Paul F. McCarthy, 63, died of natural causes on August 23, 2016 in Captiva, Florida. Paul was an acclaimed business leader, attorney, environmentalist and world traveler. He is survived by his mother, Eleanor McCarthy of Hingham, MA, siblings Michael (Maryellen) McCarthy of Hingham, MA, Maureen (Jack) Ghublikian of New Seabury, MA and Jack (Cathy) McCarthy of Sudbury, MA, as well as 9 nieces and nephews and 9 grand nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind his close-knit family at Captiva Cruises along with many devoted friends around the world who counted him as family.
Born and raised in Boston, Paul graduated from St. Gregory’s Grammar School and the Boston Latin School, earned an undergraduate degree from Stonehill College as well as an MBA and law degree from the University of Notre Dame, and a Masters of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Originally a corporate attorney at Sidley & Austin in Chicago, a career change into the boat and tourism business inspired the first architectural tours of Chicago from the water. Launching Chicago from the Lake, Paul embraced the boating, special events and hospitality business full-time. Winter weather led him to Florida, where he founded Captiva Cruises in 1986 to craft excursions to the nearby waterways and barrier islands. In 1991, Paul moved to Captiva full time, built McCarthy’s Marina and became a leader in the community, serving on the boards of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce, the Captiva Island Historical Society, and the Captiva Civic Association. Paul has left a rich and full legacy of stewardship and ecotourism embodied in Captiva Cruises to respect and appreciate the natural beauty of Southwest Florida. In 2013, he was honored as the Business Person of the year by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce. In 2014, he received the Junonia Award and the Chrysalis Award for Eco-Innovation in 2016. Both are prestigious awards sponsored by the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau and the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce.
Paul had many varied interests and experiences, including six months service in the White House as Executive Director of the “America’s Millennium” initiative, culminating in the nation’s New Year’s Y2K Millennium celebration. He also served as Executive Director of Earth Day 2000 at the United Nations in New York. He recently completed a highly successful term as Commodore of the Captiva Island Yacht Club, where he led many excursions, including visits to the America’s Cup in San Francisco as well as Newport, RI and Havana, Cuba. Paul enjoyed skiing in Telluride and vacations on Martha’s Vineyard.
Paul had a generous spirit and a zest for life. He loved to share his laughter and passion with everyone who touched his life.
Visiting hours Friday, September 9 at Dolan Funeral Home, 460 Granite Avenue, EAST MILTON SQUARE 4-8 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 AM Saturday, September 10 at St. Gregory Parish Church, 2223 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester, MA.
A celebration of Paul’s life will also be held in Captiva, FL in early December; details will be forthcoming.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, the Captiva Island Historical Society, the Barbara Sumwalt Museum and the Epilepsy Foundation.