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Michael J. "Iron Mike" McCarthy, 86, of West Seneca, a retired desk lieutenant for the Buffalo Police Department, died Saturday (Sept. 27, 1997) in Mercy Hospital after a short illness.

A native of Buffalo's Old First Ward, McCarthy was the patriarch of a family that includes 20 past and present members of local and state police agencies.

His two sons and six grandsons followed in his footsteps as Buffalo police officers.

McCarthy was 3 when his mother died. He then lived with his grandmother for three years until she died. The remainder of his growing years were spent with an aunt, Kate O'Shei, who managed to raise him, his brother and her own 19 children.

In 1926, when he was 15, he joined the Army and served in various posts until he was honorably discharged in 1934.

He joined the Police Department in 1942. In the early years of his career, he became known as "Iron Mike," a no-nonsense cop who walked the beat in old Precincts 1, 3 and 8.

He spent his last 10 years with the department as a desk lieutenant with the Tactical Patrol Unit.

McCarthy, who retired in 1973, had a second front job as a machinist and metal worker for McDonald's, which manufactured ash trays. He worked there for 29 years until he retired in 1979.

But he never really retired. He was a night watchman for Tops for the next 10 years.

He was a member of the Police Conference of New York, the International Police Association and the Police Benevolent Association.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Margaret; three daughters, Anne Lauber of Cheektowaga, Kathleen O'Keefe of San Clemente, Calif., and Margaret Nigrelli; two sons, Patrick of Lancaster and Michael J. Jr.; 16 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Holy Family Catholic Church, 1885 South Park Ave., after prayers at 9:15 in Nightengale Funeral Home, 1884 South Park Ave. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Lackawanna.

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