John Henry McCourt, 78, a ‘true gentleman’ from Ireland who worked hard but remained young at heart

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John  Henry McCourt
John Henry McCourt

John Henry McCourt, 78, of Wilmington, died Friday, Jan. 22, 2016 at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

He was born April 3, 1937 in Belfast, Northern Ireland to the late Mary “Molly” McCourt and John McCourt.

John was born into a Catholic family of nine brothers and sisters. John left school at an early age and worked hard for his family. He met Liz in Northern Ireland in April 1959. John asked Liz to pick a horse for that day’s Grand National. Unfortunately the horse Liz chose that day fell during the race but Harry and Liz both won big that day because a few short years later on Feb. 4, 1961, they were married.

Seeking an opportunity for him and his family, he moved to America in 1971 and began working for the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) in New York, where his wife and children followed a year later. He worked for the LIRR for 28 years and then moved to Wilmington in 1995.

He was an avid traveler and frequented Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Ireland, among other places.

John remained the very definition of a true gentleman and a family man, and somehow always managed to look dapper no matter what was going on. A lot can be said about Harry, but those who knew him best know that he was a revolutionary person who worked hard but was always young at heart.

Above all else, John’s greatest joy was to watch his family grow and take their own journeys. A loving hand, an open mind, an enriched heart and awe-inspiring soul, John McCourt’s everlasting legacy impacted every person he encountered. “So it is.”

John passed on his legacy to his wife of 54 years, Liz; they would’ve celebrated their 55th anniversary on Feb. 4, 2016. John’s legacy continues to thrive through his five children, 12 grandchildren and siblings in Ireland.

A celebration of John’s life will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20 at Andrews Valley Chapel, 4108 South College Road.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Please call 1-800-822-6344 to make a donation in his name.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Andrews Mortuary.

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