Weekly Feature

2017-07-12 / Obituaries

Michael McGuire, former deputy town supervisor

by DAVID F. SHERMAN Managing Editor

McGuire McGuire Michael G. McGuire, a 16-year member of the Amherst Town Board, died Friday, July 7, 2017.

Mr. McGuire, 88, was first elected to the board in 1991 as a Democrat. Running with the same party in the next two elections, he switched affiliations and ran as a Republican for his fourth and final term on the board.

He was named deputy town supervisor in 1996 by Supervisor Lynn Millane. At the time, he served as liaison to recreation, environmental issues, the sidewalk task force and school districts.

Youth sports and recreation were always a mission of Mr. McGuire’s, even before he was elected to the board. He was appointed to the Amherst Recreation Commission by Supervisor Dan Ward, serving eight years, and in Mr. McGuire’s own words, “I have been there ever since,” he said in a 2007 interview.

Mr. McGuire said his proudest accomplishments dealt directly with recreation. He noted the expansion of the North Amherst soccer fields, completion of the Pepsi Center (now the Northtown Center), and creation of sports fields and a pool at the Clearfield complex. He also spearheaded the revising of the North Amherst Recreation Center to include additional athletic fields, at no cost to the town.

“Mike’s decades of coaching and volunteerism were the ideal background to envision what was needed to serve Amherst residents well into the future,” said former Amherst Supervisor Susan Grelick. “Mike believed that everyone should have the opportunity to participate in recreation, and his dedication and commitment shaped the many recreational programs and facilities in the town today that will continue to serve the many generations of future Amherst residents.

“Mike had a strong sense of fairness, common sense, and the remarkable ability to persuade both board members and residents to put aside their differences to do what was best for the town.”

Born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, to Irish immigrant parents, he and his family later moved to Buffalo for better employment opportunities. Mr. McGuire was a graduate of Fosdick-Masten High School and received a basketball scholarship from Canisius College, graduating in 1952.

“If it wasn’t for basketball, he’d still be working on a loading dock in South Buffalo,” said his son, Terry.

He was employed in the pharmaceutical and medical instrument field and maintained a longtime interest in politics. He was a past president of the Amherst Gaelic League and and past vice president of the North Forest Civic Association.

Mr. McGuire was the boys basketball coach at Christ the King School for 35 years. The school gym is named in his honor.

In leaving elected office in 2007, he was at his humble best.

“I believe you speak when you have a reason, when you have a good point, speak,” he said. “I never was one to grandstand; that wasn’t my style.”

In addition to his son, Mr. McGuire is survived by three other children, Duke, Kevin and Tim; a sister, Mary Fisher; and 10 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, the former Doreen E. Navel, and one child, Kelly Africano.

Friends may call from 3 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 12, at the Dengler, Roberts, Perna Funeral Home, 8630 Transit Road, East Amherst. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, July 13, at Christ the King Church, Main Street and Lamarck Drive.

Memorials may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.

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