Patricia “Pat” Marion McGuire, a resident of Edinburg, Texas for over 40 years, was born on October 30, 1933, in Camargo, Oklahoma, a small farming, and ranching community near the Oklahoma panhandle. She was an excellent student with many friends, active in 4-H, and played on her high school basketball team. She died March 16, 2018, in her home, surrounded by people she loved. When Pat was 14, her beloved father, Keith David McGuire, Sr., an experienced pilot, died when the two-seat airplane he was piloting crashed.
Pat was very proud of her Mother Josephine Marguerite (Morlas) McGuire, a native of New Orleans, who rose to the formidable challenge of raising and educating Pat and her elder brother Keith as a single parent during the 1940’s. Even though Josephine had not worked outside the home before, it became necessary after her husband’s death. Being widowed at age 42, she had only the proceeds from the sale of her husband’s welding shop, and a small inheritance from her mother, to help support her family. Josephine and her children moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama and lived briefly with Pat’s Uncle Elvis McGuire, allowing Josephine to take typing and shorthand courses to prepare herself to enter the workforce. When she finished with her coursework, they moved back to Camargo and she held several different jobs over the years, many simultaneously: a newspaper clerk and social columnist, a department store saleslady, a census enumerator, and most often was employed as a waitress at restaurants and coffee shops. The main motivation for returning to Camargo was to allow Pat, and her brother Keith to complete High School in their hometown. Pat graduated in 1951 as the salutatorian of her class.
After her graduation, Pat and her mother moved to Weatherford, Oklahoma, where Pat enrolled in Southwestern State College with her mother as her roommate. Both she and her mother worked while Pat was in college to contribute to the cost of college attendance, with her brother Keith, a U.S. Air Force enlistee, contributing to their support. Pat graduated Magna Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Science in Education in 1954.
From 1954 to 1956 Pat taught High School in Mooreland, Oklahoma, where she and her mother continued to share a home. After her mother remarried Kenneth Carpenter (a friend and pallbearer at her late husband’s funeral), Pat pursued and earned a Master of Science degree in Business Education from Oklahoma State University. There she met, at a Newman Club dance, fellow student and her future husband, Charles Richard Strong of Duncan, Oklahoma. It was love at first kiss! They married in Stillwater on May 25, 1957. Pat graduated from O.S.U. in May 1958, two months prior to the birth of her eldest child. Over the first ten years of their marriage, Pat and Charles had seven children, in order of birth, Thomas Anthony, Mary Patricia, John David, Laura Ann, Karl Joseph, Paul Stephen and Anne Marie. They moved even more times than they had children. They lived and worked in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas, while Charles taught at various colleges while completing his Ph.D. in Business Management at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. While busy raising her large family, Pat worked part-time as an instructor in the Business Education Department at Mississippi State College for Women and assisted as proofreader and typist for her husband’s doctoral dissertation. In May 1973, Charles, who was also a practicing C.P.A., was offered a position in the Accounting Department at Pan American University in Edinburg.
When her youngest daughter began school, Pat began to teach full time in McAllen, Texas, instructing her students in the subjects of English, Typing, and Shorthand. She taught 20 years before her retirement in 1994.
Pat is preceded in death by both parents, her stepfather, and four sisters-in-law (Daisy Newnam McGuire, Theresa Strong Rutledge, Betty Wehunt Strong, and Caroline Strong Brasher). She is survived by her husband of over sixty years, Charles; four sons Tom (Melinda)-San Antonio, John (Isabel)-McAllen, Karl (Deirdre)-Boerne, Paul (Sherry)-Houston; three daughters, Laura (Ken Solomon)-Helotes, Mary Pat and Annie, both of Edinburg; former daughter-in-law Elisa Leal Schmidt-Corpus Christi; twelve grandchildren, Charles Joseph (Pratistha) Strong-Jefferson City, MO.; J.H.T. “Tommy” Strong-Long Beach, CA; Michael Strong-San Antonio; Elizabeth Strong-Corpus Christi; Charles Richard Strong-Boerne; David Strong-San Antonio; William “Billy” Strong-Austin; Jacobo (Yamilet) Strong-McAllen; Katelyn Solomon-San Antonio; Joseph Strong-Boerne; Christian “Che” Strong-San Antonio; and Hannah Solomon-Helotes; three great grandchildren, Maya Strong (age 5), J. D. Alvarez (age 3), and Mateo Strong (8 months); her brother Keith David McGuire, Jr.-Bailey, Colorado; brothers-in-law, Bill Strong-Harlingen, TX; John (Brenda) Strong-Duncan, OK; Tom (Vickie) Strong-Laveen, AZ and Paul “P.D.” (Jane) Strong-Duncan, OK; 18 nieces and nephews and their spouses and children; several first cousins from the Morlas family of New Orleans to whom she was particularly close, including Vivian Solares of Harahan, LA; former students; and dear friend and fellow teacher, Earlene Burney of Clarksville, Tennessee.
She was known for her love of her family, which is her proudest accomplishment, her quick wit, and her quiet intelligence. She was an ardent fan of the San Antonio Spurs She adhered to and demonstrated the Humanist philosophy through her constant empathy and kindness to others, regardless of who a person might be.
She was also very proud that three of her children, one daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren have thus far followed her and her husband into the profession of teaching. The family wishes especially thank Pat’s special caretakers (Mary Pat Strong, Veronica Rosales, and Lilliana Herrera) for all they have done.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, P.O. Box 6251, McAllen, TX 78502; Comfort House Services, 617 Dallas Ave, McAllen, TX 78501; or the Rio Grande, or your local, Habitat for Humanity. Cremation will be handled by Memorial Funeral Home, Edinburg. Interment will be in the McGuire family plot at the Camargo (Westside) Cemetery, where her family will gather this summer to share memories and oversee her interment.