Robert P. McGuigan
MADISON – Robert P. McGuigan died Monday, May 26, 2014 at the VA Hospital, Madison.
He was born on March 29, 1951 to Raphael and Thelma Lorraine (Thompson) of Blanchardville, WI. The family moved to Madison in 1965. Robert was a graduate of Madison East High School in 1969, later attending Edgewood (91-92) getting a paralegal certification and MATC (Madison College) in 92-93 studying business. He served in the US Navy from 1969-72. He was a lifetime member of AmVets Post #7 in Oshkosh. He married Betty L. Brown of Stoughton in 1972. They had one son, Jason, born on Flag Day 1975.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Kenneth, Betty and son, Jason.
He lived in Colorado from 1977-82 and was very active with the American Legion Post 111 (Louisville, CO) where due to his efforts the Post was awarded the American Legion Americanism Award for his efforts in organizing a recognition day for Vietnam Veterans. He was also individually presented the Americanism Award for a fundraiser he held for a family who lost two sons (Boy Scouts) to a house fire. It was a very tragic time, but with total community support for the family, $50,000 was raised.
Robert held many types of jobs over the years. The most recent began in 2000 with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue as a tax representation/customer service specialist.
He also advocated for proper reporting of child abuse cases. He became very involved after gaining custody of Jason at age 14. He did many radio interviews on the subject – opening the eyes of Madisonians. There have been many newspaper articles interviewing him in the State Journal.
Robert has always been involved with community service, starting in high school. Since the death of his son, he has been a very strong advocate speaking about the dangers of youth and gambling. He started speaking in high schools and for groups of all kinds. His last speech was presented in October, 2013 at the national conference of the NCAA in Indianapolis. He has been affiliated with the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling since 2006 and was presented with their Leadership Award on March 19, 2014 at the state conference in Wisconsin Dells. He has volunteered with the Badger Honor Flight since 2010 raising funds to send our Veterans to Washington D.C. He was instrumental in connecting Badger Honor Flight with the Ho-Chunk Nation (they are also involved with the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling) as a corporate sponsor for future Badger Honor Flights. The final fundraiser was March 1, 2014, “The Celebration of Life,” raising over $27,000 to send veterans to D.C.
Many heartfelt thanks to the staff of the VA Hospital, CLC unit and especially Dr. Demming, Dr. Renier, and Dr. Crowe. Also, two very special ladies, Barb Kroning and Penny Simpson – thanks for all the good times fishing and camping, but mostly for sharing your families with me.
A very special thanks to the following: Professor John Kindt (University of Illinois), Rose Gruber (WI Council on Problem Gambling), Les Bernal (STOP Predatory Gambling, Inc.), Dan Phillips for filming my life story, and so many others too numerous to list.
He is survived by his grandson, Isaiah McGuigan-Kunert; brother, William; nephew, Travis; best friend, Robert Jones and his entire family (you will be my family forever); and the “other family and friends” at Badger Honor Flight.
A celebration of Robert’s life will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 31, 2014 at Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway Rd., Madison. A visitation will be held 1 hour prior to the service. Burial with military honors will be at Forest Hill Cemetery. A reception will follow.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to Badger Honor Flight, PO Box 258066, Madison, WI 53725.
May God grant you many years to live,
For sure He must be knowing
The earth has angels all too few
And heaven is overflowing. ~Irish Blessing
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