Retired U. S. Government Executive & Civic Leader
WEBSTER – John J. McNally Jr., 88, of Webster died November 21, 2018 in UMass/Memorial Medical Center on Belmont Street with family at his side. His wife of 41 years, Irene M. (Kokocinski) McNally, died in 2002.
He is survived by 5 sons, Army COL (Ret.) John J. McNally III and his wife Barbara of Norfolk, VA, Stephen A. McNally and his wife Janine of Joplin, Missouri, David P. McNally and his wife Joy of Locust Grove, VA, Robert W. McNally and his wife Alice of Walkersville, MD, and Thomas P. McNally and his wife Connie of Webster; a daughter, Mary M. McFadden and her husband Mike of Upper Marlboro, MD; 19 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; a sister, Ann Foley of Murrieta, CA; and nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his brother Edwin McNally and by his sister Betsy Carpenter.
He was born and raised in Worcester, the oldest child of John J. McNally Sr. and Gertrude (MacDonald) McNally. He graduated from Saint John’s Preparatory School in Shrewsbury and studied at the seminary of the Holy Cross Fathers in Notre Dame, IN. He later completed advanced courses at Northeastern University and at Becker College. He moved to Webster at the time of his marriage, and also lived in Silver Spring, MD from 1961 to 1965 and in Hilton Head, SC from 1991 to 2008.
He served in the United States Army in the late 1940’s.
Mr. McNally was active in business and civic affairs all his life. He was the President and Treasurer of Webster Enterprises, Inc., a distributor of heating supplies.
In 1959, the then US Senator John F. Kennedy appointed Mr. McNally as his Assistant Press Secretary. Following President Kennedy’s election in 1960, Mr. McNally became Staff Assistant to the President. He was responsible for public relations, the scheduling and planning of all presidential travel both foreign and domestic, and the administrative and fiscal affairs of the White House.
Following the untimely death of President Kennedy, President Lyndon B. Johnson asked Mr. McNally to remain in the same position which he held until 1965. He returned to Webster with his family in that year.
He assumed the position of Director of the Economic Development Program of the Small Business Administration for the New England area.
Upon the election of President Gerald R. Ford, Mr. McNally was assigned once again to direct the operations of the “Whip Inflation Now” program. Upon the creation of the Small Business Administration’s Advocacy Program, he was named the Chief Advocate of the Small Business Administration for the Northeastern US in 1976. In 1980, he was appointed Director of the SBA for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This responsibility involved directing an organization of 125 professionals, with a loan portfolio in excess of $375 million dollars. He served as Acting Administrator of the US Small Business Administration, as Chairman of the National Small Business Council and as Chairman of the Federal Government Performance Review Board. He retired from the Federal Government in November,1990.
He is the author of numerous articles on community and economic development. He has lectured to college and trade associations throughout the country and overseas. He received numerous honors and awards for his community and civic activities, including being selected “Man of the Year” by several organizations.
He served as President of the Southern Worcester County Chamber of Commerce, as Chairman of the Board of Hubbard Health Systems, Inc. and as President of Hubbard Regional Hospital in Webster. He has been an officer and director of numerous community organizations in both Massachusetts and South Carolina.
In 2004, Mr. McNally was honored by the Roman Catholic Church when he was named by the Vatican as a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.
The funeral will be held Tuesday, November 27, from Scanlon Funeral Service, 38 East Main Street, Webster, with a concelebrated Mass at 10:30 AM in Saint Joseph Basilica, 53 Whitcomb Street, Webster. Entombment will be in Saint John’s Cemetery Mausoleum, Worcester. Visiting hours will be held on Monday, November 26, from 4:00 to 7:00 PM in the funeral home.