Watertown Philanthropist Garry McGivney Passes Away

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The local community is mourning the death of Watertown philanthropist Garry McGivney.

He was 75.

McGivney passed away Sunday at home.

After retiring from the New York State Department of Labor, where he worked for 30 years, McGivney suddenly became a millionaire.

In 2005, he won the state lottery and, after taxes, received more than $20 million.

McGivney had played the same numbers for 15 years before he hit the jackpot, which was $56 million.

It didn't take him long to share his windfall with charitable organizations.

McGivney donated $2.5 million to the Northern New York Community Foundation, which awards scholarships to students in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

One of the scholarships he created was the North Pleasant Street Scholarship Fund; McGivney once resided on that street.

He also established the John C. Prentice Memorial Scholarship Fund.

"Focusing on establishing the two scholarships was something that was very important to him. His devotion to the community was very evident just on how philanthropic he was through his donations to us," said Max DelSignore of the Northern New York Community Foundation.

He also donated $1 million to Holy Family Church in Watertown.

A funeral mass will celebrated at 1 p.m. on Friday at Holy Family Church.

TLC Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Saturday, November 1, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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