Hotchkiss resident Michael John McCarthy died at his Sunshine Mesa Ranch on Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, following a valiant battle with cancer. He was 75.
Michael was born in Billings, Mont., to Don and Mary McCarthy on Dec. 5, 1939. He spent his early years in Montana, Nebraska and Kansas. In 1957 he enrolled in the University of Kansas, graduating in 1961 with a B.S. from the William Allen White School of Journalism.
Following college, Michael enlisted in the United States Army, serving for three years in Military Intelligence, including an overseas posting to Japan.
On discharge, Michael attended the University of Colorado School of Law. He obtained his Juris Doctorate in 1966.
Michael joined the District Attorney's office in Boulder, then opened a private practice. He married Kathryn Phelps James in 1978. The McCarthys lived in Boulder through the 1980s, where Michael practiced law and wrote the heralded book, Mastering the Information Age.
In 1990, the McCarthys moved to their beloved Sunshine Mesa Ranch on Mystic Mesa, where they raised flowers, herbs, and vegetables and processed essential oils. Michael started a small law practice at his home, which evolved into a thriving general practice on Bridge Street, with a large emphasis on criminal litigation. Throughout his life in the North Fork Valley, Michael was constantly engaged with the community, personally and professionally.
Michael loved gardening on his ranch, bicycling, traveling, reading, and mulling over the vagaries of life with a good cigar and a tumbler of Jameson Irish Whiskey. But most of all, he enjoyed his loving wife Kathryn.
He is survived by Kathryn, his devoted wife of 37 years; his two children, Kent Phelps James and Erin McCarthy; his sisters, Mary Snyder and Elizabeth High and their families; and his grandson, George Kingston James, Kent's son.
A private memorial service will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions honoring Michael may be made to Cocker Kids' Foundation (www.cockerkidsfoundation.com) P.O. Box 404, Crawford, CO 81415.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory.
View the Internet obituary and sign the online guest registry at www.taylorfuneralservice.com.
Paonia Elementary School second grade teacher Jodi Simpson is passionate about pedagogy. She understands that the important things kids learn in school isn't accomplished through testing, but by experiencing life and all its wonders.