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Obituary: Lawrence M. McCartin, M.D., 87

Aug 14, 2015 02:22AM ● By Bill Gilman

Lawrence M. McCartin, M.D.,

Lawrence M. McCartin, M.D., a physician, former public health official, and a life-long resident of the Belvidere section of Lowell, who ran a busy medical practice in the Merrimack Valley for 60 years, passed away peacefully in the cardiac care unit of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston surrounded by members of his family on August 5th. He was 87.

He was the loving husband of the late Mary Joy (O'Dea) McCartin with whom he celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary in 2010. She passed away later that year.

Born into a well-known family in Lowell on August 15, 1927, the twelfth of thirteen children of the late Frank P. and the late Margaret (Walsh) McCartin, Lawrence Michael McCartin was a 1947 graduate of Keith Academy in Lowell. After initially following three older brothers into seminary studies at Holy Angels Collegiate Institute in Buffalo, NY for two years, he attended Boston College prior to earning his M.D. degree at Tufts University School of Medicine in 1953.

A veteran of the Korean War, Dr. McCartin served as a Captain in the Army Medical Corps.

In 2011, Saints Memorial Hospital in Lowell recognized Dr. McCartin as the longest serving member of their physician staff in the history of the hospital, which was founded in 1867. In addition to his general surgery and primary care practice, where his diagnostic skills were highly regarded, Dr. McCartin served his native City of Lowell as Director of the Board of Health for 25 years. He was also the Middlesex County Medical Examiner for 25 years, managed the health clinic at the Billerica House of Correction for five years, and provided the Faulkner Mill in Billerica their health services for many years.

During his long career, constantly motivated by a passion for continuing education in his profession, Dr. McCartin delivered over 5,000 babies including three generations of several families. Together with his wife of 59 years, Mary Joy, he co-founded the charitable group American Medical Aid to Children Overseas, an organization that twice a year delivered medical and surgical services and supplies to orphanages overseas. Dr. and Mrs. McCartin frequently played host to orphans they brought to the United States for surgical care and rehabilitation not available in their own countries.

After 60 years of practice in 2013, Dr. McCartin retired from medicine on his 85th birthday.

Dr. McCartin spent his rare free time in summer on Cape Cod at Oyster Harbors in Osterville and at LaJoie Farm in Sandwich; and he was a part-time winter resident of Jackson, New Hampshire and Palm Beach, Florida. His homes in New England and Florida were always full of family, friends, acquaintances and other guests who sometimes needed a safe haven. Over the years, they would find company with a menagerie of animals the doctor assembled including horses, Shetland ponies, poodles, a cocker spaniel, lambs, rabbits, exotic parrots and a spider monkey. He had an impressive hat collection.

He had many varied interests that could lead to challenging adventures. An optimistic fisherman who persevered through eight years without catching anything, he still very much enjoyed the search; an accomplished equestrian whose enthusiasm was not dampened by several broken ribs over the years; a yachtsman with multiple boats on which he or Joy or their two children, Kathleen and Michael, hosted their happy crews; an expert skier who loved to race the White Mountains and the Swiss Alps; a talented musician who could play practically any instrument and privately jammed with some jazz greats. He was also an intrepid private pilot with only one license suspension on his flight record, earned by flying under the Sagamore Bridge on his way to Cape Cod. He narrowly escaped a second suspension after being investigated for buzzing his brother-in-law's Hyannis Port home at near-treetop level, which in the early 1960s was adjacent to President Kennedy's Summer White House.

Dr. McCartin was a communicant of the Immaculate Conception Church in Lowell, of Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Osterville, and of St. Edward's Church in Palm Beach. He was a member of the Oyster Harbors Club, the American College of Surgeons, the American Medical Association and the Massachusetts Medical Society; and a past member of the Corinthian Yacht Club, the Wianno Yacht Club, the Flotilla Club of Palm Beach, the Power Yacht Squadron, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the Vesper Country Club.

He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law Kathleen C. and Dr. William E. Evans, Jr. of Exeter, NH; his son and daughter-in-law Michael T. and Nancy A. McCartin of Lexington, MA; his grandsons William E. Evans, III of Palo Alto, CA, Nicholas L. Evans of Portsmouth, NH and Michael T. McCartin, Jr. of Lexington, MA; his granddaughter Katherine Joy McCartin of Lexington, MA; his brother and sister-in-law Norbert T. and Patricia McCartin of Lowell, MA; his sisters-in-law Gloria McCartin of Irvine, CA, Francis McCartin of Lowell, B.J. McCartin of Asheville, NC, Mary Ann McCartin of Osterville, MA, Patricia O. Currie of Palm Beach, FL; and sister and brother-in-law Donna T. and Attorney John L. Connell, Jr. of Westford, MA; as well as many nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

Dr. McCartin was the brother of the late Rev. Frank P. McCartin, Rev. Joseph T. McCartin, William T. McCartin, John P. McCartin, Paul C. McCartin and Philip C. McCartin; his late sister Mary A. McCartin; and late siblings and their spouses James J. and Margaret McCartin, Robert A. and Jeanne McCartin, Margaret M. and Edward Teague, and Ann E. and David Loughran. Dr. McCartin was also predeceased by his sister-in-law Gail O'Dea Sayers in 2003.

 Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Funeral Mass which will be celebrated on August 13, 2015 at the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CHURCH (Lower Church) in Lowell at 11:00 o'clock. E-condolences/directions at Those wishing may make contributions in Dr. McCartin's memory to the Immaculate Conception Church Building Fund, 3 Fayette Street, Lowell, MA 01852. Arrangements by the O'DONNELL FUNERAL HOME (978 or 866) 458-8768..
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