November Donor of the Month The Maguire Family October Donor of the Month John Maguire ‘61
November 7, 2017
The first time I sat down with John Maguire and spoke to him about the plight of Villanova students he listened intently. At the end of lunch he wrote out a check for $2,500 and asked me if he could get involved and be of service. I said “yes” and the rest is history. John continuously raised money for the students. He ran out of the first and second box of BWSF Business Cards that I gave him. He asked his friends to write checks to Blue White instead of giving him a birthday present; he made bets playing golf and the purse money went to Blue White, he picked up the check for dinner with friends and family and asked them to write a check to Blue White for the same amount that dinner would have cost. (This was on top of the $5,000 he would personally give each year. ) I could go on, but needless to say, John was the consummate “Salesmen.” He believed in helping others, but he did so in a manner in which he received no public recognition. He always started a conversation with “What can I do for you?” He considered himself a servant for our Lord and didn’t just talk the talk, but walked the walk. I write in the past tense because John passed away October 3. His mass was con-celebrated by 7 priests. The celebrant, Reverend John P. McNamee, described John as a “Christian Gentlemen” and quoted the words of blessed St. John Neuman, “ A true Gentleman never hurts or offends another.” During the mass, one of our board members turned to me and said, “Wow I never realized we had such a true gem. I responded that I always knew. John treated me like an adopted daughter and I will quote Thomas Aquinas to describe a true and dear friend, “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” I will miss him dearly.
During the funeral, I discovered that John’s family asked that in lieu of flowers that John’s friends send money to the Blue White Scholarship Foundation. I asked one of his children to write a story about their Dad. Here it is:
“We can honestly say that one of the first songs that John Maguire’s five children learned the lyrics to was, “V, for Villanova, V for victory. B for Blue and W for White, for the Blue and the White we will fight, fight, fight.”
And that’s what he did, championing causes for people he never, or barely, knew. As we’ve come to learn over and over again since he passed away Oct. 3, his actions spoke louder than any of our words ever could.
November Donor of the Month - John Maguire’s Family
It’s no surprise to us that two of our Dad’s greatest passions, Villanova University (a proud member of the class of 1961) and helping complete strangers would manifest itself in him working for the Blue White Scholarship Foundation. Like any human being, John Maguire was many things rolled into one. He cared deeply for his family. His Catholic faith provided a moral compass his entire life. He was devoted to his sports teams (the Phillies, Eagles and Villanova basketball being the most prominent, and the order of importance depended on which team was in season!) He was passionate about his work and his golf, which often intersected. By no means was he only these things, but they were the ones at the surface that most people witnessed first hand. What many people didn’t know was what he did behind the scenes with no one watching. He only wanted his God to see.
There’s an old TV show, MASH, that helps describe our father. One of the character’s family traditions was always to do something for someone less fortunate around Christmas, but the key was, it had to be anonymous. How many of us do things in this world so we can get credit for them? Not our Dad. That episode epitomized our father.
When our brother Michael’s wife passed away in February, it turns out that our Dad made donations to the charity Michael created (Little By Little) in Kim’s name. Dad made Michael promise to keep his contributions anonymous. You get more credit with God if no one knows you did it, he would often tell us.
Our Dad truly lived those words as we found out after his passing. Like how he paid for an inner-city church’s Christmas decorations, but only the pastor knew. Or how when a few churches were consolidated in Philadelphia and some parishioners weren’t able to make it to church due to the distance, our Dad found out and paid for them to take a bus to mass -- for four years. And best we can tell, no one knew about it until the day of his funeral.
Not only did our Dad show compassion by his own example, but he also taught others how to do it in his own humble way. Our Dad sold metals, and we later found out that earlier this year he told a company that he worked for that he didn’t want a commission for one of his sales. Instead, if they wanted, they could send the check to the Little By Little foundation. Sure enough, they received $750 in the mail and that helped pay for T-shirts that the foundation used as a fundraiser.
Like so many other things he did, he taught his children to act the same way. A couple of summer’s ago, his son Kevin mistakenly took a bunch of beach badges home from the Jersey shore. He called his father to pay for them, but Dad wasn’t taking the money. He simply told them to send the check to the Blue White Scholarship Foundation. We’d be willing to bet this happened many other times that he never told us about.
He took great pride in handing out his business cards that promoted the Blue White Scholarship Foundation to help students at Villanova that ran out of money through no fault of their own. He understood the value of education and how important it was in his own life, so naturally he wanted to help others in need.
One of the greatest things our Dad taught us was love. Love for our family, love for God, love for all human beings, and often love for those less fortunate. Even after his death, he continued to show us how we should live our lives.
He often told us that when St. Peter tallied up his good deeds and bad deeds, he’d need a few more on the positive side. We suspect St. Peter marked him down for birdie on every single hole of his lifetime scorecard.”
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