Salisbury mourns loss of ‘solid community guy’ Jerry McGinty

When Mary McGinty talks about her husband, it’s with the happiness of 56 years of marriage, making warm memories and raising six children.

“My sweet, sweet Jer,” she said, about Jerry McGinty, who died Feb. 13 from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease. He was 80.

A memorial Mass will be Saturday at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church.

“He was awesome. You know how we lived? We lived by love notes. Not too long ago, I found this note that he wrote to me. ‘Without you I would not be. You are my wife, my best friend … Hopefully I/we will be around many more years.’ I found it in a whole drawer full of cards he gave me,” Mrs. McGinty said.


Their family of five boys and one girl – Jerry, Kevin, Molly, Marty, Brian and Gavin — expanded to  11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild, all who dearly loved McGinty.

A buyer for Hess Apparel for 25 years, he was often away on buying trips for several days, but made time to attend the children’s games, and all of them were athletic.

As they grew into adults, he guided and advised them, helping son Kevin start McGinty Marine in Ocean City, son Brian open a beer business in southern Maryland and, later, Celtic Insurance with the youngest boy, Gavin.

Jerry Jr. is in the wrestling hall of fame at Salisbury University. Gavin was a state wrestling champion, their mother said. Molly’s daughter, Molly Elizabeth, is on SU’s softball team and grandson Jerry III wrestles at the air force academy.

“They are all great,” Mrs. McGinty said.

“Oh, my gosh, Jerry was a good father. One day he was in New York on a buying trip and he took a train to New Jersey just to see our son Jerry wrestle,” she said.

Natives of Wilkes Barre, Pa., the couple lived in several locations, including New York, Connecticut and Maine. In Salisbury, McGinty was involved with Wolverine Youth Wrestling and his church.

Soon after he died, friends called, some sobbing, all praising him. “That man did so much for me,” one said.

“I just love you guys,” another her.

Salisbury’s Mike Dunn was friends with the McGintys from childhood.

“For somebody like me and many, many others, the McGinty family was like a second family to a lot of us. The McGintys  were like second parents. When you’ve got so many kids you can image how many kids ended up at the McGinty house. It was a larger-than-life family, generous, happy. I don’t even think you had to knock on the door when you went there,” Dunn said.

The children grew into successful adults, their mother said.

Jerry Jr. has a doctorate in physical therapy. Kevin has a business in Key West, Molly is a physical therapist, Marty is a trainer and teaches and Brian and Gavin own the insurance company.

“He helped them all. My husband wasn’t a headline maker, but he was a solid community guy,” his wife said.

“And he was just wonderful.”

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