Obituary: John K. McSherry

John K. McSherry

NAUGATUCK — John K. “Jack” McSherry, 99, of Naugatuck, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at St. Mary’s Hospital, Waterbury. His wife of 49 years, Mary Margaret (Donovan) McSherry, died in 2002. He was also predeceased by his daughter, Mary C. Masse, in 2012 and her husband, Shawn Masse, in 2006, and by his sister, Marie “Sis” Lowe, in 2014.

His paternal great-grandparents, Hugh McSherry and Susan (Adamson) McSherry, came to Naugatuck from Ireland in the late 1840s. His maternal great-grandparents, Patrick McCarthy and Mary (Reardon) McCarthy, arrived in Naugatuck in the 1850s. His grandparents, Barney and Winifred (Kelly) McSherry and John and Rose (Leonard) McCarthy, were born in the U.S. He was born in Waterbury, a son of the Late Hugh B. and Marie M. (McCarthy) McSherry, and was a lifelong resident of Naugatuck.

He is survived by four sons, Dr. George D. McSherry of Hummelstown, Pa., attorney Kevin H. McSherry of Naugatuck and his wife, attorney Marianne D. Smith; J. Brian McSherry of Worcester, Mass. and his wife, Christine R. McSherry, and Michael T. McSherry of Alexandria, Va.; five grandchildren, Meaghan C. McSherry (Christopher)of Dedham, Mass., Sean McSherry (Lizzy) of Manhattan, N.Y., Mikaela McSherry (Justin) of Newton, Mass., Erin McSherry of Manhattan, N.Y., and Caitlin McSherry of Boston, Mass., and their mother, Ellen Costigan McSherry. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews and Jill Roland, who was like a family member and caregiver for John and his late wife.

He was a graduate of St. Francis School, Class of 1933, and of Naugatuck High School, Class of 1937, where he played football and basketball for the legendary coach Pete Foley. He then attended Bates College where he played freshman football earning his class numerals, varsity basketball, captain of the 1941-42 team and graduating in 1942 with a business degree.

His career in business would have to wait. In June 1942, he began active duty with the U.S. Army Air Corps serving in the 20th Airforce, 58th Bomb Wing, 468th Bomb Group’s 792nd Bomb Squadron, which was part of the Billy Mitchell Squadron that brought the first B-29’s into the war. He traveled through the Middle East to serve in India, China and Burma (CBI) as well as in the Northern Marianas on the Island of Tinian in the Pacific, earning six battles stars, six bronze stars and attaining the rank of staff/sergeant (master sergeant).

After WWII, he worked several years for the U.S. Rubber Co., in their Chicopee, Mass., plant. In 1957, he began his career as a life insurance agent for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., and worked 25 years until retiring in 1981. After retirement he continued in life insurance part time and for a time he also owned and operated the John K. McSherry Real Estate Co.

Jack was involved in and supportive of his children’s school and sporting activities. He was committee chairman of Cub Scout Pack 108. Jack was a life-member of the B.P.O. Elks #967 in Naugatuck, president of the NAVA Ski Club, and member of the American Legion Post 17, Disabled American Veterans, Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 1 Patrick Conran Division, Irish Mayor of the Day in 2011 (his administration gave all children the day off from school and reduced taxes), MetLife Retiree’s and Bates College Alumni Association. He was a communicant of St. Francis of Assisi Church.

In 2008, Jack was honored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians as parade marshal for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. All marchers arrived safely and on time at their destination. Jack was pleased to receive the Robert L. Genovese Patriotism Award on Nov. 9, 2013 from the Naugatuck High School Alumni Association.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, April 30, 2018 at 11 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 318 Church St., Naugatuck. Burial with military honors will follow in St. James Cemetery. Calling hours are Sunday, April 29, 2018 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Buckmiller Thurston Mengacci Funeral Home, 82 Fairview Ave., Naugatuck. Members of the Naugatuck Veterans Council will assemble at the funeral home Sunday at 3:30 p.m. The Naugatuck Ancient Order of Hibernians will assemble at the funeral home Sunday at 3:40 p.m. The Naugatuck Elks will conduct a Ritual Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Flora’s Pet Project, 38 Fairview Ave., Naugatuck, CT 06770 or to the Naugatuck Education Foundation, PO Box 1717, Naugatuck, CT 06770.

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