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Mike McGuire: January 15, 1945 – June 26, 2018

Sunday, July 08, 2018 4:28 PM | Bridgette DeShields (Administrator)

Mike McGuire passed away Wednesday, June 26, 2018, succumbing to a devastatingly rapid recurrence of a cancer previously briefly in remission. He was comfortable in the presence of Sandi and family at the Emerald Cottage, where he and Sandi were living after their home was lost in the Tubbs Fire last October.

Mike had been a member of the Santa Rosa Cycling Club since July 2006. Mike, in his typical style, participated reliably, competently, enthusiastically and constructively and with abiding good humor and wit.   

The list of his contributions and achievements is long: ride leader; multiyear WCC Monte Rio rest stop crew chief; club historian, two term Board member, instigator and lead in twice a year roadside clean up.

Shortly after joining the Club, he completed the required brevet rides to qualify for and compete in the infamously grueling Paris-Brest-Paris ride, a 1200 km (750 mile) event to be completed in a maximum of 90 hours. His account of the experience can be found here (link to December 2007 SRCC Club Newsletter).

In addition to his cycling accomplishments, Mike was an avid runner and active member of the Empire Runners of Sonoma County, where he served as the club’s President and entered into its Hall of Fame. In 2015, at age 70, he qualified for the Boston Marathon and finished in a time that was the age graded equivalent of 3:02, which to quote Greg Durbin, who also ran that year, “an impressive achievement.” See HERE for a link to a tribute by Empire Runners.

Mike was an educator by profession working initially as a teacher at Herbert Slater Middle School and later as Principal for Hidden Valley Elementary.  He was extremely well suited for the profession.  Mike was endlessly curious with a sharp, quickly analytic mind and broad ranging interests. He had strong sense of history. He was a talented photographer, an effective writer and a skilled and engaging raconteur.

Mike emanated good humor and positive energy.  Consistently civil and respectful, he was nevertheless candid and forthright of his observations and opinions. I remember the first ride I was on that he led, his concluding admonishment  at his pre-ride briefing: “Don’t do anything stupid”, an admonishment I have frequently repeated, with attribution.

I had gotten to know better Mike over the past couple of years. We swapped buying beers at Club meetings. We enjoyed conversations about books we’d read, our families, children and grandchildren.

As the disease took firmer hold I visited him frequently at the hospital and later at home. Even then, when I saw him last,  just a week before he died, the sparkle was in his eye and his trademark smile was on his lips. 

I believe I speak for those who knew him; many probably better than I did, when I say that he leaves behind people who held him in great esteem and abiding affection. He was a positive force.  He approached his end with great dignity and courage. He will be very much missed.

Our thoughts go out to his wife, Sandi, his daughter, Molly and son Sean, his brother and his grandchildren.

I want to thank others who have expressed their thoughts about Mike, and from whose comments I have borrowed freely: Karen Thompson, Doug Simon, Greg Durbin (especially for details on  PBP), Liz Sinna and others, including Larry Meredith of the Empire Runners.   

The family has announced a memorial service for Mike at 1:00 PM Sunday, August 5, 2018 at Daniel’s Chapel of the Roses, 1225 Sonoma Avenue, Santa Rosa. The service will be followed by a reception at the Friedman Center 4676 Mayette Ave. Santa Rosa. His obituary can be found HERE.

Tom Abrams

Note: SRCC is planning a memorial ride in honor of Mike. Details will be announced soon.

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