Eugene C. (Gene) McGuire

Obituary
  • "Carol & Family: I just found out about Gene via an email..."
  • "Thank you for your service to our great country! R. I. P."

Eugene C. (Gene) McGuire September 18, 1921 May 29, 2014 Eugene C. "Gene" McGuire, 92, of State College, died peacefully on Thursday, May 29, 2014. He was born in his maternal grandmother's home on Mountain Road in Pleasantville, New York, on September 18, 1921, the son of Loretta Gilday McGuire and Adrian Eugene McGuire. He is survived by his beloved daughter, Carol Anne Herrmann, of State College and Blue Hill, Maine, and a brother, Adrian J. McGuire of Pleasantville, New York. Also surviving are a grandson, John M. Herrmann, II, John's wife, Victoria A. Tomlinson, of Arlington, Virginia; a granddaughter, Nell E. Herrmann, of Blue Hill, Maine; and two great-granddaughters, Julia S. Herrmann and Katherine A. Herrmann of Arlington, Virginia. Gene attended St. Thomas Elementary School in Pleasantville, where he made his parents proud by skipping the second grade. One of his vivid childhood memories was having John D. Rockefeller give him a dime one day on his way home from school. "Hold on to this, young man," Mr. Rockefeller said. Gene graduated from Xavier Military Academy and Fordham University, both in New York. While at Xavier, having been caught without wearing his military cap, which he found embarrassing, he was required to write a 10,000 word essay on butterflies. Having completed that onerous task, he went on to graduate with his high school classmates at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Gene's college education was interrupted when he enlisted in the U.S. Army on December 4, 1942. Before shipping out from Boston for Cherbourg, France, Gene married Anne Marie Kelly, to whom he was married for 55 years. She preceded him in death on February 22, 1999. Following his enlistment in the Army, Gene was assigned to an Army Specialized Training Program in Brookings, South Dakota, a program that was terminated nationwide when he was just six months into a nine-month assignment. All Specialized Training Program recruits were transferred to the infantry, in Gene's words, "a terrific shock." Gene was assigned to the 44th Infantry Division 71st Battalion Company F. During his service in the European Theatre, he contracted trench foot and was shipped to England for treatment. He was treated successfully, and returned to service. When the War ended, he was in Marburg, Germany, a town spread along the valley of the river Lahn. His memory of that moment was the smell of lilacs in bloom. Gene and his daughter returned to Marburg in May 2000, when they once again smelled the lilacs in bloom. During that visit, he spoke to his daughter in detail for the first time about his experiences in World War II. "War," he said, "is Hell." When the War ended, Gene returned to the United States on the Liberty Ship MIT Victory. He met his wife and, for the first time, his then baby daughter, in front of the clock at Grand Central Station. They all celebrated his return in New York City. On December 4, 1945, three years to the day after he enlisted, he was discharged from the Army. After completing his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering at Fordham University, Gene was first employed by the Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) in New York City. He later took a position with General Precision Laboratories in Pleasantville, New York, where he was employed as an electrical engineer until the company was purchased by HRB Singer in 1973. Gene ended his career with Lear Siegler, where he was a contract administrator for East Coast contracts. After 13 years with Lear Siegler, he retired in 1986. Having lived his whole life in New York (with the exception of World War II), Gene moved to State College in 1999. While in State College, he pursued his lifelong interest in radios and, at the age of 80, passed the test for The Amateur Extra class license, which conveys all available U.S. Amateur Radio operating privileges on all bands and all modes. While it was a challenge for Gene to leave New York, central Pennsylvania eventually became his second home, where his life was enriched by his close and endearing relationship with Jackie Kohlhepp, his neighbor at The Village at Penn State, who predeceased him on February 21, 2014. The family wishes to express its gratitude to the staff at The Atrium, especially Tina Lucas and Kim Meyers, who took the time to understand, cater to, and love Gene for the last three years of his life. In his heart of hearts, Gene remained forever a proud New Yorker. He will be remembered and sorely missed by his family, all of whom he loved fiercely and unconditionally. Burial will be in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York, at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College.

Published in Centre Daily Times on May 31, 2014
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