Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

North Carolina

Michael McNamara, former archdiocesan chief financial officer, dies July 15

Published August 8, 2019

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C.—Michael Joseph McNamara, 80, of Hendersonville, North Carolina died, surrounded by family on Monday, July 15. He was born on Jan. 11, 1939 in New York City, New York, but spent most of his life in Atlanta, retiring later to the mountains of North Carolina.

McNamara attended Sacred Heart Grammar School and Cardinal Hayes High School in New York. He went on to Iona College in New Rochelle, New York to receive a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting, later becoming a Certified Public Accountant.

Michael McNamara

He was a partner at Pannell Kerr Foster, an international accounting firm. He also served as a hospitality accounting instructor at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He served on many boards throughout his career, including the Board of Directors for Wesley Homes in Atlanta, the Lay Board of Directors for Marist School in Atlanta, the Georgia Hospitality and Travel Association Board and the YMCA Advisory Board. He was a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants and Toastmasters.

He later became the Chief Financial Officer for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. In that role, he was focused on investing to fund expansion of the Catholic schools in surrounding areas of Atlanta to provide a quality education to more children, especially the underserved. He served as chief financial officer from 1989-2002.

McNamara was an active parishioner of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta, and St. Andrew Church in Roswell. He was involved in numerous charitable and community causes, including serving on the finance committee at church and the Knights of Columbus.He was devoted to his family and passionate about his Irish heritage as a member of the Hibernian Society in Atlanta. He later became a parishioner at St. Barnabas Church in Arden, North Carolina.

McNamara was an avid ALTA tennis player, a frustrated golfer and ran the Peachtree Road Race for the first time in his late 50s. He loved sports, especially college—the Iona Gaels and Georgia Southern Eagles. A season ticket holder for more than 25 years, he was devoted to the Atlanta Falcons. He also loved the Yankees and eventually the Braves. He loved music, was a brilliant violinist and sang in the church choir. He traveled the world with his wife of 56 years, the late Alice McNamara.

McNamara was preceded in death by his wife, Alice (Boyle) McNamara; his parents, Michael and Bridget (Lynch) McNamara, and one brother, Bernard McNamara. He is survived by his children, Paul “Tank” McNamara and his wife Kathy of Canton; Donna-Marie McNamara Clemons and her husband David of Atlanta; and Cathy McNamara Balken and her husband Joe of Hendersonville, North Carolina as well as ten grandchildren; one great granddaughter, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

A memorial mass was Monday, July 22, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hendersonville. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at