Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation

For good. For ever.

Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Isabella County, now and for generations to come, by holding and attracting permanent endowed funds from a wide range of donors, addressing needs through grant making and providing leadership on key community issues.

Pat and Jean McGuirk Family Fund

The Pat and Jean McGuirk Family Fund was established in memory of Patrick H. McGuirk, Sr., by his wife, Jean McGuirk, and his children Pat McGuirk, Jr., Peggy Moore, Colleen Shaw, and Kelly Keehbauch.

Pat was one of six siblings born in 1931, and he grew up in humble conditions. He knew what it was like to be hungry, cold, and less fortunate. With the vision he had for his life he overcame his circumstances with hard work and his life partner, Jean McGuirk. Pat told his family many times of his family working in the potato fields when he was a young child, and he worked on a turkey farm and detested the smell or eating turkey after that experience. Pat always worked; from the time that he was a young child until two days before his death on October 8, 2009. In 1977, Pat, Sr. and Pat, Jr. formed a partnership under the name of Pat McGuirk Excavating. Pat and Jean McGuirk enjoyed a mutually satisfying relationship with their family and in their business. Pat performed the physical labor on site, while Jean was responsible for the bookkeeping, answering the telephone, and was instrumental in all business decisions. Pat always said “It feels good to work hard”. And his strong work ethic was passed on to his children.

Pat worked six days a week, and many times until dark in the summertime. On Sunday’s he took his children to Coldwater Lake and pulled them skiing, swam with them, and he never said, “No, I’m tired”. In the winter months, on Sunday’s, he took his family for ice cream cones at McFarlane Dairy (the location is now Fire House 5) and they all took a ride.

Pat had a special fondness towards children, and it was typical for him to take a child under his wing. He tried to give these children the good things in life, even if it was only a bag full of penny candy or if it was for him to physically take a child to select their own Christmas present. Although Pat achieved a very rewarding life, through his hard work, he never forgot where he came from. Pat had charisma and was able to converse and reach people of all ages. Jean received many sympathy cards after Pat’s passing that included the disclosure of these many acts of kindness that his own family knew nothing about. And on a lighter note, his generosity wasn’t only lavished on the human species; Pat fed the birds and wildlife around their home for forty years.

The Pat and Jean McGuirk Family Fund is designated to Hospice of Central Michigan, the Women's Shelter and the Isabella Community Soup Kitchen; even from afar he is able to reach those in need.