With deep sorrow, we announce that Dennis McCarthy passed away on December 22, 2020 at the age of 87. Dennis is survived by his children Maura McCarthy (Harry Doering), Jim (Brigette) McCarthy, Tim McCarthy (Susie Dureau), and Shannon (Kevin) Algajer; and his nine grandchildren: Riley, Eric, Kyra, Bryn, Sarah, Cooper, Naomi, Max, and Marlow. He is predeceased by his parents James and Mabel McCarthy, and his sisters Marilyn Dewdney and Eleanor Conradson.
Dennis was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on August 24, 1933, where he spent his early years growing up on the family farm. The family eventually moved to town, where he played on every team and graduated from Central Collegiate high school. He then attended the University of Saskatchewan, where he thoroughly enjoyed the social life and playing varsity basketball for the Huskies. Many life-long and treasured friendships were forged in these years. Among all the fun, he earned a Civil Engineering degree in 1959.
Dennis’s biggest accomplishment and source of pride was his family. He grew up in a tight-knit family, and then created one of his own. He married Margo Draper in 1965, and they had four children in quick succession. In 1967 they bought a red rancher on the ravine in the Gold Bar neighborhood, which remained the family home for over 40 years. Margo and the children also spent the summers at their cottage on Pigeon Lake, where Dennis would join them on weekends – cheerfully driving the boat for two solid days so the kids could water-ski. He led by example, showing us all that a life well lived requires love of family, loyal friendships, hard work, humility, humour, resilience, generosity, and a lot of laughter.
As for his remarkable career, Dennis went to work for Ben Torchinsky two days after graduation and retired 42 years later after a remarkable career with AGRA Inc. He started in a one-man office in Winnipeg, then moved to Edmonton in 1961 to lead Western Caissons, the piling and foundations division that was responsible for anchoring many of the high-rise buildings in Edmonton and Calgary. He eventually became president of AGRA Construction, with offices across Canada and the US, as well as Hong Kong, China, Kuala Lumpur, and England. At the time of his retirement, he was a Vice-President of AGRA Inc., one of Canada’s largest engineering firms. He also served as Chairman of the Alberta Construction Association and was a board member of the Canadian Construction Association.
For the past 20 years, he found constant joy in his grandchildren and fostered his love-hate relationship with golf. He spent his winters in Palm Desert, where he made new friends and hosted many of his Canadian ones. He will be greatly missed as a loving, generous father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. His booming laugh and welcoming smile will always be remembered.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later time. The family hopes you will start to compile your favourite stories and memories, in order to share them with us when we are able to gather safely and pay our respects to a man who has meant so much, to so many.
Dennis donated generously to many charities, but two of his favourites were the Salvation Army and The Mustard Seed. In lieu of flowers we invite you to donate to one of these organizations, or any other charity close to your heart.
Serenity Funeral Service – South Edmonton, (780)450-0101