Tuesday, March 16, 2004

David 'Sarge' McQuaide, 84, Elder helper

WWII vet retired from Bell

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

DELHI TOWNSHIP - David J. "Sarge" McQuaide gave a lot of quarters to thirsty athletes for the pop machine during his 18-year tenure as Elder High School's volunteer equipment manager.

And the quarters came back to him, proving that he lived up to Elder's motto "Altiora" or "Strive for Higher Things."

Mr. McQuaide was "famous for giving quarters to the kids to get soft drinks," said his son, Kevin, of Delhi Township. "At his visitation and his funeral Mass, the kids - that aren't kids anymore - were putting quarters in his casket.

"He loved Elder, and Elder loved him back."

Mr. McQuaide died March 4 at his Delhi Township home of multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood. He was 84.

Born in Philadelphia, he was the second-youngest of 15 children. His family moved to Cincinnati when he was about 6. His father was an executive for Cincinnati Bell.

Mr. McQuaide was in a trade school when World War II began and he was drafted. He was an Army staff sergeant in the Pacific Theater and spent another 20 years with the reserves after his honorable discharge.

He went to work for Cincinnati Bell and never received a diploma - until two years ago, that is. Elder gave honorary degrees to him and other veterans who fought the war instead of finishing school.

By then, Mr. McQuaide had retired from Bell, where he was a PBX repairman. "That's the only job he ever had," his son said.

Mr. McQuaide began volunteering for Elder's equipment manager post right after his retirement in 1982. Both of his sons were graduates, and his brother-in-law, Tom Davoran, had taught at Elder. Mr. McQuaide handed out equipment for the baseball, basketball and football teams until he was 80.

He was on hand to congratulate Coach Doug Ramsey when Elder claimed the first of its two consecutive Division I state football titles in 2002.

When he retired as equipment manager in 2000, Elder presented Mr. McQuaide with its Altiora Award for the pursuit of "higher things."

"They give (it) once a year to a person who, through their community service, demonstrates the civic-minded attitude that is altiora," said his son.

Mr. McQuaide was a Scoutmaster for Troop 909 in Delhi and a member of Elder's Dad's Club.

In addition to his son , survivors include his wife of 57 years, Kathleen Davoran McQuaide; another son, David "Kelly" McQuaide of Oil City, Pa.; three daughters, Peggy Genis of Bridgetown, Helen La Grange of Sayler Park and Mary Pat McQuaide of Delhi Township; 15 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Services have been held. Burial was at St. Joseph New Cemetery in Price Hill.

Memorials: Elder High School, 3900 Vincent Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45205 or Vitas Hospice, 11500 North Lake No. 400, Cincinnati, OH 45249.

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