Cornwall on Hudson photo by Michael Nelson
August 25, 2019
Welcome! Click here to Login
News from Cornwall and Cornwall On Hudson, New York
Our Town
Photos of Our Town
Help Wanted
The Outdoors
Support Our Advertisers
About Us
Advertise with Us
Contact Us
Click to visit the
Official Village Site
Click to visit the
Official Town Site
Cornwall Public Library
Latest Newsletter

Obituaries: Hon. John K. McGuirk

October 20, 2018

May 6, 1942 – October 18, 2018
New Windsor, NY

Hon. John K. McGuirk, retired Justice of the New York State Supreme Court, 9th Judicial District, and a 50-year resident of the Hudson Valley, entered into eternal rest on October 18, 2018, surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his devoted wife: Joan; their seven children: J.P. McGuirk, Sun McGuirk, Jennifer McGuirk, Tricia (Chris) Rivers, Anne (Gene) Duignan, Gerard (Michelle) Sawicki and Katlyn (Burke) Hartfelder; ten grandchildren: Colin, Jane, Nina, Daniel, Ryan, Julian, Abby, Will, Brooke, Connor, (another on the way); his two sisters: Barbara Thedinga and Kay (Ray) Fennessey; brothers-in-law: Kevin (Donna) Cusack, Kenny Lavery; sister-in-law: Cindy Cusack; many well-loved nieces and nephews; extended family members; and his former spouse Patricia Larkin. John was predeceased by his mother and father: Lillian and John; mother and father-in-law: Elaine and Jack Cusack; brothers-in-law: Edward Thedinga and Gerard Cusack; nephew: Jimmy Romeo; and niece: Barbara Jean Fennessey. John is also survived by countless dear friends who he considered family and to whom his loyalty was unending.

John McGuirk was born in New York City on May 6, 1942, to John E. and Lillian Regan McGuirk. A year later his family moved to the Woodlawn Section of the Bronx, a predominantly Irish neighborhood where he was raised in St. Barnabas Parish. He graduated from Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains in 1959.

Justice McGuirk graduated from Manhattan College in 1963 with a B.A. in economics. Shortly after graduation in 1966 from Boston College Law School with a J.D., he began his long and distinguished legal career. He completed his formal education when he received a Masters of Law from New York University School of Law in 1971.

Since his first position as a Staff Attorney in Washington D.C. for the Federal Communications Commission, Justice McGuirk has served at all levels of Government including local, county, state and federal in his long period of service. He served as an Assistant Professor of Law at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, and Captain, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps, from 1967 – 1971. Upon leaving the Army in 1971, Justice McGuirk chose to remain in the Hudson Valley because he was attracted by its beauty and it was important to him to work in the area in order to be available to his family.
Justice McGuirk served as Town Justice for the Town of Cornwall from 1976 – 1995 and Family Court Judge for Orange County from 1995 – 1999. In 1999 he was elected to the NYS Supreme Court where he retired in 2011. Between 1971 and 1995 Justice McGuirk also practiced law throughout the Hudson Valley. In 1995 he was appointed by Governor Pataki to fill a vacancy on the Orange County Family Court bench to which he was elected in that year.

Justice McGuirk was also a member of many professional and civic organizations, such as the N.Y.S. Bar Association, the Orange County Bar Association, and the N.Y.S. Supreme Court Justices’ Association. He served several terms as the Orange County Bar Association Delegate to the New York State Bar Association House of Delegates. Justice McGuirk has served on the Cornwall Hospital Board of Directors, and the Manhattan College National Alumni Council Board of Directors. He is a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Father Donald Whelan Division 2 of Cornwall, The Cornwall Lions Club, Cornwall American Legion Post 353, The West Point Society of New York and an Honor member of the Highland Engine Company No. 1 of Cornwall. He has served as an umpire in the Cornwall Little League and as a coach in the Cornwall Youth Soccer League.

The McGuirk family would like to extend a special thank you to all the dedicated physicians who cared for John over the years, especially Dr. DiLorenzo, Dr. Nasir, Dr. Hughes, Dr. Portelli, Dr. Cassimatis, and Dr. Pomerantz. We also want to express our gratitude to ALL the staff at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital, specifically the Emergency Department, the Intensive Care Unit and the 2 North staff. A special thank you to his personal care assistant, Sean Kelly.

His love for his family, his Country, singing, dancing, everything Irish and anything Jasper-related made him a joy to be around. John loved to laugh, and was always the life of any party. He will forever be remembered for his kindness, whether you knew him for a minute or for a lifetime.

Memorial Donations may be made to Manhattan College, 4513 Manhattan College Parkway, Riverdale, NY 10471 and St. Luke’s Health System Foundation, 70 Dubois Street, Newburgh, NY 12550.

Visitation will be held from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., with family reflections at 6 p.m. on Sunday, October 21st at Quigley-Sullivan Funeral Home, Inc., 337 Hudson St. Cornwall-On-Hudson, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, October 22nd at St. Thomas of Canterbury Church, 340 Hudson Street, Cornwall-On-Hudson, NY. Interment with Military Honors will follow the Mass at St. Thomas Cemetery, Cornwall, NY.

Arrangements are entrusted to Quigley-Sullivan Funeral Home, Inc.; to send condolences or to get directions to the funeral home, please go to

To send flowers to the family of Hon. John Kenyon McGuirk, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.


No comments have been posted.

Add a Comment:

Please signup or login to add a comment.

© 2019 by Cornwall Media, LLC . All Rights Reserved. | photo credit: Michael Nelson
Advertise with Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy