCarthy and great grandson Cash Hyde. He is survived by six sons and their spouses and their children: Kevin of Missoula, Brian(Mandy) of Butte, Craig (Kim) of Butte, Jim (Alona) of Anaconda, Bob (Denise) of Butte and Mark(Carla) of Great Falls; grandchildren Kalli Hyde, Grady McCarthy, Patrick McCarthy, Sheena McCarthy, Chasey McCarthy, Robert McCarthy, Daniel McCarthy, Ryan McCarthy, Kyla McCarthy, Mary McCarthy, Keegan McCarthy, Emmett McCarthy, Jack McCarthy, Connor McCarthy and numerous great grandchildren.
Bob was known to friends as Doc. He was a proud member of the IBEW for 66 years and a friend of Bill W. who celebrated 35 years of sobriety.
In memory of Bob please take a quiet moment to appreciate the beauty of the world around you, believe in science and be kind to an unsuspecting stranger. Wear a mask and get vaccinated. In honor of his voracious reading appetite and appreciation for education memorials to the Hearst Free Library at 401 Main Street, Anaconda, Montana 59701 is requested by the family.
. . . Little boy blue and the man in the moon
“When you coming home, son?” “I don’t know when”
But we’ll get together then, dad
You know we’ll have a good time then . . .
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 2, 2021, at the Holy Family Catholic Church, Anaconda. There will be one hour of visitation prior to the services at the church. A luncheon will follow the services in the parish hall.
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