Cover photo for Nancy K. McCarthy's Obituary
Nancy K. McCarthy Profile Photo
1932 Nancy 2016

Nancy K. McCarthy

May 21, 1932 — May 16, 2016

Nancy K. McCarty, May 16, 2016

Strength • Determination • Leadership

Born on May 21, 1932, in Syracuse, New York, Nancy was the only child of Jerome Joseph Knapp and Harriet Salisbury Knapp. Nancy was a lifelong Syracuse advocate through politics, education, and the Arts. Nancy passed away peacefully on May 16, 2016 in Syracuse. She was 83.
Nancy graduated from Nottingham High School in 1950, and she received a scholarship to attend Syracuse University. She majored in English and minored in Social Sciences, graduating in 1954, summa cum laude. While an undergraduate, Nancy was involved in Hendricks Chapel Choir and served as a leader at her Delta Zeta sorority. Based on her scholarship, Nancy became a member of Phi Beta Kappa Society. Nancy then received a scholarship for her Masters Degree of Social Sciences, which she obtained in 1955. Nancy next pursued her studies at the University of Iowa.
Nancy returned to Syracuse in 1958 when her father, Jerome, passed away, followed by the passing of her mother, Harriet, in 1959. She married Laurence Woodward McCarty on January 30, 1960. In 1967 and 1970, Nancy and Larry had two children, Alice and Carol, who attended Syracuse public schools. They, too, graduated from Nottingham High School.
True to her spirit, Nancy always added education and politics into family trips. One summer vacation in 1975 involved a road trip to Plains, Georgia to visit the home of then Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter. 1977 and 1978 summer vacations included Marches for the Equal Rights Amendment in Washington D.C.
Nancy became a founding faculty member of Onondaga Community College in 1962, and served the institution for more than 50 years, including her service until as Professor of Social Sciences until 1993. Nancy then served on the OCC Board of Trustees from 1994 to 1996. In 2014, Nancy was recognized by the OCC Board of Trustees with the John H. Mulroy Founder's Award, which recognizes individuals for meritorious service that has advanced the college. Nancy also continued her commitment to future students at OCC by establishing, through the OCC Foundation, the Nancy McCarty Community Scholars Scholarship.
In addition to teaching, Nancy improved her community in a multitude of ways, including her tireless political activism. Nancy was the long-time Chair of the mighty 17th Democratic Ward, and made significant contributions to the Onondaga County Democratic Committee. During the 1976 Presidential campaign, Nancy welcomed the next First Lady, Rosalynn Carter, into their home to rally support for local Democratic candidates.
Nancy also served two terms as Councilor-at-Large on the Syracuse Common Council from 1992 to 2000, and two terms on the Syracuse Board of Education from 2004 to 2012. During this period, Nancy also tutored and mentored the next generation of students at H.W. Smith Elementary. Nancy was also a stalwart champion of the "Say YES to Education" campaign for Syracuse.
Nancy was also a lover of the Arts. She attended performances of Friends of Chamber Music, NYS Baroque, Syracuse Symphony, Syracuse Stage, SU Drama, and the Glimmerglass Opera Festival in Cooperstown, NY. Long after her children had graduated from Nottingham, Nancy continued to attend theater performances at Syracuse Public Schools. Nancy also served her community through Grace Episcopal Church for decades, and worked with Matthew 25 Food Pantry.
Nancy is survived by Alice McCarty Adams and Carol McCarty Andrews, and four grandchildren, Tyler, Steven, Henry, and Eleanor.
Nancy is predeceased by her grandson, Josiah Bennett Adams, and her husband of 47 1/2 years, Laurence W. McCarty.
Visiting hours at Burns Garfield Funeral Home, 3175 East Genesee St, Today Thursday, May 19, 2016 from 4-7pm Funeral Service at Grace Episcopal Church, Friday, May 20, 2016 at 3pm
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Say YES to Education, 1005 W. Fayette St, 4th Floor, Syracuse, NY 13204 or Grace Episcopal Church, 819 Madison St, Syracuse, NY 13210
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Nancy K. McCarthy, please visit our flower store.


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