Legacy Families of Washington, D.C.
The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. is proud to announce that the McGuire Family will receive the Legacy Families of Washington, D.C. award at the Making D.C. History Awards on Friday, October 7, 2016.
Over the past four years, the Historical Society has honored sixteen Washingtonians and D.C.-based organizations whose enduring contributions to our community have helped create, define, and keep our city’s heritage. On Friday, October 7, 2016, the Historical Society welcomes five more history makers to the growing list of distinguished honorees, recognized for their contributions to the fabric of life in Washington, D.C.
About the McGuire Family
The McGuire Family, owners and operators of McGuire Funeral Services Inc., is now in its fourth generation of service to the Washington, D.C. community. The family business was founded in 1912 by Dr. Robert G. McGuire, whose grandson and great-grandson, with their families, run it today. Over the years McGuire has handled more than 25,000 decedents, a virtual Who’s Who of famous African Americans, including Charles Hamilton Houston, Medgar Evers, Dr. Charles R. Drew, and Billy Simpson. Originally located on H Street NE, McGuire Funeral Home operated for decades in the heart of the historically black U Street neighborhood before moving in 1974 to upper Georgia Avenue in Shepherd Park.
The McGuire family’s long Washington presence includes a distinguished tradition of supporting the community. Among other activities, Dr. Robert G. McGuire served on the World War II Civilian Defense Board. His wife Virginia Holland Richardson McGuire held a seat on the advisory board of the National Youth Administration and served as a trustee of the D.C. Board of Education. Son Robert Grayson McGuire, Jr., known as “Grayson,” joined the company in 1932 and eventually ran it with his wife Elinor McGuire, who served on the D.C. Recreation Board in the 1950s. She was also active in Community Chest, Mothers’ March on Polio, NAACP, and, with her husband, the United Negro College Fund drive.
Their son John R. McGuire joined the company in 1972. He married Lynne Towles, whom he met when she served her funeral director apprenticeship at the McGuire Funeral Home. Lynn T. McGuire went on to teach Mortuary Science at the University of the District of Columbia for 32 years. They continue the family tradition of public service even as they run the business, now with their son Jason McGuire. John McGuire serves on the Disaster Mortuary Operations Response Team, which took him to New York after 9/11 as well as to New Orleans and Haiti. John and Lynne McGuire will accept their award at the October 2016 event.
Sources: McGuire Funeral Service, Inc. 100th anniversary booklet; “32 Top Funeral Homes,” Washington Afro-American, Dec. 19, 1992; “Top Funeral Homes in the D.C. Area,” Washington Afro-American, Dec. 12, 1994; “33 Top Funeral Homes in the D.C. Metro Area,” Washington Afro-American, Feb. 3, 1996; “Thirty-Nine Years of Progress,” Washington Pittsburgh Courier, Apr. 14, 1951.
About the Making D.C. History Awards
The Making D.C. History Awards is an annual event that supports the mission of the Historical Society and honors it as one of the city’s most important locally focused cultural institutions.
Friday, October 7, 2016
Presented by the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., in the historic
Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square.
6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Champagne and hors d’oeuvres with complimentary valet parking
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Seated dinner and awards ceremony hosted by Wendy Rieger, NBC4 News
9:00 – 11:30 p.m.
Open bar & entertainment
Other honorees includes:
- The Association of Oldest Inhabitants of D.C.
Making D.C. History Award for Distinction in Historic Preservation
- Meyer Foundation
Making D.C. History Award for Distinction in Local Philanthropy
- Washingtonian Magazine
Making D.C. History Award for Distinction in Local Media
- Mayor Anthony Williams
Making D.C. History Award for Distinction in Civic Leadership
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