Loretta McGuinness of Speonk died on November 4. She was 84.
Ms. McGuinness was a co-founder and active member of the Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees (AME). She was a Suffolk County probation officer until her retirement in 1995.
“Loretta’s efforts on behalf of AME are well documented,” said AME president Dan Farrell. “She was closely involved in the development of the union and its committees; She energetically fought for employees’ rights, and she was a great advocate for union solidarity. Loretta McGuinness was a force to be reckoned with, and we will miss her.”
Among the many titles Ms. McGuinness held with AME were charter member, executive board member, probation unit president, retiree unit president, AME historian and convention delegate. She once said that if she felt something was wrong, she tried to help make it better, and that is the legacy she leaves for her fellow union members.
After relocating from the Bronx to Stony Brook, Ms. McGuinness began her career in 1975 as a clerk/ typist for Suffolk County, moving on to the Consumer Affairs and Child Support Enforcement units before becoming a probation officer in 1983. She then furthered her education, earning a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York’s Empire State College followed by a master’s degree in public administration from C.W. Post in 1989. At that time, she was also appointed to serve on the Child Care Task Force by the Suffolk County executive.
A longtime resident of Speonk, Ms. McGuinness and her late husband, Kiernan, had six children and four grandchildren. Proud of her Irish heritage, she was a member of the Ancient Hibernians of Port Jefferson and was featured on the cover of the New York Post as she marched in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. For more than 40 years, she and her family enjoyed summers on the beach as members of the Westhampton Country Club. Her family considers her a hero who set a great example of grace, perseverance and the strength of the “Fighting Irish.”
Ms. McGuinness is survived by six children, Michael of Florida, Kathleen of California, Kevin and wife Beth of Maryland, Brian and wife Susan of Virginia, Joseph of Port Jefferson, and Paul and wife Elena of Levittown; four grandchildren, Ryan, Brittany, Bradley and Matthew; and two sisters, Mary Doughny of Rhode Island and Barbara Doughtery of Pennsylvania.
Visitation was held at Follett and Werner Funeral Home in Westhampton Beach on November 6. A funeral Mass was held at the Church of the Immaculate Conception on November 7. Interment followed at Calverton National Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to Little Flower Children and Family Services, 2460 North Wading River Road, Wading River, NY 11792.