Daniel McCarthy, 82, of Cranston passed away on Sunday, February 26th 2017. Known by many as a long-time advocate for high quality mental health care in R.I., he was instrumental in the design of community support programs for persons with serious mental illness. During his retirement, Dan was deeply engaged in social justice issues across the state. He served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in DCYF and spent time with those at the end of their lives as a Hospice volunteer. Dan was also active in his church community at Emmanuel Lutheran Church and on the Board of the Mental Health Association of RI and previously the Poverty Institute. Dan was an avid enthusiast of the RI theater community, and took great happiness in his participation in a poetry reading group and a course at Brown University called “the Examined Life”.
Dan was born in Utica, New York in 1934 to Michael and Honorah McCarthy. He was a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Providence serving St. Mary’s Parish Bristol, RI and Holy Rosary Parish, Fox Point, RI. In the mid-1960’s he volunteered for mission work and was assigned by Bishop McVinney to serve in the Diocese of Santarem on the Amazon River in Brazil.
He was a passionate traveler, and in his retirement took tremendous pride and deep peace in his annual walking of the ancient pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago, a 500+ mile walk across Spain, stretching from the Pyrenees to the Atlantic Ocean. Dan completed his beloved “Camino” over 10 times. He became known as a legend on the Camino; he was a strong, fast walker, a deep spiritual companion, and made life-long friendships on his walk.
Dan’s deep commitment to his family and friends, his fierce advocacy for those in need, and his tender gentle spirit has been a source of inspiration to all. He shared a tremendously close bond with his daughter, Kirstin, and they were best friends. His partner of over 17 years, Christine Stinson, brought love, laughter, and vibrancy to his later life. Christine’s son, Gabriel, saw Dan as a father figure. Dan’s younger brother, Gerry, meant the world to him. Dan is pre-deceased by Claire Aronson, the love of his life and soulmate. Claire died of ALS in 1992 and Dan was her constant companion and caretaker.
Dan (“Danny” to his immediate family) will be sorely missed and is loved by his daughter Kirstin Boehm, son-in-law Eric Boehm, partner Christine Stinson and her son Gabriel, his brother and sister-in-law Gerry and Jane McCarthy, nieces Mary Elizabeth, Eileen, and Kate, sister-in-law Susan Aronson, nieces Hilary, Vanessa, and nephew Tyler and sister-in-law June Aronson. His life’s greatest joy was being Grandpa (“Peepa”) to his 2-year-old grandson, Nash Boehm. He was also a loving son, brother-in-law, uncle, cousin, close friend, and dedicated colleague to many.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, March 11th at 12:00 pm at Emanuel Lutheran Church, 20 Leaf Street, West Warwick. Following the service, lunch and fellowship will be provided by the church collation in the church Fellowship Hall.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Mental Health Association of Rhode Island. Donations can be made via their website: http://www.mhari.org , or mailed to Mental Health Association of RI, 345 Blackstone Blvd., Providence, RI 02906. Please indicate the donation is made in Dan’s honor.