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Photo credit: McPartland Family Photo Archives
Mc Partland Family770

Obituary: The Legendary Joe McPartland

Sept. 4, 2020
Joe & Alyce McPartland, their nine sons and several of their St. Bernards, just for good measure.

You meet all sorts of interesting people in the electrical industry, but if you ever met Joe McPartland, you never forgot him. Joe was the former editorial director of Electrical Construction (EC&M) and Electrical Wholesaling magazines, and the nation’s leading expert on the National Electrical Code (NEC) for several decades.

Joe  passed away on March 23 of this year at the age of 93 after a long and extraordinarily interesting life. Tom Henry, one of Joe McPartland’s National Electrical Code students, forwarded Joe’s obituary to us recently. We regret not hearing about his passing sooner. 

The books Joe wrote on the NEC and his publishing with career with EC&M at McGraw-Hill and eventually his own magazine, Electrical Design & Installation, are really only part of Joe’s story, which you can read about in full detail in his obituary in the Bergen Record/News Herald.

 You don’t meet many people who sang opera, but also released six albums of Irish, Scottish and spiritual songs.  And any football fan would be thrilled to meet someone coached by Vince Lombardi, but Joe is the only guy you will ever meet who had Lombardi as a coach in high school, and then again for the Army football team at West Point – after serving in the U.S. Navy and Marines.  And as you can see in the photo, how many people do you know who raised nine sons  - and St. Bernards? Just to keep things interesting, Joe was also a master storyteller, wine expert and blessed with a heavy dose of Irish charisma that charged up any social occasion.

 I was lucky enough to have an office next to Joe for a few years on the 36th floor of the McGraw-Hill Building in New York, back when EW and EC&M were owned by McGraw-Hill, and I always treasured the opportunities I had to tap into his vast electrical knowledge, hear a few of his electrical industry stories, chat with one of his sons when they stopped by his office, or hear him sing at one of office holiday parties.

The staffs of EC&M and Electrical Wholesaling offer our belated condolences to the whole McPartland clan.