An Obituary: John M. McGettrick

September 22, 2023

John Michael McGettrick, 86, came into this world on a wintry New Year’s Day with a smile on his face and a quick-witted, good-natured sarcasm in his soul. Eighty-six years later on Sept. 19, 2023, he left it a better and happier place, not only for his family and friends, but for anyone who crossed his path.

Born Jan. 1, 1937 to Patrick and Mary (Brady) McGettrick, he grew up happily together with his older brother, James, and younger sister, Ann, in the Lower Mills section of Dorchester on the middle floor of a triple decker that shadowed the Ashmont trolley tracks.

An avid learner, John began his education at St. Gregory’s Elementary School in Dorchester before he moved on to Don Bosco High School (Class of 1955), where he played basketball all four years as well as Park League baseball in town.

After graduation, John went on to receive an Associate Degree in engineering from Wentworth Institute before enlisting in the United States Air Force, where he served, receiving a Certificate Award for Meritorious Achievement during the period of the Berlin Crisis (1961-1962). Following his active duty, John also spent several years serving in the National Guard.

Upon his return to civilian life, he continued his education, earning a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from Northeastern University.

John M. McGettrick

Early in his professional career, John was a talented contractor, building homes throughout the Greater Boston area while also beginning a lengthy career as a mechanical engineer at Raytheon. During his time there, John led and worked on many teams that designed military hardware for the U.S. Armed Forces and it brought him on travels all over the world, including Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt and all throughout Europe until his retirement in 1994.

Upon retirement, John and his wife, Carleen, lived the good life – shuffling between their homes in Bedford and Dennisport (as well as many winters in Marco Island, FL) – with the main goal of spending as much time on or near the beach as possible.

John was an avid Boston sports fan and loved spending his time sharing a cold one or a glass of jug wine with family and friends, cheering on, and often booing, all of the Boston teams – especially the Celtics and Red Sox.

The beloved husband of Carleen McGettrick of Bedford, and son of the late Patrick and Mary (Brady) McGettrick, originally from Co. Sligo, Ireland; he is predeceased by his brother James of Milton and is survived by his devoted children – Brian and his long-time partner MaryAnn Solis of Littleton, Terrianne and her husband Michael Arpin of Andover, Tracey and her husband Chris Meech of Andover, Stephen and his wife Sheryl of Plymouth, stepdaughters Kim Taylor and her husband Mike Foley of Grafton, Pam Taylor and her late husband Ross Kiener of Killington, VT, and his sister Ann Donoghue and her husband James of Hyde Park, as well as numerous extended and loved family members and friends.

Additionally, John is survived by his seven grandchildren – Patrick, Owen, Ashley, Meghan, Evan, Jason and Abby, who will miss him dearly, along with his silly sense of humor and boisterous laugh.

Family and friends are invited to remember John’s life and share stories from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023 at Bedford Funeral Home, 167 The Great Road, Bedford. A brief service will immediately follow.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Cure Alzheimer’s, 34 Washington St., Suite 310, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481 or at

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