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via O’Neill Hayes Funeral Home

Dr. Cheryl Ann (Landry) McCarthy, Professor Emerita, of Middletown, RI passed away peacefully on May 16, 2021 with her daughters by her side after a courageous battle with cancer.

Born on May 8, 1950, in Newport, RI, Cheryl was the daughter of the late Francis Landry and Margaretta Kenney. Her beloved husband, David R. McCarthy, predeceased her. She is survived by daughters Nicole FitzGerald (David) and Dr. Monique McHenry (Dr. Kalev Freeman) and her grandchildren, Julia, Liam, and Abigail FitzGerald, and Marcel and Oceana McHenry. She leaves two sisters, Kathleen Landry (Patrick Zierten), Carol Blanchard (Jim) and three brothers, Francis Landry Jr., Michael (JoAnn) Landry, and Paul Landry as well as nieces and nephews. She also leaves her step-children, Sara Casassa (Robert), Elizabeth Murphy (Josh), Andrew (Maria), Daniel (Tami), Teresa, and Hon. Judith C. McCarthy and their children.

Professor McCarthy was dedicated to her 45-year career in librarianship. She began her career as a K-12 school library media director. She later served the University of Rhode Island for 25 years as a professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies as well as Interim Dean of University Libraries. Cheryl retired from URI in 2016, but her passion for education and learning never waned. She took several courses at Salve Regina University’s Circle of Scholars and URI’s Osher Life-Long Learning. 

Instrumental to the library systems in New England, Cheryl served as President of the New England Library Association and School Librarians of Rhode Island. She was Chair of the RI Coalition of Library Advocates. She was distinguished in the library-science field for her service and leadership with numerous awards and publications.

Although she was dedicated to her career, what she valued most in life was her deep religious faith, her love of family and friends, and her charitable work. Cheryl was a member of the Museum of Newport Irish History and the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians. She travelled extensively on pilgrimages and faith journeys. Her trip to The Holy Land was an especially profound experience as was hiking the Camino de Santiago with her daughter, Monique.

Cheryl believed that her life journey was finding joy in loving others which taught her valuable lessons in humility. She was blessed to do what she loved; and she loved what she did every day. She was grateful for the joy in her life, especially time spent with her grandchildren. Cheryl loved to read with them, play games, travel, go to the beach and watch them play sports. She believed to the end what Timothy said 4:7; “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the Faith.”

The family would like to thank her compassionate medical teams, especially Dr. Jayanthi Parameswaran, Dr. Thomas McMahon, Mass General Brigham Liver Transplant team, Mass General Cancer Center, RI Hospital Cancer Institute and RI Women’s Collaborative.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Friday, May 21 at 11AM at the Portsmouth Abbey Church of St. Gregory the Great, 285 Cory’s Ln, Portsmouth, RI (masks will be required). Burial will be private. 

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Portsmouth Abbey School, 285 Cory’s Ln, Portsmouth, RI 02871; The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, P.O. Box 573, Newport, RI 02840; or the Museum of Newport Irish History, P.O. Box 1378, Newport, RI.

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