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John McNamara



06/28/2018, ANNAPOLIS, MD, U.S.A.

John McNamara was devoted to his family, his friends, his alma maters – Maryland and St. John’s College High School – his craft of journalism, his Maryland Terrapins and the sports he loved to chronicle, watch and play. His life was devoted to making all of us better – more informed, happier, enthusiastic and loved. John was killed June 28, 2018 at The Capital Gazette office in Annapolis, MD.

John grew up in Bethesda in a typically diverse Irish Catholic family with avid readers, writers, artists, musicians, singers, tellers of tales, and church volunteers. He played softball on the grass in front of his house, and basketball wherever he found it.

He joined area journalists and sports writers at his high school paper, as a Washington Post intern, and at the University of Maryland Diamondback. After graduation from the University of Maryland, he worked with fellow Terrapins and colleagues, his first full-time job, as a sports writer was at the Hagerstown Herald-Mail in the early 1980s.

He was just a good guy – in the most affectionate and powerful sense of that term. We had a great role model in being a good guy in Darrell Kepler, the now departed sports editor at the Hagerstown Morning-Herald. Guys stuck together, weren’t pretentious, were observant, loved sports, beer and each other.

John McNamara wrote two books about Maryland athletics – joining his fellow Diamondback alumnus David Elfin on “Cole Classics,” a memory of the best early times in Terrapin basketball; and on the Maryland Football Vault, literally a vault combining his knack for story-telling and for research that was a history lesson on Terrapin football.

To be John’s friend was an honor that knew complete honesty and loyalty, through good times and bad. He was the person you’d call to share joyous moments. And he was the person who received the call when a dear friend had a life-threatening medical situation a year ago. He and his wife Andrea were there in a flash, as the rock they were when times were difficult.

John McNamara, who went by “Mac,” was remembered by his colleagues for his flexibility, concise writing and extensive knowledge of regional sports. He had a razor wit that came in bursts like a social media post, one fellow reporter said.

The devotion he lived most was for his wife. The smile on his face, and in his eyes, got much brighter when John and Andrea were together…when he was next to Andrea. The love they had together spilled over and made those they brought close so much richer and warmer.

There is great solace in knowing that he worked well, played well and loved well. As we think of John in the coming days, months and years, may we all live like that: With love, loyalty, laughter, kindness and thoughtfulness. And with devotion., loyalty, laughter, kindness and thoughtfulness. And with devotion.


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