Cornelius (Connie) Joseph McLarney, age 93, a longtime resident of Andover, MA, died peacefully at Brightveiw Assisted Living in North Andover, MA on October 4, 2019 after a long and happy life. He is survived by his wife of sixty-three years Barbara (Keenan) McLarney. Cornelius was born in Lowell, MA to the late Cornelius P. and Ethel (Myers) McLarney, the oldest of seven children. He was raised in Dracut, MA and graduated from Dracut High School in 1943. Connie was a member of the Greatest Generation and enlisted in the US Navy at sixteen years old during World War II. He served three years on the aircraft carrier-USS Hancock in the Pacific Theater as a gunner on a SBC dive bomber; receiving numerous medals including the Purple Heart. He returned to the US, following his discharge, and graduated from Boston College.
He started his career with the US Government as a computer programmer at the National Security Agency in Washington, DC where he met his wife Barbara. He returned to Massachusetts and followed his government service with a career as an engineering scientist working on defense systems with RCA, Polaroid and General Electric, retiring in 1990. Connie was a long time communicant of St. Augustine Church in Andover, MA and he volunteered as a Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader, coached youth hockey and served as the President of the Andover Skating Club at Phillips Academy in Andover for many years.
Connie had a great love of sports and the outdoors. He played basketball, football and baseball in high school followed by a short career playing semi-pro baseball and football. He was a lifelong, loyal Red Sox and BC Football fan. The highlights of his fandom were rewarded when he was lucky enough to witness Doug Flutie’s famous Hail-Mary pass at the 1984 Cotton Bowl and when the Red Sox finally won the World Series in 2004. However, his greatest love was always his family. He was the quintessential family man, a devoted son, brother, uncle, husband, father and grandfather. There was nothing that made him happier than filling up the station wagon with as many people as possible and spending a day outdoors with his family and friends at a cookout, playing softball, watching a ball game, swimming at the lake or hiking. Every adventure always topped off with a trip for a large ice cream cone. His favorite place of all was his home in Andover where many fun days were spent story-telling, skating, playing ball, puttering in his gardens and palling around with his faithful companion Max.
Connie was the eternal optimist and always saw the humor in everything. He woke up each morning singing a happy tune with a smile on his face. He loved life, never having a bad day or a bad word to say about anyone. He always made time in his day for a conversation and a positive word and made you feel like you were the most important person in the world. What we will miss most is his kindness, generosity, patience, wisdom and encouraging words.
In addition to his wife Barbara, he is survived by his six children: Mary Joan McLarney and her partner Judith Anderson of Methuen, Kathleen Block and her husband James of Basalt, CO, Amy Davidson and her husband Peter of Ipswich, Patrick McLarney and his wife Kristin of Methuen, Jane McCarthy and her husband Paul of Westwood and Sarah Walsh and her husband Donald of Andover; and nine grandchildren: Matthew, Sean and Susan McCarthy, Addison and Anna McLarney, Emily Davidson and John (Jack), Katherine and Thomas Walsh. He was predeceased by his beloved son Terrence C. McLarney, his siblings Paul McLarney, Mary Lou Corbin and Francis McLarney. In addition, he also leaves his siblings Richard McLarney and his wife Judith of Chelmsford, Edith Nahill of Winchester, Sally Healy and her husband Jack of Goffstown, NH, sister in-law Janice McLarney of Tyngsboro, sister-in law Madeline Lopes and her husband Richard of Falmouth as well as many beloved nieces and nephews.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks and deepest gratitude to all of the staff at Compassus Hospice Care, Brightview Senior Living, Holy Family Hospital, MGH, and The Meadows for the kindness and care provided to Cornelius at the end of his life.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend visiting hours between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at Cataudella Funeral Home, 126 Pleasant Valley Street in Methuen. A funeral mass for Cornelius will be celebrated at 10:30 AM on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at St. Augustine Church, 43 Essex Street in Andover. Interment will follow in West Parish Cemetery, Andover.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Disabled American Veterans.