In Memoriam: June 14

Gloria Helen McGuirk, 90, Vero Beach

Gloria Helen (nee Geoghan) McGuirk, 90, of Vero Beach, passed away on June 12, 2018. Her death was peaceful; her life, full of joy.

She had a smile that illuminated every room she entered, scores of friends drawn to her magnetic charm and warmth, and startling beauty that earned her a modeling career in her youth and endured into her final days.

She was a woman of unusual character, courage and charisma, with many accomplishments, but her proudest was her extraordinary family, including seven children, 19 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

Every one of them sprang from a powerfully loving and enduring union with Terrence McGuirk – it has been almost 68 years since the two of them were married in Sayville, N.Y.

Gloria shared in and greatly enhanced Terry’s highly successful career in television. His last position before retiring, as Chief Operating Officer of Knight Ridder Broadcasting, brought the family to South Florida, but Gloria and Terry raised their family on the south shore of Long Island, N.Y., in Atlanta, Ga., and in Loudonville, N.Y.

Somehow, Gloria forged a terrifically successful career of her own in real estate, much of it in Loudonville. More than once, she was named Realtor of the Year.

She had a genuine gift for sales, a deep knowledge of her field, exquisite taste, and a lightning-fast skill with numbers.

That keen intellect was used to great effect at the bridge table. She was a world-class bridge player, who won numerous tournaments, and amassed master points as quickly as she collected friends.

She read prodigiously; there was always a stack of novels next to her bed, and she was a doyenne of local libraries up and down the East Coast. She flew through books with such speed that each library trip entailed bringing home at least a dozen fresh thrillers and historical novels.

As she lost her sight and her mobility in her later years, one of Gloria’s chief joys was listening to books that carried her off to exotic locales and through dramatic adventures that were no longer readily accessible to her, but were not entirely unlike some of the exciting moments of her youth.

Gloria grew up in Brooklyn, but would spend time in Manhattan at every opportunity. At 16, she snuck out of school, put on her bobby socks, and went to the Paramount Theater, where she swooned over the earliest performance of a young Frank Sinatra.

She lived in Manhattan as a young woman, and she frequented glamorous nightspots, including the Stork Club, as well as the Broadway theater. She worked as a model, doing some runway work, and posing for a memorable Coca-Cola photo shoot.

She also worked in fashion merchandising, at a time when few young women dared to enter that competitive field.

She was a graduate of Bishop McDonnell High School for Girls in Brooklyn and Ladycliff College in Highland Falls, N.Y.

Gloria McGuirk’s unforgettable life will always be treasured by her children, Terry McGuirk Jr., Sara McGuirk Duncan, Susan McGuirk Blank, Liza McGuirk, Molly McGuirk Bowman, Bryan McGuirk, and Michelle McGuirk O’Connor; her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who are proud to carry the legacy of such an extraordinary woman.

Her husband, Terry, survives her, and feels about her today as he did 70 years ago, when he gave her his college portrait with this inscription: “To my one and only love.”

Gloria Helen McGuirk’s funeral will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 14, at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Vero Beach.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations be made to VNA of the Treasure Coast, 1110 35th Lane, Vero Beach.

 

Celine Rueck, 89, Vero Beach

Celine Rueck, 89, died June 11, 2018, at Indian River Medical Center in Vero Beach.

Visitation will be held 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 19, at Strunk Funeral Home Chapel, Sebastian, with a Prayer Service being held at 6:30 p.m.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 20, at St. Sebastian Catholic Church, Sebastian, with Father John Morrissey, celebrant.

Arrangements by Strunk Funeral Home and Crematory, Sebastian.

Leave a Comment