John J. McGourty, a journalist and Equibase chart-caller who frequently was assigned to steeplechase meets such as the Far Hills Races, died Friday, February 7, at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, Pa. He was 71.
Born and raised in West Newton, Mass., he was a 40-year resident of Falls Township, Pa. He graduated from Newton North High School in 1966 and obtained his bachelor’s degree in journalism.
He spent his career as a journalist working for the Boston Herald, Trenton Times, and the National Hockey League. He also wrote for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and was a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association.
In the 1970s and 1980s, he was a chart caller for Daily Racing Form and subsequently was the race-caller supervisor for a short-lived competing publication. During this time, he was a correspondent for Thoroughbred Record.
Beloved husband of Deborah A. (Ritzhaupt) McGourty for 49 years, he was the loving father of Katharine A. McGourty and Michael R. McGourty (Rebecca Guld) and the devoted grandfather of Vincent Michael Romano and Molly Bell Danemark.
He will also be missed by his brother, Patrick McGourty (Lori); sisters Sheila Chunis (John) and Mary Doane (Robert), as well as several nieces, nephews and other extended family members.
A graveside service was held Monday at Resurrection Cemetery, 5201 Hulmeville Road, Bensalem.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Jeff’s Place Children’s Bereavement Center, 34 Deloss St, Framingham, MA 01702