On the morning of July 4, 2019, Dr. Alice Patsy McGuire departed this earthly life at the age of 102. She was born in Sylva on February 4, 1917 in the home of her parents, Dr. Wayne Patrick McGuire and Dr. Daisy Dean Zachary McGuire.
A third generation dentist, she was professionally active at a time when few females ventured into that field. In fact, her mother was the first female dentist licensed in the state of North Carolina and the first female to be issued a dental degree from the school that would become Emory University Dental School.
Dr. Patsy, as she was well known, graduated from Atlanta Southern Dental College in 1939. While there she met and married her classmate, Dr. Harold S. McGuire, to whom she was married for over 79 years. Active in many dental circles, she practiced in Sylva for over 50 years.
Dr. Patsy was preceded in death by her parents (named above), her spouse (named above), and two sisters, Dr. Noracella McGuire Wilson (Thomas) and Dr. Kitty Dean McGuire Gamewell (Robert). She is survived by four children, Alice McGuire Kirk (William), Virginia McGuire Burridge (Herb), Dr. F. Patrick McGuire (Jeanne) and Dr. David S. McGuire (Kathy). She had 12 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
A lifelong member of the Sylva United Methodist Church, she was active in many Sunday School and Circle Groups within the church.
Dr. McGuire was a lifetime member of the American Dental Association, the North Carolina Dental Association, Western North Carolina Dental Society and many study clubs.
Always busy with her hands, Dr. Patsy was an accomplished seamstress and knitter. Later in life she developed interests in painting and weaving with phenomenal results.
Dr. McGuire was proud to be a direct descendant of both Barak Norton and Col. John Zachary, who are considered to be the first white settlers in southern Jackson County. She inherited a building, built by her paternal grandfather, which had served as the first Norton School. Dr. Patsy later donated the building and property to be used as the Norton Community Center.
This amazing woman loved her family, church and community. She will be greatly missed. A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date.