Patricia “Pat” Jones McGuinness

Patricia “Pat” Jones McGuinness, 81, of Marietta, Ohio, died on Saturday, October 17, 2020 in Elmcroft of Marietta surrounded by family. She was born on July 18, 1939 in Huntington, WV to Bernie Edward and Lola Ross Jones. Neither of the first two facts is remarkable. The span that separates them is where the magic lies.

Pat was a 1956 graduate of Mt. Vernon Academy and received her B.S. in Nursing in 1961 from Columbia Union College in Maryland. She worked as a Physician Assistant for G.E. Specialty Chemicals and E.G. and G. at the Department of Energy, both in Morgantown, WV. Pat was a Registered Nurse in the E.R. for nearly 20 years at the Washington Adventist Hospital (then known as The W. A. Sanitarium) in Takoma Park, Maryland.

While the above is accurate and important; what dates (graduations, births, etc.) and duties (Wife, Mother, Nurse, et al.) fail to present is her essence, her soul; WHO she was. Pat loved to laugh, whether playing a practical joke on her adoring and long-suffering sister, Peggy “Sissy” Lawrence, tormenting her children (peppering roses for them to smell) or telling tales of her life in her own inimitable way (a perfect balance of self-deprecating wit, laced with keen insight and layered with humor). She loved to talk and listen and tell stories and sing. She loved art, both high brow and not-so. She lectured on life after a heart attack, speaking from first-hand experience. Interweaving her lectures were the art of Van Gogh, the music of Don McLean and her own prolific knowledge of health and wellness.

Pat volunteered for many organizations: Franciscan Meals, YMCA, school lunch programs, teaching CPR classes and even incubated the initial congregation of the Bowie, MD, Seventh-Day Adventist church in her living room. She adored books and movies and musicals and shared the love of those things with her children and anyone she met. She could hang and wire a ceiling fan or stitch and dress a wound with equal skill. Pat never found a craft unworthy of her time; from decoupage, to macrame, to baking and candy making, to obsessive “thrifting”. As this is a eulogy rather than a roast we will extend her the kindness to say she was a “Collector”. The only thing she collected more passionately than craft supplies and discount designer clothing was friends.

In a year filled with more than its share of cruel ironies we are tasked with trying to remember the scope and breadth of a life that no few paragraphs can capture and that she sadly could not at its final curtain. That a woman who so valued the past and history would be robbed of her own seems unspeakably cruel. That we are blessed by such rich, deep and precious memories is hardly fair recompense.

The cliche of “To know her was to love her” has never been more aptly applied nor more seldom disputed. Because Pat loved. She loved people. She loved family and she loved life. She loved its majesty, its mysteries and its absurdities. If you were loved by Pat, or as much as she is, you are fortunate beyond measure. Her life as both a collector and a lover was complete with the final rose in her bouquet: the love of her life, James McGuinness. Even as many specifics of her past and present were subsumed by the ravage to her brain her heart would speak up and she would proclaim how lucky she was to have met him. They are parted in this life but that bond remains unbroken.

Who now stands as a testament to this remarkable human? Her husband, James Francis McGuinness, whom she married on December 11, 2003; three children, Barry Ronk (Holli), Elizabeth Nelson (James) and Barbara Ronk (Scott); three step daughters, Stephanie Brooker (Kevin), Jennifer McGuinness and Alicia Herren (Damon); grandchildren, Noah, Cobun, Miles, Stanton, Gabriella, and Zachary; step grandchildren, Gavin, Wade, Calum, Kyla and Lanna; sister, Peggy Lawrence; and many nieces and nephews. It would ill serve our mother’s legacy to not mention the dozens of remarkable women whom she called her friends over the years. Strong, supportive and nurturing women who shared her passion for life and who lifted each other up when the rest of the world attempted to crush them. These women soared much higher together than any would have separately. They know who they are.

She outlived her parents, brother, Bill “Bubby” Jones and her ex-husband Richard Ronk.

Memorial services will be held at a future date. Burial of her ashes will be in Riverview Cemetery.

Donations in her memory may be directed to the National Alzheimer’s Foundation (https://alzfdn.org/support-us/donate/).

Cawley and Peoples is honored to serve the McGuinness family.