Obituary: John L. McCauley Jr.

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PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — John L. McCauley Jr. passed away the the morning of June 20th, 2017, after a brief illness surrounded with his loving family. He lived a beautiful life full of family, friendship, and love.

John was born in Providence, RI on June 4th 1931, the son of John and Helen McCauley at 66 Miller Avenue in Providence.

John is survived by his wife of 58 years Geraldine M. McCauley (Cooke) of Newport, RI. Next to his deep abiding faith in God, He adored his beloved wife, Gerry. They shared a life together that exemplified true love and commitment to each other. John often claimed he was the “luckiest guy in the world.”

He is also survived by his six children and their spouses: sons John III (Andrea) of Stamford, CT, William(Lynne) of Hingham, MA, Michael (Sheilah) of Concord, MA, and Richard of Tyngsboro MA. and his daughters Christine Carr (Christopher) of Concord, MA and Kathryn Johnson (Robert) of Hingham, MA.

John was additionally blessed with 15 grandchildren: Bryan, Brittany, John IVth (Jake), Madelynne, Courtney, Richard, Matthew, Will, Patrick, Cole, Peter, Gretchen, Thomas, Emily and Caroline.

John leaves a sister, Mary Sajben (Mike) of Chico, CA and hisbrother Robert McCauley (Susan) of Narragansett, RI along with dozens of nieces and nephews, all whom he cherished.

John grew up in South Providence right across the street from Rogers Williams Park. He attended St. Michael’s School and was active in St Michael’s Parish. He attended La Salle Academy and was a standout athlete in Football, Basketball, Baseball and Track.

He led La Salle Football team to the state championship in 1948 and earned a football scholarship to Boston College, where he became a loyal, lifelong Eagle upon graduation in June 1953. John loved the schools he attended and the close relationships he formed with all his coaches and teammates.

Through football, John discovered his passion for coaching. He began teaching and coaching football at St. Bernard’s in Fitchburg, MA from 1953-1958.

He earned his Masters Degree in Education from nearby Fitchburg State. Later, he took a coaching and teaching position at Dedham High School in Dedham MA from 1958-1962 before accepting a position to coach football at Boston College (1962 -1967). John went on to coach football at West Point (1967-1973) under Tom Cahill.

John returned to Rhode Island as Portsmouth Abbey School’s Athletic Director and coaching football and baseball. During his time at Portsmouth Abbey (1974-1988), John reinvigorated the school’s athletic program enhancing its facilities and capabilities.

He played a key role in developing the Alumni Development department. John loved mentoring young athletes to discover and develop both their athletic as well as their personal abilities.

He was a man of character and was a great example providing lifelong encouragement for others in all aspects of their lives. He cherished the many deep and enduring friendships made throughout the course of his life.

John was a consummate family man who gave completely of himself to his wife, family and friends. Recently, he humbly reflected that “of all the great things in life, family is without a doubt the greatest”. He will be greatly missed.

John will be waked at Connors Funeral Home at 55 West Main Rd in Portsmouth, RI on Friday, June 23rd from 4-8 PM. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at the Abbey Church of St. Gregory the Great on Saturday June 24th at 9:00 AM at the Portsmouth Abbey School.

There will be a reception immediately following Mass in the Winter Garden at Portsmouth Abbey School before proceeding for internment at noon at St. Ann’s Catholic Cemetery in Cranston, RI.

The family respectfully requests that in lieu of flowers, kindly make a donation to the John L. McCauley Scholarship Fund@Portsmouth Abbey School, Portsmouth, RI.

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