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Bernard C. McGinn, Juvenile Services children's advocate and Calvert Hall coach

Bernard McGi
Bernard McGi (HANDOUT)

Bernard C. McGinn Jr., a retired children's advocate in the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services who was later a Calvert Hall College High School faculty member, died of cancer Jan. 16 at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. The Lutherville resident was 79.

Born in Baltimore, he was the son of Bernard C. McGinn, an American Bank Stationery sales manager, and his wife, Mabel Kernan. He was raised on Hopkins Road in Rodgers Forge, where his parents were among the neighborhood's first residents in the early 1930s.

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Mr. McGinn was a 1955 graduate of Loyola High School at Blakefield. He earned a degree at the University of Maryland, College Park and was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He competed in the butterfly stroke on the school's varsity swimming team.

He was a 1969 graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law.

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Mr. McGinn was later active in the Knights of Columbus swimming program.

Mr. McGinn traveled the state as a child advocate for the Department of Juvenile Services, where he worked for more than three decades.

He left retirement in 1994 to became the director of Calvert Hall's Academic Resource Center and took on other roles at the school.

"It was a second career, and he could have been thinking retirement," said a friend, Tom Malstrom. "Bernie became dedicated to Calvert Hall and [its] students. He was a van or bus driver for any team or club that needed one, and was a regular attendee at just about every sporting event."

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Mr. McGinn was faculty moderator of the school's Irish Culture Club and golf coach.

"Bernie gave sage advice," said Joseph Baker, Calvert Hall's director of advancement. "He had a positive spirit about him. His enthusiasm brought people together."

Louis Heidrick, a former Calvert Hall principal, recalled Mr. McGinn's impact on the school.

"Bernie was so outgoing and social, it didn't take long for the students to see that he cared about them. There were few games he missed — and the students observed this. He developed a rapport with them."

Mr. McGinn also brought his enthusiastic spirit to the faculty club. He arranged social events, including bowling nights, and games of golf and poker.

He was a resident of the Springdale community in Cockeysville and had been a president of the community and pool associations. He also enjoyed swimming in Deep Creek Lake, where he had a summer home.

Mr. McGinn belonged to the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick for 60 years and was its president in 1989. The group named him its Irishman of the Year.

He regularly marched in Baltimore's annual St. Patrick parade and also marched along O'Connell Street in Dublin in 1982 at the St. Patrick's Day event while on a trip to Ireland.

"He was a proud Irishman. The man loved America and Ireland," said a friend, Michael P. O'Shea. "When you met him, the first thing you saw was that smile, and you soon learned about his caring ways. He was a guy you were proud to call a friend. He was also a man you could talk to."

Mr. McGinn donated his body to the Maryland Anatomy Board.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Calvert Hall's Knott Center, 8102 LaSalle Road in Towson.

Survivors include his wife of more than 51 years, Eleanor Earley, a retired school psychologist; a son, Michael McGinn of Dundalk; a daughter, Karen Ritter of Lutherville; a sister, Mary Margaret McGinn of Catonsville; three grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

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