McGUINNESS, Colonel John William Jr. USA (Ret.) "Jack"
died peacefully in his St. Petersburg, home May 21, 2016, at the age of 77. He was a 30 year veteran serving from Vietnam through Desert Storm.
Jack was born in Providence, RI, Oct. 16, 1938, to the late John and Helen McGuinness. He graduated from St. Anselm College, Manchester, NH, and later earned a Master's Degree from Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY.
Jack was drafted into the U.S. Army and was later commissioned following Officer Candidate School. He served in 1st Special Forces Group as part of the Southeast Asia Prisoner Recovery Program, then as a Special Forces Officer with Military Assistance Command Special Operations Group, and finally as the Executive Officer for Recondo (Long Range Reconnaissance) 5th Special Forces Group. On his second tour he was assigned to Special Operations Project 404 as a military advisor to the neutralist forces in the Kingdom of Laos. Jack was the first commander of the 311th Military Intelligence Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and the first brigade commander of the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade in Germany. Following a tour at Central Command at MacDill AFB, he was assigned as the U.S. Liaison Officer and Defense Attache; at the US Embassy Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). He retired in 1991, and until 2011 was an advisor to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Jack was inducted into the Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame. He had numerous awards and decorations including the Bronze Star for Valor, Combat Infantryman's Badge, Ranger Tab, and the Master Parachutist Badge, among others. He was also accomplished in three languages. But most importantly, he forged a 77 year trail of laughter, generosity, loyalty, and love of family and friends. He will be sorely missed by many here and abroad.
Jack is survived by his wife of 54 years, Joan; three children, Patricia A. Francis (Scott) of Abu Dhabi, UAE, Michael J. McGuinness (Alisandra) of Tampa, Sean P. McGuinness (Kristin) of Bowling Green, KY; seven grandchildren; and two sisters.
A service will be held Wednesday, June 1, 1:30 pm, at Holy Family Catholic Church, St Petersburg. Arrangements are provided by Anderson McQueen Funeral Home. Internment at Arlington National Cemetery will be at a future date. Condolences and donations in lieu of flowers, may be made online at The Michael J Fox Foundation
. Visit his guestbook at www.andersonmcqueen.com