Obituary: George Johnstone McGuire, 81

George Johnstone McGuire was well known in Bruntsfield

George Johnstone McGuire was well known in Bruntsfield

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TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular Edinburgh man who passed away, aged 81, after a seven-year battle with lung cancer.

George Johnstone McGuire, who lived in the Bruntsfield area of the city all his life, became well-known for exercising his dogs near his home and the friendly chats he would have with fellow walkers.

His daughter, Martine McIntosh, said: “He was a wonderful dad, he always had time for you. He was very much a family man.

“He loved children, but his real passion was his dogs. He had them all his life. He will be missed by so many people.”

Born in 1930 in Horne Terrace, George attended Bruntsfield Primary School and Darroch Secondary School.

He fondly remembered being given free donkey rides by a stable owner in Horne Terrace as a child.

He began a milk round in the area aged 12, before leaving school at 14.

George then joined the Edinburgh School of Building, before he became an apprentice joiner.

He would become a site manager, site agent and contracts manager in the building trade, and worked on countless projects across the Capital, including the construction of Napier Technical College, now Edinburgh Napier University.

His career was interrupted, in 1952, when he was posted to Berlin to complete his national service.

He departed with his new wife, Margaret, who he had married earlier that year, and stayed abroad for two years.

“It was very unusual for a wife to accompany a private, but it was the happiest time of their lives,” added Martine, who was born in 1957 and would be the couple’s only child.

Following Martine’s birth, George settled into family life, and remained close to his brothers, Brian and Bill, until his death on February 21. He had retired in 1990 to care for Margaret, who suffered with severe arthritis and passed away nine years later.

“He had a very happy retirement,” Martine added. “When he’d walk his dogs it was like a royal procession – everyone would stop to talk to him.

“He was a very involved grandfather. At the weekends he would take my daughters, Rowena and Helen, everywhere.”

George was diagnosed with lung cancer seven years ago, and was told that he had just two to three years to live.

George died peacefully after a short stay in a hospice, but not before he met his first great-grandchild, Eoghan, who will be one in May and is the son of his only grandson, Euan.

“When he was in the hospice, when we took Eoghan to see him it was the only time he would sit up and take notice,” Martine said.

“He used to hold him like an unexploded bomb, but it gave him a great deal of pleasure.”