Memorial Service to Honor Thad McGar, 86 | chelseanow.com

Memorial Service to Honor Thad McGar, 86

Photo by Karen I. Ross Thad McGar, quick with a joke and an excellent cook, will be honored at an April 5 memorial service.

Photo by Karen I. Ross
Thad McGar, quick with a joke and an excellent cook, will be honored at an April 5 memorial service.

Thad McGar, a prominent and beloved Chelsea resident, died December 30, 2013 at the age of 86.

Born in Texas, McGar spent some of his growing-up years in Venezuela, where his father worked as a roughneck in the oil industry. A graduate of the University of Texas, Austin, he later lived for several years in England and Germany.

McGar kept the Music in Chelsea series afloat for many years, with Sunday afternoon concerts that benefited St. Peter’s Church. His love of music also found expression in the organizational work he did with the choirs of Chelsea Community Church’s Candlelight Carol Services and his participation in a community choir that sang at Holy Apostles.

At various times, McGar chaired the 300 West Block Association and the Board of Trustees of Chelsea Community Church. He was a pillar in the church — a sage and hard worker who once, joking all the while about the work of the church, took home the pulpit being used when the congregation met in a classroom at General Theological Seminary to repair it.

He co-owned and operated a photo retouching firm before his retirement. An excellent cook, several of his Southern recipes made appearances in “Florida’s Way,” a 2012 self-published anthology of short stories.

McGar had a magnificent garden behind his house, and was a bonsai enthusiast who volunteered at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, taking care of their specimens. At one point, when the position of chief caretaker was unfilled, Thad was put in charge until someone with proper credentials was hired.

McGar is survived by his husband, Paul Bodden. Music, laughter and fond recollections will fill a memorial service scheduled for Saturday, April 5 at 12 noon at Chelsea Community Church (346 West 20th Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues).

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