Mildred McGuire Bagnall
Mildred McGuire Bagnall
  • February 24, 1929 - December 29, 2017
  • Toano, Virginia

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Mildred Mary McGuire was born on February 24, 1929 in Washington DC, 8 months before the great stock market crash that ushered in the Great Depression. The firstborn of Chester J McGuire and Gertrude Naphen McGuire, she was their only child until her younger sister, Patricia, came into the world several years later.

She began making her mark in the world when she was one of only a few women to attend the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1951. While there she headed the Debate Team and served as Editor of the school's Foreign Service Journal.
After graduating, she began working for the Central Intelligence Agency in its early years, where she met her husband, Robert E Bagnall. When their first son, Richard, was born, she concluded her work at the Agency to become a full-time Mom. Less than a year later, in 1957, the family was transferred to Rome, Italy where her husband was stationed at the American Embassy. Their second son, Robert, was born in that ancient city 2 years later, in 1959.

While in Rome, she explored many new avenues of creativity, one of which was art. She immersed herself in painting and sculpture classes, ultimately winning a first place award for one of her oil still life paintings at the American Embassy Art Exhibit.

Returning to the States in 1964 after 7 years in Italy, the family moved to Williamsburg, VA, where Kathleen, their first daughter, was born. It was in those early years back in the U.S. that she first learned to drive.

After 4 years in Williamsburg, the family once again moved, this time to McLean in Northern Virginia. It was there that she began her church and volunteer activities that would continue the rest of her life. She was involved in a number of activities through her parish, St. John's, including teaching, worship planning, and social ministry outreach. She threw herself into helping resettle a great number of refugee families, particularly after the end of the war in Viet Nam. She was also committed to those who were homeless and hungry and became involved with the S.O.M.E. [So Other's Might Eat] program in Washington D.C. She was an active participant in the annual March for Life in Washington. Her greatest commitment, however, was to Haven of Northern Virginia, an organization that offers emotional support to those who are bereaved, seriously ill or dying, and their families. Covering a span of more than 40 years, she served as a counselor, case manager and volunteer coordinator. The dedicated volunteers at Haven became a treasured second family to her.

In the latter years of her life, after moving to Greenspring Village, she found it necessary to cut back on her volunteer commitments, but continued to keep a hand in Haven as well as many of her church activities. She was also an active participant in the social activities of the Greenspring community where several lifelong friends also reside. The Angels Wine Group was a favored monthly gathering of dear friends.

Throughout her life she was an avid learner. She read books, magazines, newspapers, watched TV news and listened to news radio as much as she could. She could converse knowledgably on almost any subject. Her favorite TV show was Jeopardy and she typically would answer almost every question, sometimes correcting inaccuracies in the answers given by Art Fleming or Alex Trebek.

Her parents, Chester and Gertrude, sister Pat and husband Bob have all preceded her in death. She is survived by her children Rich, Bob and Kathie as well as her grandchildren Taylor and Christina. She has left her mark on several generations.

In lieu of flowers, she has requested that her friends and family make donations to her cherished organizations: Haven of Northern Virginia, S.O.M.E., and the Little Sisters of the Poor community.