Patrick "Rick" McCartha, a resident of Safford and a United States Air Force Veteran, peacefully entered into eternal rest Thursday, February 16, 2023 in Tucson after a brief illness. He was 78.
Rick was born October 12, 1944 in Gouverneur, New York, the oldest child born to Patrick and Madeline McCartha. He loved growing up in Gouverneur and was active in the Boy Scouts and Explorers, where he earned the rank of Life Scout and the Order of the Arrow. In 1965 he enlisted in the United States Air Force, where he attained the rank of Sergeant. He was extremely proud of being a member of the 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, S.A.C. and of his Vietnam service. He served three voluntary tours in Vietnam as support staff for the classified U-2 and unmanned reconnaissance missions. He earned a special commendation for combat operations conducted during the Tet offensive.
In 1984 Rick joined the Arizona Department of Corrections. He loved working in corrections and his favorite post was being the Administrative Lieutenant at the Corrections Officer Training Academy in Tucson. He retired as a Security Captain in 1996.
In 1997 he returned to his beloved hometown of Gouverneur, New York. He worked as a school bus driver for Laidlaw Transit and also owned a mobile home park. While living back in New York, he became a life member of the VFW #6338 as well as the Richville New York Volunteer Fire Department. He was also a proud member of the Elks Lodge #2035, Gouverneur, NY and the F&A Masonic Lodge #686, Dover Plains, NY.
Out of all the things he did in his life, what he was the most proud of and gave him the most joy are his children and grandchildren. He was a wonderful father and an even better grand father. He will be dearly missed.
He leaves behind: his son, Shawn Mccartha (Stephanie); his daughter, Kelly McCartha; and his grand children, that he absolutely adored, Patrick, Ashlynn, Ayden, and Emmalin.
A private graveside service for Rick will be conducted at a later date.