ForeverMissed
Floyd McGurk was many things to the many people he met over his lifetime. We hope this memorial website serves as a place for those people to record their memories of this amazing man and true patriot. 

To remember him and commune together, his family has organized two memorial events. One virtual and one in-person.

The virtual celebration of life will take place on Saturday, June 19th at 8 am HT, 11 am PST, and 2 pm EST on zoom. If you would like to attend, please email Tracy and Marshall (tracy_rodriguez001@sbcglobal.net and mtmcgurk@gmail.com) for the zoom dial-in information.

The in-person memorial will take place on Saturday, August 21st at 3:30 pm at First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh, 5401 Centre Ave, Pittsburg, PA.

His burial will take place on Sunday, August 22nd at 11:30 am at Lafayette Memorial Park, 132 Twin Hills Road, Grindstone, PA. Lafayette Memorial Park is approximately 60 miles from Pittsburg.

Please let Tracy and Marshall (emails above) know if you plan to attend in person.


A quick orientation to the site:

  1. Contribute pictures, videos, and/or audio files in the "Gallery" tab.
  2. Record memorable stories of "Old Floyd" in the "Stories" tab. This can be specific events in your lives together or stories you've heard him tell...there are many!
  3. The "Life" tab is meant to record general "Chapters" of his life. Some examples are his career as an Engineer Officer during Vietnam or his time managing construction projects.
  4. Finally, tributes are short messages you can leave when you are just thinking of him. Maybe you see an old Diesel Ford 250 driving down the road and think of him and his trusty Arthur Dent in Greenville and West Point. 
We look forward to reminiscing on all the shared memories of Old Floyd and learning more about this complex and storied man. 
Posted by Lynn A Kester on June 14, 2021
Old Floyd was a character who I grew to love, admire & respect. I first met him when my son Neil became a member of the Civil Air Patrol at our Downtown Airport, here in Greenville, SC. Little did I know how much a part of my family Floyd would become. Neil looked up to him as a father figure as Floyd was there for every important milestone in Neil's life. He was 14, Stewart was 13 when they became best of friends during their high school years. While both McGurk boys and Neil were at West Point, I couldn't have asked for a better support family as the whole McGurk clan were either employed or Cadets at the Military Academy. Their home was Neil's respite and safe place, along with so many other Cadets they sponsored. Whenever I visited West Point, I was always welcome to stay at the McGurk's home. Once all 3 boys graduated and Old Floyd returned to Greenville, we shared many a meal together. He cooked his famous 'Nectar of the Gods' meal many Sundays and we watched so many disappointing Army/Navy games together. When asked what time I should come to his house, Floyd always replied with "Come Early and Leave Early". I loved hearing this as I totally understood it. I have adopted this saying on several occasions and I always give Old Floyd the credit for saying it. Another favorite saying of his is 'Goodie', which he always said with such enthusiasm! That always gave me a chuckle.

I will always remember and be grateful for our weekly support groups. My neighbor Allison (soon to become my daughter-in-law), Old Floyd and I would meet at the Pita House to discuss and compare stories of deployment between Neil, Stewart and Marshall. Each of us heard different things from the boys so it was nice to be able to put it all together and stay strong with each other.

Many Saturday evenings Floyd would call to see if I wanted to go to Costco for one of their famous hot dogs and coke...all for $1.50! Little did he know I wasn't a fan of hot dogs but I couldn't resist accompanying him to one of his favorite spots.

And then came Patty! What a joy and a blessing to have met her and to have witnessed the love between her and Floyd. First time I met Patty was at Floyd's 75th birthday bash. I remember loving her instantly and marveling at the 'spark' in their eyes after all these years. I was lucky enough to have spent a little bit of time with Floyd and Patty whenever she visited SC. I was also fortunate to have been introduced to their daughter Tracy, who we call each other our 'soul sisters'. As much as I hated to see Old Floyd head West to CA, I knew it was the right decision and I'm grateful he was surrounded by so much love and family at the end of his life. Thank you Patty and Tracy!

Old Floyd and all of his memories will live on in the Kester household for years to come. I will miss him and his sweet boy Stewart, but am forever grateful they came into our lives. Rest in Peace, Old Friend.
Posted by darlene rutherford on June 12, 2021
Hi Pat, I was a Dames club member with you. We got our PHT (putting hubby through)..Times were tough as the curriculum was brutal and Ron and Floyd did the best they could to get through and work to add to the support of our families. 
I recall the night that we four went to a party and the time was getting late. I had a babysitter for my girls and you weren't feeling well. The boys were probably shall I say slightly sauced and weren't complying with our request so we grabbed the keys to the car and went home. Well the boys had to hoof it home and on the way stopped at a bar and continued partying tll about 2am. Ron made it home and passed out on the couch. But he had a 5 am survey class and he had the biggest hangover yet.  I didn't have any sympathy for him!  Found out the next day that you were really sick and had to go to the hospital. Floyd I'm sure was pretty apologetic and chagrined. (haha).
Ron and Floyd it it off as they were both vets. Ron in the Marines. Both were pretty tough guys but underneath teddy bears.
I'm very glad you reconnected and were there for him at the end as you were at the begining.





Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Lynn A Kester on June 14, 2021
Old Floyd was a character who I grew to love, admire & respect. I first met him when my son Neil became a member of the Civil Air Patrol at our Downtown Airport, here in Greenville, SC. Little did I know how much a part of my family Floyd would become. Neil looked up to him as a father figure as Floyd was there for every important milestone in Neil's life. He was 14, Stewart was 13 when they became best of friends during their high school years. While both McGurk boys and Neil were at West Point, I couldn't have asked for a better support family as the whole McGurk clan were either employed or Cadets at the Military Academy. Their home was Neil's respite and safe place, along with so many other Cadets they sponsored. Whenever I visited West Point, I was always welcome to stay at the McGurk's home. Once all 3 boys graduated and Old Floyd returned to Greenville, we shared many a meal together. He cooked his famous 'Nectar of the Gods' meal many Sundays and we watched so many disappointing Army/Navy games together. When asked what time I should come to his house, Floyd always replied with "Come Early and Leave Early". I loved hearing this as I totally understood it. I have adopted this saying on several occasions and I always give Old Floyd the credit for saying it. Another favorite saying of his is 'Goodie', which he always said with such enthusiasm! That always gave me a chuckle.

I will always remember and be grateful for our weekly support groups. My neighbor Allison (soon to become my daughter-in-law), Old Floyd and I would meet at the Pita House to discuss and compare stories of deployment between Neil, Stewart and Marshall. Each of us heard different things from the boys so it was nice to be able to put it all together and stay strong with each other.

Many Saturday evenings Floyd would call to see if I wanted to go to Costco for one of their famous hot dogs and coke...all for $1.50! Little did he know I wasn't a fan of hot dogs but I couldn't resist accompanying him to one of his favorite spots.

And then came Patty! What a joy and a blessing to have met her and to have witnessed the love between her and Floyd. First time I met Patty was at Floyd's 75th birthday bash. I remember loving her instantly and marveling at the 'spark' in their eyes after all these years. I was lucky enough to have spent a little bit of time with Floyd and Patty whenever she visited SC. I was also fortunate to have been introduced to their daughter Tracy, who we call each other our 'soul sisters'. As much as I hated to see Old Floyd head West to CA, I knew it was the right decision and I'm grateful he was surrounded by so much love and family at the end of his life. Thank you Patty and Tracy!

Old Floyd and all of his memories will live on in the Kester household for years to come. I will miss him and his sweet boy Stewart, but am forever grateful they came into our lives. Rest in Peace, Old Friend.
Posted by darlene rutherford on June 12, 2021
Hi Pat, I was a Dames club member with you. We got our PHT (putting hubby through)..Times were tough as the curriculum was brutal and Ron and Floyd did the best they could to get through and work to add to the support of our families. 
I recall the night that we four went to a party and the time was getting late. I had a babysitter for my girls and you weren't feeling well. The boys were probably shall I say slightly sauced and weren't complying with our request so we grabbed the keys to the car and went home. Well the boys had to hoof it home and on the way stopped at a bar and continued partying tll about 2am. Ron made it home and passed out on the couch. But he had a 5 am survey class and he had the biggest hangover yet.  I didn't have any sympathy for him!  Found out the next day that you were really sick and had to go to the hospital. Floyd I'm sure was pretty apologetic and chagrined. (haha).
Ron and Floyd it it off as they were both vets. Ron in the Marines. Both were pretty tough guys but underneath teddy bears.
I'm very glad you reconnected and were there for him at the end as you were at the begining.





his Life

Thialand, Laos, Cambodia Brotherhood (TLBC) Memorial

Written by: Marshall McGurk

TLCB In Memoriam, MAJ (ret). Floyd Francis McGurk, Thailand ’64, RVN: 66-67, 69-70.

My father didn’t talk about his experiences in Southeast Asia while my brother and I were growing up. By the time we returned from our own deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, my Dad had found the Thai-Laos-Cambodia Brotherhood, and gained more confidence to talk about his tours of duty. The connection with comrades and friends undoubtedly extended his life by many years. He spoke joyfully of the reunions, sent hundreds of emails documenting history, and implored his sons to learn more from the Vietnam-era veterans. Unfortunately, the effects of Agent Orange, strokes, and diabetes took its toll on my father, and he died the evening of April 30, 2021. He was 83.

The son of a western Pennsylvania coal miner and a university cook, my Dad, Floyd Francis McGurk, who took on the moniker “Old Floyd” by the time he reached 70, commissioned as a Distinguished Military Graduate with an Active Duty commission into the Army Corps of Engineers in 1961 from Colorado School of Mines. He took his young family to Fort Lewis, WA, where he participated in maneuvers in Alaska, Yakima, and other training sites in the West. Stateside garrison military life would soon be overtaken by overseas field service. Of his 15.5 years on active duty, 9.5 of those years were overseas. 

As the Vietnam War ramped up, then 1LT McGurk was deployed to Thailand in 1964, building out Air Forces bases at Nakhon Phanom, and Korat Thailand.  Floyd grew fond of Thailand and the Thai people while making many friends, including now-deceased TLCB member Mac Thompson. After returning to Fort Lewis and now a Captain, he went to Fort Bragg, NC for advisory training. He arrived in Vietnam as an Infantry Advisor to the South Vietnamese Regional Force / Popular Force in the Mekong River Delta, Truc Giang, Vietnam. He returned to the U.S. with a Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and a Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star for directing U.S. aircraft against VietCong positions during an attack. (I never knew about this until I had the award translated after his death. He never spoke of it.)

After a quick sojourn at USMC Amphibious Warfare School, and Arizona State University for a graduate degree, now MAJ McGurk returned to Vietnam from 1969-1970 as an Engineer at Tan Son Nhut Air Base near Siagon. It turned out to be an eventful tour of duty, as  he suffered a heart attack, was evac’d to Camp Zama, Japan, quit smoking, and then saved men out of a burning ammunition building before it exploded. For the latter action he was decorated with the Soldier’s Medal. Of all his decorations, he was most proud of the Soldier’s Medal and the CIB. He left the Army in 1976, but returned to federal service with the Corps of Engineers at West Point, NY in 2003, retiring in 2007. 

Floyd McGurk traveled the world on construction sites with the Army or various companies: Thailand, Vietnam, Yap island, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Barbados, to name a few. He made friends everywhere he went. Furthermore, he encouraged young people to consider military service while chastising older generations not to waste young lives needlessly. As he stated during a Veteran’s Day interview with Medal of Honor recipient Jack Jacobs: “They are all our sons and daughters.” 

He leaves behind a legacy of caring for young people, being passionate for justice, loyal service, and a hatred of war that made him an exceptional warrior.  A Zoom virtual memorial is being held on June 19, while an in-person memorial is scheduled for Saturday, 21 August in Pittsburgh, PA, with internment the following day. More details will be published through TLCB leadership for those wishing to attend. Memorial donations can be sent to the TLCB or Guiding Eyes for the Blind. 
Recent stories

Loved Old Man Floyd

Shared by Tiffany Navin on June 9, 2021
Floyd was definitely a character, but he had a heart of gold!  We were fortunate enough to know him very well since JonTom was his nephew.  My hubby, as everyone in the Navin/McGurk clan call him JonTom, was very close to Floyd.  Floyd would come to Manassas, VA to visit his sister Gerry and the whole Navin clan. John as I call him would always tell me stories about Floyd and how he would yell at him as a teenager.  Back then it rather pissed him off, but he now knows it was because he deserved it and Floyd was just a hard ass.  I think my husband has picked up a lot of Floyd's demeanor and quotes over the years. He certainly has a hard ass edge to him-but a heart of gold like his uncle. JonTom lived with Esma McGurk (Floyd's mom) when he was in college. He was fortunate enough to be able to see the McGurk clan quite often when they lived in Washington, PA. This was when I came into the family and had the distinct pleasure of knowing Floyd and his family, back then with JayBird too.   Floyd was known by the family for his abruptness and very passionate political views.  This was just how Floyd was and you could take it or leave it.  We learned not to get bothered by it, but when the nippies (alcohol) were rolling in that's when it got pretty intense here at my house.  Floyed loved his boys and was extremely proud of them but also very intense and ardent about his boys fighting in Afghanistan, (rightly so) he was passionate about many things and read the news profusely to keep informed.  I started listening to NPR because of Floyd years ago.  Fortunately for me, Floyd and I hit it off right away because we agreed on so many topics, but especially our political views.  Floyd was just so well versed in politics-even the politics in his moms small town of California, PA where he grew up. He wrote a lot of newspaper articles and always sent them to us via snail mail or over the internet.  He was also well versed in his woman....sorry, but just had to say it.  I have met two of his four wives and let me just say that they are both wonderful people.  JJ, I hope you are reading this too.  Its been a rough road for you the past several years. Love you! You were a huge part of Floyd's life.  You and Floyd together raised two amazing boys.  You BOTH did that together.  Some of those years must of been trying, but I know that Floyd always cared for you very much. Floyd an JayBird as Floyd would call her, were always welcoming every time we visited them.  I will never forgot how much fun we all had together and the meals that you both cooked were absolutely amazing.  Patty, I know we kid about Floyd returning to his first wife, but you were such a gift to him. And you also raised two wonderful kids and grandkids. Your beautiful smile and loving disposition were oh so welcoming to Floyd when he needed you. I am happy that the ten years together you were able to travel and visit us several times on your way to reunions and Civil Air Patrol functions.  Floyd we will miss your smile, hugs, abruptness, huge giving heart, and your laugh. (Allgreatquotes.com)
Of all the many blessings,
However great or small
To have had you for an uncle,
Was the greatest gift of all
The family chain is broken now
And nothing seems the same
But as God takes us one by one
The chain will link again-(with your parents, Gerry, John Navin, uncles, aunts, Billy, Stewart, and how can I forget the infamous JACK)  We will always love and cherish our times with you Floyd.

Our Memories

Shared by Patty Rodriguez on June 3, 2021
Our memories began at age 14 "Puppy Love".  A love that lasted 68 years.  Memories of high school days: walking to classes hand in hand, dances, parties, friends, proms and yes the infamous kiss under the mistletoe.  Then our working years, both working to save to put Floyd thru college (School of Mines).  Student housing, friends, parties, games and so busy working and Floyd keeping his tight schedule.  Then the delight of our first baby, Tracy.
Family get togethers with other young friends with babies.  Graduation and career in the Military.  Cross country trips, more friends and Bill born in Ft Lewis.  Good holidays and our family life was happy, no disagreements as we had reached our goals and enjoying life.  We then had a major disagreement about leaving the military.  Being young and foolish we broke up over it and both moved on to new lives and interests.  Then miracles or miracles 47 years later we were both alone and I called as Tracy said he had a stroke.  Because of that call we have had 10 more beautiful years together.  The first 7 were a dream come true: catching up on our stories, planning, traveling (Ireland, Hawaii, car trips thru out the South and Ca, and our high school reunion in Pa.  Finally settling in California.  We were both happy.  Happy to expand our families and friends.  About 2 years ago Floyd's health began deteriorating. Thankfully he stayed with me long enough to keep me company thru the pandemic.  I shall truly miss him but his memory lived in my heart all these years and shall continue to do so.  We started our young lives together and now we were able to spend our old age together.  Take it Easy