Patricia C. McCarthy, executive assistant

August 16, 2011

Patricia C. McCarthy, 79, an executive assistant at several Washington area colleges, died of lung cancer July 28 at her son’s home in Arlington County. She was an Ashburn resident.

Mrs. McCarthy was an executive assistant for a bank in Ridgefield, Conn., before settling in the Washington area in 1979.

She then worked as an executive assistant for George Washington University and the old Georgetown University dental school in the 1980s. In the early 1990s, she worked for Mount Vernon College for Women, which later merged with George Washington University.

Patricia Catherine McNeill was born in Port Chester, N.Y.

Her hobbies included watercolor painting, tennis and water aerobics.

Her marriage to Richard L. McCarthy ended in divorce.

Survivors include two children, Mary Ann Yancey of Falls Church and Richard J. McCarthy of Arlington; and three grandsons.

Adam Bernstein has spent his career putting the "post" in Washington Post, first as an obituary writer and then as editor. The American Society of Newspaper Editors recognized Bernstein’s ability to exhume “the small details and anecdotes that get at the essence of the person” and to write stories that are “complex yet stylish.”