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Robert McGuirlRobert Joseph McGuirl Jr., 69, of New Rochelle, NY, passed away on October 5th at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center, where he had been hospitalized for two weeks.
Born in 1949 to Mildred and Robert J. McGuirl Sr., Robert grew up in Pelham Manor, NY, the third of five children. He graduated from Pelham Memorial High School in 1968, where he enjoyed a large circle of friends and played several sports. Following graduation, Bob enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving two tours in Vietnam. The impact of those years fostered his lifelong devotion to veterans' causes as a volunteer and a leader, for which he received innumerable honors.
Upon returning from the army, Bob studied at Westchester Community and Mercy Colleges under the GI Bill. He tended bar at several pubs in the Bronx and Westchester, where his magnanimous personality shined. He was a big guy with a big heart, who always had a story to share, a joke to tell or a gift to give. Despite declining health in recent years, Bob showed great fortitude, never losing his sense of humor nor deep empathy for others. He relentlessly volunteered his time and energy to better the lives of local veterans, especially at the Montrose VA Hospital.
Bob was gifted with a phenomenal memory for people and history. He was a proud American, who reminded us of the sacrifice of those who have served our country. For many years, he led the annual Pelham Memorial Day Parade with great pride. Bob also cherished his Irish heritage and in 2004 became a dual citizen of Ireland. He was a beloved brother, uncle and friend, who will be remembered for his larger-than-life personality. His generous spirit remains an inspiration for all who knew and loved him.
Bob was predeceased by his brother James, and is survived by his sisters, Patricia Sharma, Elizabeth Mutschler and Kathleen Burrell, ten nieces and nephews, who affectionately called him Uncle Bronco, and twelve grandnieces and grandnephews.
Visitation hours will be 4-8pm on Thursday, October 10th at Pelham Funeral Home, 64 Lincoln Ave. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10am on Friday, October 11th at St. Catherine's Church in Pelham; internment at Gate of Heaven Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Robert J. McGuirl Scholarship Fund, care of American Legion Post 50, Richard J. Daronco Townhouse, 20 Fifth Ave. Pelham, NY 10803.
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