Ormie King: A tribute to Auburn Legend Jeff McCarthy | History

Ormie King Special to The Citizen

Today’s story is a great one and comes to us from my son, Jeffrey King. Thanks, Jeff!

Simon & Garfunkel sang “Bridge over Troubled Water,” which perfectly describes my friend I write about now, Jeff McCarthy. I’m unfortunately limited to 800 words, and I could n’t begin to describe how wonderful a person Jeff was in 3,000 words let alone 800. So to start this article I’m going to share some quotes from Jeff’s family and friends de he.

“When you met Jeff for the first time it was instant friendship, as if you had known him forever… and he never forgot you. He always had a great big hug for you when you would see him and first and foremost he would always ask how you were doing and how was life treating you? And he was sincere when asking it. No matter how many curveballs life threw at him, he never lost his smile from him and always looked to the positive! A kind soul that will always be remembered and so dearly missed.” — Kristin Campbell Ratliff

“Jeff worked for our family for over 25 years at Indelicato’s. Jeff was such a great employee with such a positive attitude, he always showed up on time and with a smile and never complained about anything and always treated customers with a smile and a positive attitude. Even in the later years when Jeff was having health problems and was in discomfort and pain. He never let it show and continued on with the same positive attitude and smile always. He was a pleasure to have as an employee but a privilege to call a friend.” — Lee Indelicato

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“I met Jeff in fifth grade when we started playing CYO basketball. We were matched up in drills, and from that first practice on we became best friends. People often say, ‘He or she was the nicest person I have ever known.’ I can say with all honesty that (Deuce) Jeff was the nicest, kindest person I’ve ever met!” —Doug Short

“Jeff was the baby of the family. I have touched so many people’s lives with his big heart and kindness! The unforgettable stories and times we shared in life live on in my heart forever. He would have made a great mayor with his genuine kindness, honesty and heart. I love and miss him dearly!” — Tom McCarthy







The McCarthy brothers: From left, Tom, Bob, John and Jeff.


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“Our brother Jeff was one of the most compassionate, giving and kindest souls everyone knew. No matter how bad he felt or how bad a day he was having he always had a smile for everyone. If you were having a bad day he could always turn your frown upside down. The amount of friends he had is a true testament to who he was, a very kind soul who is terribly missed by all who knew and loved him!” —John McCarthy

The quotes could go one forever. I met Jeff in the eighth grade, and we became very good friends. As everyone has said here, the common thread we all experienced was Jeff’s kindness and positive attitude from him, always. It used to baffle me how kind and decent he was; I just couldn’t comprehend someone being that genuine. Jeff never cared about money, or what was the latest fad in clothing, or trying to be the cool guy, or doing the so-called cool thing; he cared about doing the right thing, always! He always treated everyone with kindness and generosity and respect and never took to cutting into someone or poking fun at anyone. Never! He was just that special of an individual! Like a majority of friendships, life took us down separate paths in the years to come. We would see each other occasionally and give each other a hug and say let’s meet up for a beer, but those times came few and far between unfortunately. Back in early 2000, I had gone through some dark times and my life was in a pretty dismal place. I hadn’t spoken to Jeff in about nine years up to this point. And out of the blue one day during this dark period, my phone rang and it was Jeff, there with a kind word and to let me know he cared and was always there for me if I needed him, and he meant it. He would have me over to his house from him periodically to check in with me and make sure I was doing OK. He really helped me move forward in life! We lost Jeff on March 13, 2014. I don’t know if I ever took the opportunity to thank him, so I’m thanking him now. Thank you for always being that bridge over troubled water, for me and so many more my friend! You are loved, you are missed and you are REMEMBERED, my friend! God bless! —Jeff King

Thank you, Jeff McCarthy, for being a truly great and much loved Legend of Auburn, New York! We miss you!

Ormie King’s column appears Sundays in The Citizen and he can be reached by email at ormie5king@gmail.com.

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