James McGarity

James Anthony McGarity

Born:  Oct. 18, 1947

Died:  Jan, 23, 1997

James W. McGarity , age 49, died Thursday, January 23, 1997 at home. Warehouse manager for the Charity Newsies. U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War. Recipient of 2 Purple Hearts. Preceded in death by his mother Mary J. McGarity . Survived by his son, James W. McGarity ; his father, James W. McGarity ; his brothers and their spouses, Michael and Lauren McGarity , Thomas W. and Tracie McGarity , William and Michelle McGarity , Matthew McGarity ; his sisters and their spouses, Mary Jo and Ron Wheeler, Patrice and Ron Brown; many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. The family will receive friends at the O'SHAUGHNESSY FUNERAL HOME, 405 E. Town St., Friday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial in the Chapel of Resurrection Cemetery, 9571 N. High St., Saturday 10:30 a.m. followed by burial in Resurrection Cemetery. The family would like to extend a special thank you to Hospice at Riverside/Grant for their help during Jim's illness and would welcome donations to Hospice at Riverside/Grant, 3595 Olentangy River Rd., Columbus, Oh. 43214 or the Charity Newsies, 4300 Indianola Ave., Columbus, Oh. 43214.



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04/29/10 10:38 PM #1    

Daniel Burk

He was a natural athlete, like his brothers but a guy who marched to the beat of a different drummer in his life. 

Jim and I went back to first grade at Immaculate Conception together and gravitated to each other in school by both the proximity of our homes in Clintonville and our shared sense that a lot of what we were required to do to get along with the Franciscan Nuns at school was irrelevant to the core of who we were and we werent about to let them take that away from us. 

I remember those times when I would go over to his house after school in the 6th, 7th and 8th grade and his house was like some continuous menagerie of kids coming and going.  Even with that, the McGarity home always felt like a place that had a center that was all good and always supportive of their core family--Irish you know.

On our way home from school in the Fall and Spring we would head down the alleyway behind ICS  and down Oakland Park Ave. towards High St.   Clustered around that area were the Hummers, the Clarks (Jimmy now Dead) ), the Mackins, and further up the sreet towards Indianola on or around Oakland Park, the  Cotter Family,  Billy Worch and Chukie Allen (killed in Viet Nam) and only a block over the McGaritys on Dunedin (Lots of fodder for the Watterson Turtle selling machine).   

When the Mackins had a basketball half-court put in, that spot became the epicenter of our afternoon reveries where we played basketball until dark or until things got out of hand with our early-teen testosternone getting  the best of us-- wherein shoves and uncalled fouls soon became elbows in the back, trips on our way to an open basket and at least one argument escalating  into fist fights and then the  games were over for the day--called by Mrs. Mackin. 

Of all of the kids who played ball there on Mackin's court, Jim McGarity was by far the best shot, the most natural athlete and the most graceful player. But Jim started smoking at a very early age so that by the time he was in Watterson he was rarely seen without a cigarrette dangling from his lips when not in school.  I have always wondered if that had anything to do with his death at such a young age and would not be surprised if it did.

There was one thing at BWHS that always amazed me; that Jim was not on the varsity basketball team at Watterson as I knew he was better than most of those who were, with the exception of Jeff Todd and Mike Morris who were as gifted as he was.  Whether or not that was his choice or had something to do with some school  piss-ant rule he violated I always felt the school would have been a better place  for Jim if he would have  "belonged" to something--soem activity there and had he been on the team I knew the team would have been a better team too because of it.   

After graduation Jim and I drifted apart as friends.  He hung out almost all the time at Whetstone Rec. Center trying to pick-up basketball games with anyone who was there.  Our house was near to the Whetstone Rec. Center and we had a pool table in our basement and on one cold and wet night Jim showed-up at our front door at midnight with two or three friends in tow whom  I had never met; wanting  to know if it was OK if they could come in a play pool for a while.  They played for about three hours downstairs in silence and then slipped back out into the cold night while my family slept upstairs.

The last time I saw Jim it was a very hot Summer day and he ws sitting on the gym floor with a basketball under his arm at Whetstone and all by himself.  To cool the building down all the doors to the gym were propped wide open and a large fan was blowing even hotter air into the gym from one of the doorways .  When he saw me he smiled and held out the basketball that had been under his arm and asked me, "Want to shoot a few"? and we did until a group of talented older basketball players showed up and it was pretty clear I was out of my league but Jim was in seventh heaven passing to open players and hitting shots from all over the court.  As I started out the door he yelled ,"Hey Burk, take care of yourself." and he smiled.  He seemed so happy at that moment as if if there wa s no other place to be than exactly where he was and doing precisely what he was doing and that is the way I will always remember him.

Good shot Jim.


Danny Burk

06/28/10 06:22 PM #2    

Lea Marson (Smith)

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