MEREDITH — David Brennan McCabe, 80, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, guidance counselor, teacher, and coach passed away on Friday, August 21, 2020. He loved so many and so much that his heart just wore out. He fought multiple cancers, cardiac issues, and finally pneumonia.
Dave was born on Groundhog’s Day in Methuen, MA, to Francis and Rosemary McCabe. He grew up in Lawrence with his dear sister Ruth and cousin Jane, and was known in the family as King David. He attended Central Catholic High School in Lawrence and was an outstanding fullback there. He was honored for his skills and abilities by being selected to play in the Lynn All-Star Bowl Game, later renamed for Harry Agganis. He was also an outstanding catcher during Little League and high school. He played semi-pro baseball as a second baseman.
After high school, Dave joined the United States Army and was stationed in at the US Army Quarter Master Depot in Giessen, Germany from 1960-1963 as a military police officer. When he returned to the States, he enrolled at Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill, MA and received his Associates Degree. He then enrolled at Plymouth State College and majored in social studies. It was there he met his friend and soulmate, Kathy. At PSC, he was a founding member of the local TKE chapter.
Dave began teaching social studies and science at Laconia Jr. High School in January 1969 and continued there until 1976 when the 9th grade moved to Laconia High School. He earned a Master of Education from Plymouth State College in 1973 and returned to Plymouth to become certified as a guidance counselor, at the request of the high school administration. Dave held the position of guidance counselor and director of guidance until retired from Laconia in June 2000. During his tenure in Laconia, he coached both football (30 years) and baseball (17 years). He served as the athletic trainer from 1981-2000, replacing “Doc” Hoban. He loved being a Sachem and truly bled red!!
Dave did not stay retired for long and in August 2000, he joined the staff at Kingswood Regional High School as a part-time school-to-work coordinator and later as a guidance counselor. While there, he coached the Knights Football for 3 years. He finally really retired in 2010, having spent 41 years working with students, athletes, and his educational colleagues.
While living in Laconia, Dave was a long-term member of the Armand J. Laramie Babe Ruth League Board of Directors, serving as President for a time. He was also active in the Lou Athanas Youth Basketball and served on their Board of Directors. For a time, he was involved with the Belknap County Court Diversion Program. He and Kathy also taught CCD at Sacred Heart Church. He was very proud of being a 100-pint blood donor for the American Red Cross. He cheered on many a PSU doctoral student and always supported those studying educational leadership with the McCabe Leadership Fund at PSU.
An avid reader in his retirement years, he could often be found sitting by the lake with his Kindle in hand. He and Kathy loved to travel and visited more than 86 countries/territories around the world. He was proud of his Celtic heritage and loved visiting the “Old Sod” so much, they went six times.
He leaves behind his wife of 52 years, Kathleen Collins McCabe; a son, Brian and his wife, Loren – the daughter he always wanted. While he loved sports and could give you a play-by-play description of many Sachem and Patriots games, he would say one of the best days of his life, and one he would never forget was the day the twins were born. He loved Claire Elizabeth and Colin Brennan more than words could ever tell and delighted in giving them a mint coin set at Christmas each year of their childhood. Through their eyes and experiences, he learned about soccer and crew. He loved alternating Brooks and Middlesex hats, which were replaced in 2018 with ones from Macalester and Colby. He was so proud of his family and what they did to make the world a better place. He beamed when talking about his Brian and all he has accomplished.
He also leaves a sister, Ruth Rokous of North Andover, MA; in-laws, Tom and Susan Collins of Ballston Lake, NY; Nancy and Jim Bellinghieri of The Villages, FL; and Jim and Val Collins of Billerica, MA; and many nieces and nephews. He was blessed to have many life-long friends, especially Marcia and Rusty Ross, Mary Lou and Paul Phelps, Carlene and Bob Roy, and Carol Ann and Russ Beane. He was an honorary member of Phi Delta Kappa and loved their annual board dinners, especially if Kathy was cooking them!
Adhering to the guidelines of the State of New Hampshire and the CDC, social distancing is strongly encouraged and face coverings will be required. Only 60 guests will be permitted in the funeral home at one time.
Family calling hours will be held from 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. and public calling hours will be held from 3:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 26, 2020, in the Carriage House of the Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, NH.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the St. Andre Bessette Parish - Sacred Heart Church, 291 Union Avenue, Laconia on Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. Rev. Marc Drouin, a former student of Dave’s, will be the Celebrant.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Brigham-Women’s Hospital - Development Office, 116 Huntington Avenue, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02116 or to the St. Jude’s Research Hospital, PO Box 1000 Dept. 142, Memphis, TN, 38101-9908, or the charity of your choice.
“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” — From a headstone in Ireland