Carl Fenton McGaw

October 25, 1953 - March 4, 2024
Carl Fenton McGaw

Gifts & Memorial Donations

It is with great sadness that the family of Carl Fenton McGaw of Williamsburg, VA, announce his passing on March 4th, 2024, at Riverside Doctors’ Hospital, Williamsburg.

Carl was born at McDonald Army Hospital, Ft Eustis.VA, but grew up in many different locations around the world, as is typical of the children of a Career Naval Officer. Among his favorite places they were stationed were Charleston, SC; McAlester, OK; and Yokosuka, Japan. These all allowed him to live like Huckleberry Finn, with his fishing poles and the freedom to run a little wild. His high school years were interesting. He attended Nile C Kinnock High School in Yokosuka, Japan, for 9th and 10th grades. His 11th grade year found him at York High School, Yorktown, Va, and he finally graduated from Gloucester High School, VA in 1972. During these years, he lettered in track and high jump.

After seeing active duty in the Navy from 1972- 1975, Carl attended Rappahannock Community College and earned an Associates Degree in Automotive Technology. After various jobs as an automotive mechanic, he found himself at Busch Gardens Amusement Park, VA, where he worked on various rides for over 40 years, eventually becoming a Rides Maintenance Supervisor. Going to the park with his family he would regale them with stories of his many working adventures on the rides.

Hunting was one of the hobbies he enjoyed, his family always looking forward to some great venison steaks and deer jerky each season. Other weekends found him heading down to Avon in the Outer Banks, where he would spend all night fishing on the pier (he was not happy once the pier started closing at night time and he was forced to spend vital fishing time in a motel instead!) And lastly, his family and friends were always grateful for his love of all things automotive, as they had their own resident mechanic, where he was kept busy either with fixing their cars or with his own projects, especially with his beloved S-10 Chevy pickup. Fortunately for the family though, he was able to teach his son Shane much of his automotive knowledge, so his legacy as the family mechanic will continue through him.

Together with Kate, he travelled to the UK many times. He was able to visit John O’ Groats in the far north of Scotland all the way down to Land’s End in the southwestern tip of England, to North Wales and Snowdonia, to the South East area of Kent, and to Dublin. It was during these trips that he found another hobby, photography. He took many stunning photos of the landscapes and flora during these trips.

Left to honor his memory are his long time partner Kate, son Shane (Andrea) of Williamsburg, VA; daughters Lara Katherine (Mike Wood) of Yorktown, VA, and Tori Elizabeth of Williamsburg VA; sister Elizabeth (Steve Tomasso) of Omaha,NE; Rachael (Henry Hernandez) of Newport News, VA, and grandchildren Anjali, Brody, Henry, and James.

A service to celebrate his life will be held 4pm, Sunday, March 24 at Williamsburg Unitarian Universalists.

To honor his name and his love for the outdoors, donations many be made in his name to the Nature Conservancy or a favorite environmental cause.

Celebration of Life

Sunday, March 24, 2024
4:00 PM

Williamsburg Unitarian Universalists - Directions
3051 Ironbound Rd
Williamsburg, VA 23185
(757) 220-6830

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  • March 24, 2024
    John W. Sherman V says:
    My condolences to Carls family. I will always remember Carl as a friend and a mentor . We would have so much fun working and laughing together and telling jokes . He will be greatly missed . What a pleasure it was to know Carl.

  • March 14, 2024
    Leslie Fabian says:
    Sending condolences to Kate and all of Carl's family and friends. You are all in our hearts. Leslie and Deborah Fabian

  • March 14, 2024
    Mark Phinney says:
    So sorry to hear of Carl's passing. He was a good one, I enjoyed our many AIMs seminar trips. Peace and Love for the family.

  • March 11, 2024
    Kenneth Jenkins says:
    So sorry to hear this Carl was a good man and someone I considered a friend, I enjoyed the time we spent together at work listening to all the stories he had to tell.. They were some good ones 😉 LOL. Christie and I are sending prayers to the family and friends of Carl.

  • March 09, 2024
    Jim Ennis says:
    So sorry to hear about Carl. He was a great guy, had a great sense of humor and a hard worker.