Virginia Catherine Leary McGuinness, 89, formerly of Fairfield and Bridgeport, died Saturday, June 16, at the Arden Courts Home for Alzheimer’s Care in Hamden after a long illness. Mrs. McGuinness was the beloved wife of deceased the Honorable John. J. McGuinness Jr., Connecticut State Superior Court Judge.

She is survived by her sister, Rhoda  M. Southard of Santa Monica, Calif.; and five children, John J. McGuinness III and wife Deirdre of Fairfield, attorney Peter J. McGuinness of Bridgeport, attorney Timothy A. McGuinness and wife Jill of Seattle, Wash., Sarah M. Cyr and husband Gilman of Hamden, and Christopher W. McGuinness of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and 10 grandchildren, Kaitlin, Timothy, Patrick and Peter Cyr of Hamden, Josephine and Elizabeth McGuinness of Seattle, Jane and Katherine McGuinness of Fairfield, Jack and Michael McGuinness of Darien and several nieces and nephews.

Mrs. McGuinness was born in Fairfield and was the second child of James and Florence Leary. An older sister Jane died shortly before her first birthday.  She attended St. Thomas Elementary School in Fairfield and graduated from the Academy of Our Lady of Mercy, Lauralton Hall in Milford. She was a graduate of the Junior College of Connecticut and attended Columbia University and Adelphi University.

She worked as a laboratory technician at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport and Northshore Hospital on Long Island. She married John J. McGuinness Jr., then a Bridgeport attorney and state legislator, in 1955. She and her husband raised their family in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport and later moved to Fairfield after Mr. McGuinness was appointed judge to the Court of Common Pleas.

After the death of her husband in 1978, she moved back to Bridgeport and worked as a real estate agent for the Eugene Richter Agency in Fairfield. She was known to her friends and colleagues as “Virginia,” “Virg” and “Ginny.” She was dedicated to her family in particular; her children and grandchildren and responded happily to calls to Mom and Gigi. Her generous heart and spirit and wonderful sense of humor were loved by all who knew her.

The McGuinness family would like to thank the administration and staff of Hamden’s Arden Courts for their many years of thoughtful care and kindness.

Calling hours will take place on Friday, June 22, from 2-8, at the Redgate-Hennessy Funeral Home, Main Street and Gorham Place, Trumbull. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11 on Saturday, June 23, at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 545 Stratfield Road, Fairfield.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made in her memory to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America,, and Notre Dame Catholic High School,, 220 Jefferson St., Fairfield, CT 06825, from where her five children graduated.

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