Cherry Blossoms

Alice Ethel McCarthy

April 4, 2021


Alice Ethel McCarthy, age 97, formerly of 14911 Monastery Road Peosta, Iowa passed away on Easter Sunday April 4, 2021 in Acworth, Georgia. She had just celebrated her birthday three days earlier with her family.

Family and friends may gather from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Friday, June 4th, 2021 at Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory, 2595 Rockdale Road where services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Burial will be at Holy Family Catholic Church Cemetery, New Melleray in Peosta.

Ethel was born on April 1, 1924 in Wales, United Kingdom to Ernest and Frances (Everett) Jones.

During World War II she had the rare and golden opportunity to meet a very handsome Army soldier from Bernard, Iowa. And so, they fell in love and he promised her if she married him and moved to America, he would take her to his ranch. The ranch later became known as his father’s farm, the John and Mary Ann (Molony) McCarthy farm on Prairie Creek Road in Bernard.

Ethel and Justin were married in Wales February 26, 1945 and were together for 58 years until his death on April 13, 2003.

Their first daughter Kathleen was born in Wales. So then the journey of 1946 began for our Iowa War Bride. Ethel was a very brave young woman at the age of 22. Imagine leaving your entire family and crossing the Atlantic Ocean alone on a ship for 10 days in rough waters with a one-year-old baby. When she arrived in New York the trains were on strike. Justin did not have the funds to fly her to Iowa and the New Melleray Monastery came to his rescue. She arrived in Bernard to suddenly realize how many people lived in the farmhouse. She left her family and quickly Justin’s siblings took her in with open arms and became her new American family. During the time they lived at the farm they had 2 more daughters, Christine and Deborah. Ethel decided she needed her own house and so Justin built her a home on the Monastery Road. Then they had one more daughter, Mollie. Ethel resided in the family home for 60 years. In 2015 she moved to Georgia so her daughters could help her.

After raising her four daughters, Ethel went to work at Cascade High School as a cook in the kitchen from 1977-1997. She maintained her friendship with co-workers and students all throughout the years.

Ethel’s additional exceptional achievement was raising her two grandchildren Tracey and Tom Kubik after their young mother passed away suddenly in 1980. Ethel was a person who just kept going and never gave up even in the most challenging times.

She was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church since 1946 and now will finally come to rest there with Justin and Kathleen.

Ethel had many favorite things. She was a big Iowa Hawkeyes and Cubs fan, loved euchre, dessert, going to the beach in Florida, traveling to the Colorado mountains to visit Mollie, her special birthday on April Fools Day, drinking tea from a proper china teacup and of course Queen Elizabeth. She also had a very strong bond with her son-in-law Dale who was so very good to her.

Those left to honor Ethel’s memory include daughters Christine Rahn (Roger Nelson) of Georgia, Debby (Dale) Andersen of Georgia and Mollie McCarthy (Scott Thomas) of Colorado.

Grandchildren include Tracey Kubik Bartoletta (Travis Kuntz) of Illinois, Robbie (Christy) Rahn of Georgia, Tom Kubik of Georgia, Julie (Bobby) Crawley of Georgia and David (Kathrin) Rahn of California.

Great Grandchildren include Madison and Brandon Crawley of Georgia, Sofia and Jack Bartoletta of Illinois and Justin Rahn of Georgia.

Sisters-in-law include Mary Miller and Donna (Ken) Kutsch of Dubuque, Iowa.

Ethel is also survived by many beloved nieces and nephews in Iowa, Wales and Australia.

She was preceded in death by her parents and Justin’s parents, husband Justin McCarthy, a daughter Kathleen McCarthy Kubik (Ken) and siblings Ernest (Elsie) Jones, Eileen (Vernon) Beale, Courtney (Joan) Jones all of Wales.

Siblings-in-law include Ralph (Loretta) McCarthy, Marge (Phil) McDonald, Eleanor (Walt) Burds, James McCarthy, John McCarthy, Geraldine McCarthy and Joe Miller.

We are so very proud of our mother and her courage to keep going all these years. There was only one Ethel and she will never be forgotten! We are thankful for all our family, neighbors and friends in Iowa, Georgia, Wales and Australia for all the kindness they have shown Ethel over the years.

Condolences may be sent to 139 Ridgeview Trail SE, Cartersville, GA 30120. Memorials may be extended directly to Holy Family Catholic Church 10204 Key West Dr. Dubuque, IA 52003.

The family is being assisted by Georgia Funeral Care and Cremation Services Acworth, Ga and Leonard Funeral Home and Crematory, Dubuque, Iowa.

To send sympathy gifts to the family or plant a tree in memory of Alice Ethel McCarthy, please visit our tribute store.


June 4, 2021

9:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory
2595 Rockdale Road
Dubuque, IA 52003

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