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James R. "J.R." McGuire, Commander, USN (ret.)

June 9, 1939 May 11, 2019
James R.  "J.R." McGuire, Commander, USN (ret.)
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Obituary for James R. "J.R." McGuire, Commander, USN (ret.)

James R. “JR” McGuire, Commander, USN (ret.), 79, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina died on May 11, 2019. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, raised in St. Petersburg Beach, Florida, but had lived in Chapel Hill for the last 24 years. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Michelle; his mother, Marcella McGuire; and his father, Robert J. McGuire. He is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Jean McGuire; son and daughter-in-law, Patrick and Lisa McGuire of Lexington, Virginia; grandchildren, Megan Gosal, Erin McGuire, Kate McGuire, Kayliegh Waller; and great-grandchild, Declan Cotter.

Jim graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1961 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business. He joined and served in the United Stated Navy from 1961 to 1984. Following flight training, he and his family were stationed at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington. He flew in the A-3 as a bombardier/navigator from 1963 – 1968. He transitioned to the A-6 Intruder in 1968 and served the rest of his career as a member of the A-6 community. His career included deployments aboard the USS Midway, USS Ranger, USS Enterprise and USS Kitty Hawk. He served on the staffs of Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet as Aide and Flag Lieutenant to the Deputy, Naval Military Personnel Command as an assistant to the Commander Detailer, and Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet as the Medium Attack Training Officer. The highlight of his career in the Navy was his assignment as Executive Officer and then Commanding Officer of VA-52. He was humbled and inspired by the dedication and willing sacrifices of the men and their families with whom he served.

Retirement from the Navy brought new opportunities; first with Northrop-Grumman in Hawthorne, California for 10 years and then 10 years with Bell & Howell in the Research Triangle Park of North Carolina.

Once the work was done, Jim focused on ensuring he had as much time as possible with his grandchildren. Family vacations in the Outer Banks were the most cherished and valuable moments in his life. As soon as one trip was completed, planning for the next year began. His love and devotion for his grandchildren was limitless, and his whole being was dedicated to making them laugh. In his final year Jim was blessed with a great-grandchild, and his happiest moments were making one more generation smile.

A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. at Clements Funeral Service, 1105 Broad St., Durham on Saturday, May 18th.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choosing or to the University of North Carolina Hospice: Memorial gifts can be made online at, or checks made payable to the Medical Foundation of NC may be mailed to 123 West Franklin Street, Suite 510, Chapel Hill NC 27516.

The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral and Cremation Services, Inc. in Durham. Online condolences may be sent to

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of James R. "J.R." McGuire, Commander, USN (ret.), please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Memorial Service




11:00 AM 5/18/2019 11:00:00 AM
Clements Funeral Chapel in Durham

1105 Broad Street
Durham, NC 27705

Clements Funeral Chapel in Durham
1105 Broad Street Durham 27705 NC
United States

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