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PATRICIA HAYES McCARTHY

August 14, 1940 ~ December 28, 2017 (age 77)

Patricia Hayes McCarthy, affectionately known as “Tish,” died of Mesothelioma at her home in New Orleans on December 28, 2017. Born on August 16, 1940 in England, Tish was raised in London’s Chelsea neighborhood, then a community of writers, painters and greengrocers. Her father, Edwin Hayes, was a barrister and served as a Captain with the Royal Air Force. Her mother, Joyce, was a mezzo soprano and performed with the stage name, “Joyce Linley.”

Tish attended Queen’s Gate School for Girls with fellow schoolmates Lynn and Vanessa Redgrave; was presented to the Queen, Her Majesty Elizabeth II at age 17; and, studied art at St. Martins School of Art in London.  In 1961, Tish moved to New York City to work as a commercial artist for Reader’s Digest and lived in Greenwich Village.  

In 1963, Tish traveled to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.  On February 23, she met the love of her life, Richard “Dick” McCarthy III. As Dick put it, “Tish looked just like Julie Andrews, sang most of My Fair Lady, and I was hooked.” On June 23, Tish and Dick got engaged at Pat O’Brien’s, and on December 23, were married.  Together, they raised two children, and four standard poodles.

Tish became famous in New Orleans for her festive, hand-drawn gift enclosure cards that formed the basis of a successful business that is still going strong. For many, a wrapped present is not complete without her “Merry Christmas” card. She used to describe how they become “habit forming.” For several years, she assisted renowned illustrator John Chase. Tish was an avid tennis player, founding member of the New Orleans chapter of the Daughters of the British Empire, and past board member of the LA SPCA.  In recent years, Tish and Dick spent summers in Cedar Creek/Cashiers, NC devoted to croquet.

Tish was known for her warmth, understated British sense of humor, and the gift of the gab.

Tish is survived by her devoted husband, Dick; son and daughter-in-law, Richard McCarthy IV and Bonnie Goldblum of Brooklyn, NY; daughter and son-in-law, Catherine Linley McCarthy and Robert Craig Sumanis of New York City; granddaughter, Beatrix Jane McCarthy; and in England, brother and sister-in-law Robert Lennard Hayes and Betts Hayes; nieces Sophie Hayes, and Charley Vincent and her husband Matt Vincent and children Ella and Jack.

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorials to the Creole Poodle Rescue (P.O. Box 2333, Gonzales, LA 70707) or the Crescent City Farmers Market (200 Broadway, Suite 107); New Orleans, LA 70118). A gathering of piano music and reminiscing will be held on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at the Orleans Club, 5005 St. Charles Avenue at 12noon. Friends may visit at 11:30am or after the program for a reception and light lunch.


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