Joan Esther McGuire
1924 - 2013
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Joan Esther McGuire

Joan Esther McGuire, who was the driving force behind the 2003 restoration of Seattle's 100-year old Immaculate Conception Church and who, in a 30-year career as Director of Nursing Services at Northwest Hospital in Seattle, oversaw the development of the city's first in-hospital hospice for terminally ill patients, died on Wednesday, May 29, following a short illness. She was 88.

Joan arrived at Immaculate Conception Church as a volunteer in 1975. By that time, the church had fallen into disrepair, the victim of neglect, vandalism and urban flight. In 1998, she was promoted by the Archdiocese of Seattle to Parish Life Coordinator at Immaculate, a role she held for seven years.

Using her skills as an organizer, fundraiser and activist, she led the restoration of Immaculate, a significant event in Seattle's constantly evolving Central District. The 2003 reopening of the restored church was hailed by a grateful Archdiocese and parishioners, and covered by The Seattle Times.

A devoted Catholic from birth, Joan served as a volunteer for multiple Seattle parishes for more than five decades. She was an activist for parish programs for children and undertook many acts defined by the Archdiocese as Corporal Works of Mercy.

As Director of Nursing Services at Northwest Hospital, Joan made significant strides in improving work conditions and recognition of nurses as an integral part of patient care within the hospital.

A positive force, and voice, for improving patient care, Joan developed a childbearing project at Northwest Hospital where families could participate in the birthing process. She also developed an in-hospital hospice for terminally ill patients. Both of these projects were the first of their kind in Seattle.

In 1995, Joan received the Katharine M. Bullitt Award from the Alliance for Education as "Volunteer of the Year" based on her work with teen mothers at John Marshall Alternative High School.

Gracious and humble in the face of her successful charitable work, Joan would count among her greatest accomplishments the raising of her seven children.

Joan D'Andrea was born in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania in 1924. She graduated from Providence Hospital School of Nursing, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, in 1946 and received additional education in nursing and women's health at University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1946/1947.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 39 years, Martin Justin McGuire, who died in 1993, and her eldest son, John, who died in 1991. She is survived by her daughter Mary Roberts, married to Fran Robbins; son Mark, married to Patricia Raskin; son Patrick, partnered to Shawn Shirey; son James; son Richard, married to Sharon; and daughter, Letitia Lee. She also is survived by six grandchildren (Donald Roberts, Justin Roberts, Kyle McGuire, Megan McGuire, Erik Westfall, Alex Westfall), and one great-grandchild, Carter Westfall.

A memorial service will be held Thursday, June 6, at 11:00 a.m. at Saint Catherine of Siena Church, 814 N.E. 85th Street, Seattle, WA 98115. Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to Catholic Community Services of Western Washington, Office of Mission Resources, 100 23rd Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98144, a community organization Joan supported throughout her lifetime.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Seattle Times from Jun. 1 to Jun. 2, 2013.
Memories & Condolences
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26 entries
June 30, 2013
Joan was like a second mother to me. We went through hard times and fun times together. We love her and will miss her so much. Kathleen and Gaylen Krebs
June 9, 2013
I remember Joan McGwire as a very caring and devoted supporter of Northwest Hospital and of John Marshall Alternative High School Students. As the community connections coordinator for John Marshall, I had many occasions to work with Joan, as she was always receptive to finding new ways to offer service. Our many personal conversations were inspirational to me, as well.

She arranged for countless students to vist the hospital for job shadowing, career exploration, and even some paid internships and employment opportunities. It was our goal to bring the school into the real world community and bring Northwest Hospital into the school as well. She helped to bring health fairs into the school to offer health checks and health education, along with health career education.

Joan arranged for Northwest Hospital to donate health related supplies to the school, as well as much needed surplus furniture and office supplies. These were a great benefit to John Marshall Alternative High School.

When I took students to Washington D.C., for week-long educational field trips with the CLOSE UP program, Joan was helpful in providing extra funding needed for bringing at-risk youth, who could not afford to participate otherwise. These students would meet Senators, Congressional Representatives, vist the White House, Supreme Court , Archives, Smithsonian, and have the chance to converse with other influential national leaders. It had a positive, lasting effect upon their lives.

And, as it notes in her obituary:
In 1995, Joan received the Katharine M. Bullitt Award from the Alliance for Education as "Volunteer of the Year," based on her work with teen mothers at John Marshall Alternative High School.

Doug Gochanour
Doug Gochanour
June 9, 2013
With great sadness I read about the passing of our dear neighbor Joan, and to entire family I extend my deepest condolences. She was warm and friendly, helped host great neighborhood block parties, was a bright and vibrant light in many aspects of her life, and also a beacon in our neighborhood. I greatly appreciated the hope and courage she modelled and exemplified through her faith. She will be greatly missed, but remembered with great admiration. Sincerest sympathies, Mary Branom
Mary Branom
June 7, 2013
Joan will be sorely missed.

Errol & Kay Graves and Family.
June 6, 2013
Dear Pat, James and all McGuire family,

Your Mom was one of the special St. Catherine Moms that we are watching on their way to heaven now. Mrs. McGuire was always good to the Blue family and we will miss her voice in this world. Love and Peace to all of you. Rest in Peace, dear Mrs. McGuire.
Jeannine Blue Lupton
June 6, 2013
Joan was one of the most caring people I ever met. She was so encouraging to me when I faced difficult times and I will always be grateful to her for that.
We worked together at NWH for years. she wil definitely be missed.
Eileen Bradshaw
Kirkland wa
June 6, 2013
Such a loving heart and no-nonsense head! Joan was such a great person. I'm so glad you all were part of my growing up. Love to you all.
Megge Van Valkenburg
June 5, 2013
Always so present and attentive. Take care of yourselves. She will be missed.
Patty Jordan
June 5, 2013
To James and the entire McGuire family -
Your mother so accomplished and her career in many ways parallels my own mom's work as a nurse practitioner. Women of her era provided leadership in these nursing fields creating programs that made life better for everyone. I wish that I had known her. James, I am so so sorry for your loss. I know how much she meant to your and all your siblings. Take care, and we'll touch bases soon. Love, Judge C. Kimi Kondo
(Your friend and colleague in law and life)
June 5, 2013
To Joan's Family,

Joan was a wonderful friend, mentor, leader, and tireless advocate for the vulnerable.
Gunnar Almgren
June 4, 2013
Much love to your amazing family at this challenging time. She was sensational.
Bridget McManus
June 3, 2013
To our cousins who were fortunate enough to have Aunt Joan & Uncle Mart for their parents. As my sister, Francie, wrote, we so enjoyed the years that your family lived in Milwaukee and we got together often. I remember when the younger ones were born and how happy everyone was to welcome another little one. Aunt Joan was always smiling and giving us hugs. She was just one of the best God gave to the world. It was great seeing some of you at the last reunion & we look forward to another one in 2015.

Our deepest sympathy for your loss of this truly remarkable woman. May you smile, cry & laugh together your wonderful memories.

Susie McGuire Thomsen & Family
June 2, 2013
Dear Joan's Family,

I admired, loved and respected Joan during the 25+ years that I was privileged to work with her and for her. And then as I heard of her accomplishments in her retirement, I continued to be in awe of her.
Joan had a fabulous combination of commitment, energy, wisdom and warmth. The nursing profession greatly benefited these traits of Joan. The world has benefited by those same qualities she shared with her children - good citizens and loving children.
I so love that I knew her and was able to share in her work.
Sheila Valentine
June 2, 2013
My condolences to the entire family. Joan was an inspiration to me and all who knew her. When God made Joan he broke the mold. She will be greatly missed.
Melanie Wilhoite
June 2, 2013
To the Maguire family,particularly James, take comfort in that your mother was an amazing woman whose legacy will live on in not only her children and grandchildren but in all who will visit Immaculate Conception Church through the years.
Mary Vidas
June 2, 2013
Thank you for your lessons of love. You always were giving of yourself to family, neighbors and the community. You've made the world a better place for many of us. Now you may join Marty and God hold you both in His hands. Love, John
John Westfall
June 2, 2013
To our cousins...The world is a lesser place without Joan in it.She was a amazing women,a fabulous mentor and a person one could look up to and always heed her advice.She will be greatly missed.All your cousins in San Diego send our love prayers.
Leone's and LeClairs
June 2, 2013
Aunt Joan was a wonderful women who raised wonderful children. She will be missed by so many. All my love and prayers.
Jean McGuire
June 2, 2013
A wonderful woman. So sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers are will all of you during this difficult time.
Angela Cistolo Tomko
Angela Cistolo Tomko
June 2, 2013
To my cousins: It was such a happy time for our family when you lived in South Milwaukee. We loved having you and our aunt and uncle so close by. It was great spending overnights there with Mary Lou and together at the picnics with our families and Shannons. We all loved your mother and I know she and our mom were close. I have been lucky enough to see some of you in Omaha in recent years, still I had no idea until reading the obit how very much Aunt Joan gave to your community professionally and personally. What an incredible woman! Love and prayers, Francie and family
Francie McGuire Winkler
June 2, 2013
Mrs. McGuire meant the world to me. Joan always stood up and fought for what was right, helping the underdog at all times. I remember her when I was a kid always being there for her family, being a GREAT mom. I never would have gotten thru my brothers death without Joan, she talked me thru it all and really helped me so much. The world has lost a special , loving ,giving, talented star, who has touched many lives and are hard to find. To the entire McGuire family, I love you all, I am thinking of you daily. God bless. Maureen Blue.
Maureen Blue
June 2, 2013
Stephanie Jonsson
June 1, 2013
Joan was beautiful, sure, funny, and spoke the truth. I met her 28 years ago, working on a community issue for Northwest Hospital. She rallied the nurses, gathered support for the hospital expansion. And, gave us all strength.
Joan McGuire you will be so missed. You raised a loving family.
Rose Berg
June 1, 2013
What an accomplished woman who gave so much to Seattle. Thank you, McGuire Family, for sharing her. She will be missed by many.
Heidi and Chris
June 1, 2013
An inspiration to us all ,
I love you Joan
Robert Vetica
June 1, 2013
Joan, you were my hero. You will be missed.
Rena DiFiore
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