Environmental Icon Jill McGuire Dies
Environmental icon and community leader Jill McGuire, longtime president of Santa Fe Lake Dwellers Association and a local and state champion for environmental protection, passed away peacefully on Monday, May 1, 2023 at E. T. York Care Center in Gainesville, after a brief illness.
Jill McAllister Penrod McGuire, was a lifelong Floridian. Jill was born April 3, 1945, in Miami. Her family relocated to Gainesville in the 1950's when her father started teaching at the University of Florida.
Beginning in 3rd grade Jill began bringing home stray dogs & cats, who often became the family pet. She enjoyed picking wild berries along the Duck Pond creek, bike rides to Devil's Millhopper, and learning to swim in Lake Wauburg.
Jill married her high school sweetheart, Mike, in 1970. Shortly after, they embarked on adventures to Alaska, Key West, and Europe before settling in Melrose on Lake Santa Fe in 1975. They welcomed their beloved daughter, Meghan, in 1980.
Jill was extremely passionate about family. An amazing wife, sister, mother, grandmother (GJ) and aunt, Jill was always most happy visiting her grandchildren, Dean and Pearl.
As a lifelong animal lover, rescuer, and advocate, it was a natural transition when Jill became a truly dedicated environmentalist. Jill's tireless efforts to 'Free' Rodman Dam; guard Florida from uncontrolled development, protect our endangered springs, work with Native Plant Society, Florida Springs Council, and many other organizations were a passion.
While keeping a sharp eye on the future, Jill developed strong relationships with many organizations, becoming a powerhouse in the Florida environmental movement. With a natural gift for listening and understanding she had the ability to bring people together. A gentle spirit, yet a fierce and effective advocate and trailblazer for water protection, wetlands and land conservation.
Jill supported other vital causes; a new bumper sticker addition on her car reads, 'I read Banned Books' reflecting her support for freedom of education. To say Jill was a 'progressive' would understate her dedication and contributions on a wide range of issues: women's rights, equality, voting rights, and working for progressive candidates. Florida's issues were all part of Jill's many efforts to make our world a better place. She was truly a Renaissance woman.
Jill is survived by her husband of 52 years, Mike, as well as their daughter, Meghan (Ryan) Stutzman, her sister Julie (Layton) Penrod Glenn, niece Kathryn Colson, nephew John Colson, 2 grandchildren and 3 great nieces and nephews.
Services for friends and family will be held at Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery, at 10:00 AM on Saturday, May 6, 2023. After Services, a celebration of life will be held at Paynes Prairie Park, Pavilion 41. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Humane Society, or Our Santa Fe River.
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