Michael “Mike” Thomas McGarr, 80, of Wellfleet, MA, died peacefully on February 6, 2019 at Cape Cod Hospital, surrounded by family.
Born in Providence, RI, in 1938, he was the son of the late Joseph Thomas McGarr and Adel Severson McGarr. Mike was survived by his brother Richard J. McGarr and his wife, Suzanne Packer-McGarr of South Yarmouth, MA; his nephew J. Michael McGarr and wife Mary Kay McGarr of Mountain View, CA; his nephew Charles M. McGarr and wife Kristen McGarr of Chantilly, VA; his three beautiful grandnieces Mikaela, Maya and Isabella McGarr; their grandmother Conche McGarr; and his beloved black labrador retriever, Shadow.
Mike was known to his family as “Tata Mike”, which means “father” in Luganda, a language spoken in Uganda, where Mike’s brother lived and worked for many years. Mike grew up in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. He graduated from Cathedral High School in Springfield, MA in 1956, then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in New Mexico. After four years of service, he enrolled in UMass Lowell, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 1964. After graduation, he joined RCA, where his work contributed to components used in America’s missions to the moon. In the intervening years, he worked in a variety of ski and bike shops, and most recently was a staple of the Eastham Ace Hardware store.
Mike always had a sparkle in his eye, a smile for his friends and a hilarious quip for all. He loved life and lived it to the fullest, savoring as many experiences he could, especially if it drew him outdoors. He loved surfing, mountain biking and skiing and did all three late into his life. He loved Wellfleet and the Cape and was humbled and honored to be granted the status of “Wellfleetian”, in the form of a Wellfleet “tail” for his car. His family and friends loved him dearly and will tell stories of him for years to come.
Mike’s family is planning a memorial service sometime this summer, after the “three months of March”.