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Friends, family mourn East End resident

Submitted by on 1, September 16, 2009 – 5:45 am2 Comments
John McGuinness

John McGuinness

Friends and family are mourning the loss of John McGuinness, 45, who died when his motorcycle crashed on Interstate 880 Friday morning.

“He was very kind and loving,” said Jean McGuinness, his former wife. “He was just a very warm, kind-hearted, caring man.”

McGuinness was born and raised in San Francisco. He was a 1982 graduate of St. Ignatius High School and he held a bachelor’s degree in science from San Francisco State.

After receiving that degree, McGuinness spent 12 years working as an educator, most recently serving on the faculty of the Bayside S.T.E.M. Academy in San Mateo. Prior to that, he studied the culinary arts, and he obtained an associate’s degree in hotel and restaurant management from the City College of San Francisco.

McGuinness’s family said he was an avid outdoorsman who loved camping, kayaking and “anything to do with the ocean,” including boogie boarding and scuba diving. He taught swimming and served as a lifeguard at the St. Ignatius pool and was involved with Camp St. Michael on the Eel River for 17 years.

But McGuinness’s greatest passion was his son, Seamus, Jean McGuinness said.

“He lived for his son, and his son was the light of his world,” she said.

McGuinness’s father, Mark, said his son was “an awfully tough guy” who managed life’s challenges with grace. He said his son was a terrific teacher and exceptional dad.

Mark McGuinness said his son had weathered the death of his mother when he was in high school, and that he went back to school for his teaching degree without any help. He said his son passed an administrator’s exam this year without the benefit of any classes.

“He had a lot of courage,” Mark McGuinness said.

In addition to his son, McGuinness is survived by his father and stepmother, Mark and Shelley; siblings Matthew (Kendra), Megan and Andrew; and nephews and nieces Riley, Molly and Shae. He was preceded in death by his mother, Judith Rapin. He will also be greatly missed by his friend and cousin, Kevin Barry, and his dear friend, J.P. Frary.

A memorial mass will be held in McGuinness’s honor at 11 a.m. Friday, September 18 at St. Ignatius Church, 650 Parker Ave., San Francisco. Donations may be made to the Seamus McGuinness Education Fund, c/o Duggan’s Serra Mortuary, 500 Westlake Ave., Daly City, Calif. 94104.

An online guestbook is here.


  • Kurt M. Norton says:

    Yes, John will, indeed, be severly and deeply missed by all those fortunate enough to know him and call him a friend.

    John was a weekly part of my life for more years than I care to think about right now and was a member of my extended family. He was generous to no end and had the heart of a saint.

    He is gone way too soon, but will live with me forever. Seamus, you be proud of who your dad was and be comforted in the fact that he thought of you always.

    I am very sad.

  • Neal_J says:

    We’ll miss you greatly, John.

    RIP, friend.

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