Obituary of Margaret "Maggie" (Kirby) McCarthy
Chandler, AZ – Margaret “Maggie” (Kirby) McCarthy, age 69, passed away peacefully at her home on January 15, 2024, from a short battle with cancer. Maggie was born in St. Louis, MO and graduated from Clayton High School. She started college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated from NAU with a degree in Journalism. It was in Flagstaff where she would meet and marry the love of her life, her husband of 42 years, Michael McCarthy.
From grade school to early college, Maggie played piano, danced, and skated in free dance. She participated in many recitals, plays, dance and skating competitions. Being this competitive, it’s no wonder she was co-captain of her High School Powder Puff football team. That year she was also one of the candidates for Homecoming Queen with two of her cohort’s, Dani and Janet. She was proud to get her broadcasting license for the radio stations at her high school and early college.
Maggie was instrumental in creating the original reservation database at America West Airlines, being very proud of her manager ID number of 004. She later continued her work with revenue, reservations, and training in the hospitality industry. She loved the people she worked with and always tried to find the right position that would fit each one. She was so proud of her “kids.”
Maggie had a love of travel, from going to skate camps at a young age to traveling the country and the world for her job. She especially enjoyed her adventures with two of her best friends, Janice and Lisette, in the infamous “Wanda.” When she and Mike had their boat, being the Entertainment Director was a job she relished. Maggie and Mike would especially love traveling the states of Arizona, Utah, and Colorado looking for “vistas.” She made the best co-pilot one could ask for. When asked what her favorite place was that she had visited, she would answer Utah. Arches National Park, the north rim of the Grand Canyon, and Lake Powell were some of her most enjoyable trips. Maggie had a great love of music, from Motown to the Grateful Dead and much more. “Help on the Way/Slipknot” being one of her favorite songs.
Maggie was well liked by many people over the years: people she knew from an early age in school (Bobby), people she worked with across the country, her friends from the neighborhoods and local watering holes, our family and her favorite niece and nephew, Sandy and Sean. She loved and cherished each and every one of them. There are too many to name, but Maggie would always know who they were and how special each one was. Maggie will always be remembered as a strong, beautiful, and confident woman. She would not only stand up for herself but for anyone she considered a friend.
Maggie and Mike would like to give a special thanks to all the wonderful people who were present during her short time in hospice. Maggie was treated with dignity and grace in her final days. One of her final wishes was to be at home. This could not have been done without the assistance of the hospice staff and our wonderful friend, Wendy.
A celebration of life will be decided on at a later date. Donations in lieu of flowers can be sent to either: The Hopi Tribal Council, c/o Hopi Tribal Secretary Office, P.O. Box 123, Kykotsmovi, AZ 85039, Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014, or, of course any charity of your choice. And Maggie would never say no if you wanted to plant a tree in her name.
In this time when we are all hurting from the loss of Maggie, please share any stories or moments that represent how much she meant to you. One of mine is her connection with the moon. She didn’t hesitate looking at the moon and giving it, either quietly or at full volume, a howl. It was a way to connect with loved ones, past and present. Give it a try!