January 17, 1958 ~ July 26, 2021

Born in: Brooklyn, New York
Resided in: Torrance, California

LtCol. David M. McCarthy, USMC (Ret.)

David Martin McCarthy was born in Brooklyn on January 17, 1958, to Lydia McCarthy (nee Drago) and Joseph McCarthy. His family moved to a nice suburban house in Valley Stream, Long Island, where he grew up.

David wanted to enlist in the Marine Corps after high school, but out of respect for his father’s wishes he attended C.W. Post College and earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Criminal Justice. After graduation, he became a Police Officer in New York, where he was recognized for his outstanding police work. During this time, he earned a master’s degree in Criminal Justice and then left the police force to accept a Commission in the Marine Corps, where he served in both an active-duty capacity and the reserves for 28 years until retiring. During this time, David served in Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. David received a Bronze Star Medal for his brave actions in Iraq, where he was wounded in action during a rocket attack.

After completing active-duty service, David earned his Juris Doctorate from Fordham University School of Law and passed the New York State Bar. David began his law career as a Public Finance Attorney for a Wall Street law firm, where he worked for four years until being recruited by a large downtown Los Angeles law firm. The move to California allowed him to be with his son, Joseph Daniel McCarthy, from a prior marriage. Joseph is married to Shanee McCarthy (nee Cohen), and they have two daughters, Michal (16 months old) and Avigail (three months old).

David left private law practice to become a Deputy City Attorney/Prosecutor and married Carey Elliott and together they raised twin sons, Connor Elliott McCarthy and Trevor Elliott McCarthy (21 years old). Connor is attending Loyola Marymount University pursuing a master’s degree in Education, and Trevor is attending UCLA pursuing pre-med. David served as Deputy City Attorney/Prosecutor for 15 years until he accepted an early retirement. To be near his dying Mother, he accepted a position as the Chief Legal Instructor for the Federal Police Academy at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, where he served for five years before returning to Public Finance Law, which he practiced for 2 years until retiring.

David shared that second to marrying Carey and raising three fine, patriotic gentlemen, his next proudest achievements were supporting the Boy Scouts, including serving as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 713. He also gave generously of his time to serve as an Usher and Eucharistic minister for American Martyrs Catholic Church and Little Company of Mary Hospital. In addition, David volunteered with UCLA Medical Center’s “Operation Mend” helping wounded warriors and he sat on the Boards of Directors of several 501(c)(3) charities, including “Disabled Veteran’s Charities” and “Always a Mom Foundation.”

Befitting a Marine who served his country with distinction, David will be buried at Miramar National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of Lt Col McCarthy’s favorite organizations:
American Martyrs Church
Disabled Veterans Charities
Operation Mend for Wounded Warriors


Service: August 10, 2021 10:00 am

American Martyrs Catholic Church
624 15th Street
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

(310) 545-5651

Reception: August 10, 2021 11:00 am - August 10, 2021 1:00 pm

American Martyrs Catholic Church
624 15th Street
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

(310) 545-5651

Graveside Service: August 11, 2021 11:15 am

Miramar National Cemetery
5795 Noble Drive
San Diego, CA 92122

(858) 658-7360

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  1. candle 4I served in the Marine Corps with Dave in the early 80’s. He made quite an impression with all of those that served with him. He will never be forgotten, Semper Fi sir, rest in peace..

  2. There are a number of phrases that are used too frequently these days, “An America Hero” and, “A great American” are two such phrases, to describe many individuals. And through its over usage, has lost much of its true meaning. However, that is most certainly not the case when describing Dave McCarthy. Having known Dave since our service in OPERATION DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM, I can attest that both phrases would, in this instance, be a gross understatement of the character of a friend that I have loss.

    I am having difficulty understanding a world without Dave McCarthy in it. What a sad and tragic loss of a great human being.

  3. candle 4Dave was my friend and hero. I have known Dave from our days at C.W. Post College. During that time in school, I remember him as one of the toughest, but kindest people I have ever met. We had a lot of laughs during our time at Post. We stayed in touch throughout his deployments overseas. I had my students send items he needed to share with his friends.
    I will remember the last time i saw him it was whn he drove from Tampa to Disney and he gave my son a flash lite which he kept until it finally broke after many uses. Dave always asked about family and how much he loved his family. We will miss him but Memeories live on and sufferring ends.
    I love you Mac, See you on the other side
    Remember God Bless America and God Bless Lt. Col. David M McCarthy USMC

  4. I had the honor of serving with Big Dave at USCENTCOM/JSD. He always praised the Corps and displayed the pride he had in his boys. We are all greatly saddened by the passing of our friend an brother. ““Fair Winds and Following Seas.”
    God Bless

    • Hello Dale,

      Carey McCarthy and I thank you for your beautiful tribute.

      I’m one of Dave’s friends and am writing a book to honor his legacy. He was such an extraordinary person and loved by many. Would you be willing to talk to me? I’m looking for a story about how you met, or an anecdote of some kind. We could chat by phone or email or in person, any way you prefer. I’d really be grateful for any input you could offer.
      With thanks and best wishes,
      Sandra Pearlmutter

  5. I am saddened to read about Dave’s passing. He and I were friends at Post. We were going together to enlist in the Marine Corps, but I decided to join the army later on. He was larger than life, even in college. We connected a few years ago and conversed. We told each other our stories and war stories, and it was nice. May he rest in peace in the great hall with other heroes.

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