Obituary: Daniel J. McNamara, 93

July 13, 1927 ~ March 29, 2021

He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

He is remembered by his eight grandchildren as a brilliant storyteller who remembered every detail, name, and date to a tee. His stories ranged from memories of his days growing up in Somerville, MA (when his dog, Rover 2, would independently walk him to and from school) and classic stories about raising his own children, such as when one of his sons (name withheld for their protection) threw the other’s favorite stuffed toy out the window of the car on the highway, to tales of American history and descriptions of his extensive, Irish family tree.

If there was a topic he wasn’t abundantly knowledgeable about, they never found it. His grandchildren will also fondly remember his impeccable wardrobe: at last count 67 pairs of slacks and one navy blue jacket that saw all four seasons of New England weather but was, of course, kept in perfect condition.

His grandchildren will sorely miss his company at every family gathering. They will miss seeing him enjoy a huge “Grampa-sized” serving of dessert and will continue to laugh about the time he served turducken instead of turkey on Thanksgiving.

His grandchildren will continue to cherish the endless memories of weeks spent with their grandparents at Hampton Beach: waiting up late for pizza, celebrating birthdays, sneaking Pop-Tarts from their grandparents’ kitchen, and watching Grampa beat everyone in Scrabble by playing obscure words nobody else knew.

His grandchildren will also forever remember the instances when he defended their sub-optimal behavior. He was the first to stick up for his grandchildren – no matter who the guilty party was! Whether it was incidents of ding-dong ditching neighbors, an alleged throwing of vegetables off the condo balcony, or supposedly splashing strangers, Grampa would not tolerate anyone’s suggestion that his grandchildren were anything but perfect.

He was the first man to introduce his grandchildren to fashion, pina-coladas (different colored solo-cups), dalmatians, bucket hats, and riding waves. He kept the house and beach apartment filled with candy, Goldfish Crackers, Pop-Tarts, Coca Cola (albeit Diet), and many other treats which he knew we would love and was always the first to sneak us some when no parents were watching.

His conversations will be missed the most. It didn’t matter the topic; it could be historic events, different ideologies, education, politics, life, or even a conversation as random as including Monterey, CA (where when mentioned by his grandson, he knew more about the history of the town than his grandson’s friend who actually lived there). That was Grampa, the most informed man in every room he was in and always the most modest.

Some of the additional things that his family will remember him for are that he was first and foremost a proud and committed patriarch – family above all else.  He was known to greet his beloved grandchildren with “What d’ya say?” and a smile. He was also a proud BC alumni –high school & college. He loved football. He enjoyed the BC games as much as, if not more than, the Patriots games. He was a first-generation Irish-American, who instilled the love of St. Patrick’s Day in his family. Being a voracious reader and historian, he also instilled the love of reading and continuous learning in his family. Further, he passed on his deep abiding love of the ocean, wave riding, and stone skipping on the waves. He graced us all with nothing but happy memories.

He knew and instilled in all of us that family comes first, beyond all other things. He taught all of his family so much in life, which helped make us who we are, and we will never forget these lessons or the man who inspired us all to be great, just like him.                                                                                      

At the request of the family, all services are being privately held. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Daniel’s name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1905

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