I remember Mrs. McGuinn (at my age I suppose I could refer to her as Jane, but to Parker students, at least in my era, it was always Mrs. McGuinn) as a person of boundless energy, calming pragmatism, and inexhaustive cheerfulness. In every institution, Parker included, most people have defined roles and responsibilities, and Mrs. McGuinn was the person who seemed to do everything that didn't fall into someone else's job description or needed immediate attention before the appropriate committee could deliberate on what to do. The crisis of the day occurred and Mrs. McGuinn was there figuring out what was the right thing to do and then seeing that it was done.
My mom, Eleanor Adkins, was a Parker teacher and colleague of Mrs. McGuinn in the 50's, 60's and 70's, and I remember with great fondness several visits to the farm in Leland. Mrs. McGuinn at the wheel of a big yellow schoolbus, roaring down the dirt road to the farm while all of the youngsters in the back whooped it up as we bounced up and knocked our heads on the roof. The nine year old city slicker from Chicago saw his first and only (mercifully) chopping off the head of that night's chicken dinner and its final seconds running around under the bushel basket. Other times the slicker was set up, cap pistol holstered on his hip, on the smallest and most gentle horse on a Western saddle, and allowed to “ride” around the farmyard and the woods beyond, imagining himself as Roy Rogers or Gene Autry, back in the saddle again, out where a friend is friend.
What a blessing for all those around Mrs. McGuinn that she was with us for 101 years.