McCarthy, Dennis Howard of Saint Charles, MO, passed away Monday, October 9, 2023, at the age of 77 from complications of Covid. His wife and four children were by his side. Survived by his wife Margaret M. “Maggie” McCarthy; daughter Ann (Kelly) Knauth; son Gregory Dennis (Megan) McCarthy; son Kevin (Tamara) McCarthy; daughter Laura (Seth Jarman) McCarthy; grandchildren Keira, Elleri, Sydney, Reese, Claire, Brynn, Dylan, Leona, and Sawyer; brother Mark (Liz) McCarthy; and brother Brian (Mary) McCarthy. Preceded in death by his father Howard McCarthy and his mother Mary Rita McCarthy.
Dennis was called to a life of service, both in the military and federal government. Building on his experience as a First Lieutenant Meteorologist in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War, he went on to have a distinguished, 35+ year career with the National Weather Service (NWS), highlighted by serving as Meteorologist in Charge of the NWS forecast office in Norman, OK, where he led the first commissioning of the WSR-88D Doppler system for the NWS; testifying before the United States Congress on behalf of the NWS; and culminating in his role as Director of the Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services at the NWS headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Dennis was a scientist at heart, driven by curiosity and awe of the natural world, which he loved to capture in photography of sunsets, landscapes, clouds, and storms, often while hiking, biking, or paddling the Missouri trails and waterways he loved so much. But he was just as gratified capturing the everyday moments of his family as it grew from his and Maggie’s four children to their spouses and nine grandchildren — the thousands of meticulously organized photos he left behind now an invaluable artifact for his family. Not to mention the numerous weddings he documented for his extended family.
Dennis was an athlete, even when he was a busy father of four and even when his body started to wear. He loved soccer, softball, baseball, volleyball, golf, fishing, biking, and skiing. And he shared this passion by coaching each of his children’s soccer teams throughout the years. He also loved a good round of blackjack or a game of poker — at the casino or around the kitchen table with the “grandgirls.”
Dennis was an environmentalist, deeply tuned into the effects of climate change on human life.
He was also a humanitarian, having always maintained a high affection for and support of his alma mater, The University of Missouri – St. Louis, and developing a deep appreciation for the missions and good work of Doctors Without Borders and the World Central Kitchen.
His favorite days were spent with his wife Maggie, starting with a visit to Starbucks, connecting with his kids, watching his grandchildren, walking his beloved beagle, Brigid, and finishing the day with a pour of Knob Creek.
Dennis was many things to many people: husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, cousin, uncle, friend, colleague, mentor, teacher, neighbor, coach. But many will perhaps remember him for the calm he could bring to a storm, his quiet, unassuming confidence, and his easygoing nature.
Dennis’s photography can be viewed at sundog.smugmug.com.
Memorials may be made in Dennis' honor to UMSL, World Central Kitchen, or Doctors Without Borders.
The McCarthy family requests that any attendees of Dennis' services please wear a mask.