T. Jean Fannin McGuire, of Scottsdale, Ariz,, and Plymouth, Minn, dedicated mom, remarkable homemaker and former journalist, died Saturday, June 21, 2014, in her Plymouth apartment.
Jean was born in Big Spring, Texas, in 1947 to E.L.Fannin and Thelma Lee Fannin.
She graduated from Big Spring High School in 1965, attended Howard County Junior College and graduated in journalism from Texas Tech University in 1969. She was exceedingly proud of her junior college background.
After college, Jean worked for the Big Spring Herald, Corpus Christi Caller-Times and the Ypsilanti Press in Michigan. It was there that she met and married her boss, Tim J. McGuire.
She subordinated her own journalism goals to her husband and family and faithfully supported Tim as he moved from one editorâ€™s job to another in Corpus Christi, Lakeland and Minneapolis. He was managing editor of the Minneapolis Star and later both managing editor and editor of the Star Tribune.
Jeanâ€™s intentions were always to return to the workplace and pursue her career, but when son Jason was born in 1979 with Down syndrome she unselfishly committed herself to family and to various causes she supported with determination and dedication.
She was an active volunteer with the Fraser School, Plymouth Middle School, Robbinsdale Language Immersion School and the Minnesota Down Syndrome Association. And for several years she worked on church environment at St. Josephâ€™s Parish in New Hope.
Jean was feisty with a piercing, quirky sense of humor, a private person who shared her wisdom and thoughtful insights with family and some lucky friends. In her last days she promised to haunt her husband if he included in her obituary that she had â€ślost a courageous battle with cancer.â€ť She despised such metaphors.
She faced death as she faced the challenges of raising a Down syndrome child, with grace and class and humor. She loved to play the slot machines and on her first day in hospice care she demanded to go to Mystic Lake Casino. Cancer would not interfere with her bucket list.
There are too many facets in Jeanâ€™s life to explore in an obituary, but it is safe to say that the theme of this story is an unending love affair between Jean and Tim, and their collective love for their children and grandchildren. â€śI am a grandma with a credit card,â€ť she often proudly labeled herself in recent years.
Jean was, is and always will be the heart of the familyâ€™s story, the core of its existence. She lived a life of honesty and openness, a life of integrity, a life without shadows.
â€śShe was by far the best thing that ever happened to me,â€ť Tim said. â€śTo some it may sound like a clichĂ©, but she was also my best friend. Only God knows where I would be without her.â€ť As a mutual friend said upon hearing of Jeanâ€™s death, â€śShe and Tim bonded as few couples bond, they always could finish each otherâ€™s sentences, and they knew each otherâ€™s thoughts and shared each otherâ€™s dreams and hopes.â€ť And Tim never argued when a friend would suggest that maybe he wasnâ€™t the best journalist in this marriage.
A look at the accomplishments of their daughter and their sons completes the story. Tracy passionately cares for special needs children as a teacher; Jeff has followed in his Dadâ€™s footsteps as an ESPN producer; Jason has gained a form of independence and has made friends wherever he has been, especially with those who have come to know him beneath the surface and have recognized the goodness of his soul. Their mother was proud of each of them.
Jean Fannin McGuire knew better than most how to deal with lifeâ€™s failures and successes, with its trials and triumphs, and with its tears and laughter. And she passed that knowledge on to all who had the good fortune to know her.
She will be deeply missed, but the strength of her spirit will be with us now and for generations to come.
Her father, E.L, Fannin, and her sister, Betty Sue Wilson, predeceased her. She is survived by and will be deeply missed by her husband Tim McGuire, daughter Tracy Jean Moll, sons Jeff and Jason McGuire, mother Thelma Lee Fannin, brother Bert Fannin, son-in-law Ben Moll, treasured grandchildren Kayley Jean Moll and Collin Jarold Moll, and several Michigan in-laws.
Visitation will be Wednesday, June 25, at 5 to 8 p.m. with 7:30 p.m. prayer service at Gearty Delmore Funeral Home, Plymouth. A funeral mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 26, at St. Joseph Parish Center, New Hope. Interment St Josephâ€™s Little Church Columbarium.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Tim and Jean McGuire Memorial Scholarship at Arizona State Universityâ€™s Cronkite School and to the Virginia Piper Cancer Center at the Scottsdale Shea Hospital.
The family especially thanks the staffs of the Infusion labs of Arizona Oncology and Scottsdale Shea Hospital and the staff of Fairview Hospice in Minnesota.