Faye McGinnis

July 2, 1925November 5, 2012

Margaret Faye Maness McGinnis, died November 5, 2012 of heart disease. Faye was born July 2, 1925 in Star, NC to Bonnie and Edgar Maness, and spent most of her childhood in Biscoe, NC. She was valedictorian of her high school class and enrolled at Flora MacDonald College for Women, where she triple majored in English, Bible and Music.

While working as Director of Christian Education at Tenth Avenue Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC, she met and married a young minister, James William ‘Mac’ McGinnis, who was serving a church in Kannapolis, NC. They began their life together at Guilford Park Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, NC in 1948. This was followed by an associate pastorate at First Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, NC, and pastorates at Havelock Presbyterian Church and Cary Presbyterian Church. Faye served as ‘mistress of the manse’ by hosting church events, directing choirs, teaching all levels of Christian education classes, and helping to establish an accredited Kindergarten program at the Cary church in 1959.

Faye and Mac were blessed with three children, whom they loved and raised from the 1950s through the 1970s. Faye earned a Master’s in Music Education and an advanced degree certificate at UNC-Chapel Hill, and transitioned from her roles as homemaker and church volunteer to that of elementary music teacher with Raleigh City and then Wake County Public Schools. Her first year of teaching, she taught students in seven schools! Faye served as a teacher for 26 years.

After retiring, Faye and Mac enjoyed traveling together to Australia, Switzerland, and many parts of the US. They were instrumental in the establishment of Glenaire Retirement Home in Cary, NC and were among its first residents.

Faye loved classical music and began each Christmas season by attending ‘Messiah’ at Duke Chapel. Every year, she composed a rhyming poem about her activities and mailed it to her extensive list of family and friends. She was a formidable Scrabble opponent who took no prisoners, even when playing a beloved grandchild! Faye sewed dozens of outfits for her daughters (and their Barbie dolls), and later pieced beautiful crazy quilts for them from the material she had saved from those projects.

Faye lived life believing the best of others and bearing no grudges. She was a loyal friend and a person of tremendous intellect and Christian faith. She was blessed with Mary’s heart and Martha’s hands.

Faye was predeceased by her parents, husband, the Rev. James W. McGinnis, son, James W. McGinnis, Jr. (Jim), and brother, Col. Harold M. Maness. She is survived by her sister, Myra M. Hall of Southern Pines, NC; daughters and sons-in-law, Nancy M. Jirtle and Randy Jirtle of Durham, NC and Amy R. McGinnis and Henry Farber of Issaquah, WA; grandchildren, James Jirtle of Sutton, UK; and Rachel Farber of New York, NY; Bonnie Jirtle of San Antonio, TX; Jay Farber of Cambridge, MA; granddaughter-in-law, Beth Jirtle and great-grandson, Peter Jirtle of Sutton, UK; sister-in-law, Mary Yorke McGinnis of Fair Lawn, NJ and 13 nieces and nephews.

The Service of the Resurrection will be held at First Presbyterian Church, Raleigh, NC on Friday, November 9, 2012 at 11:00 am. Burial will follow at 3:30 pm at Biscoe Cemetery, Biscoe, NC. The family will receive friends at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, Cary, NC on Thursday, November 8, 2012 from 6-8 pm.

Memorial gifts may be sent to First Presbyterian Church, Raleigh, NC; the Jim McGinnis Memorial Lecture Fund at Duke University; or to the American Heart Association.

Condolences may be sent to


  • Visitation Thursday, November 8, 2012
  • Funeral Service Friday, November 9, 2012
  • Burial Friday, November 9, 2012

Faye McGinnis

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted

Sam and Becky Barnhill

November 28, 2012

We miss her greatly and can't comprehend the awe she had in seeing heaven!

November 13, 2012

I was so sorry to hear of Faye's passing. She was one of those rare individuals who places a beautiful indelible mark on your soul. Faye was so welcoming and supportive when I arrived as the new art teacher at Farmington Woods in the late 80's. She was so kind, and an extraordinary teacher blessed with a keen intellect, wonderful personality, great sense of humor and humility. The photo in the obituary truly captures her essence. I can hear her voice now and miss her!
All of you are in my thoughts and prayers. Please know that Faye touched the hearts of everybody she met.
Anne Kratzer, Cary N.C.

Mark and Paula Gaylord

November 10, 2012

So sorry you have lost your Mom. She was very special and had such an angelic countenance!! We share your loss.
Paula was the Director of a Mother's Morning Out program at Guilford Park when our kids were small. It had a great congregation.

Camille Lambe

November 9, 2012

The Messiah will not be the same without you. Our family will think of you as the Halleluiahs rise in the Duke Chapel this year.
Camille and Louis Lambe

American Heart Association

November 9, 2012

May your memories of the wonderful times you shared with your loved one comfort you and your family, today and always.

November 9, 2012

Faye was a very special and faithful sister in our Alpha Theta Chapter of ADK. We have missed her being with us at our monthly meetings since her health declined. My heartfelt sympathy goes to each of you.
Kay Farmer
Cary, NC

Cindy Leslie

November 8, 2012

Dear Nancy and Amy,
I will always remember your wonderful Mom as a neighbor, Cary Presbyterian member and ADK member. She touched many lives! I am privileged to have known her.

Cindy Miller Leslie

November 8, 2012

We are so glad we had the opportunity to get to know Aunt Faye. She was a remarkable person with a sharp mind and great spirit. Wwe enjoyed having her come and sing at our Christmas sing a long. Our love and prayers to all the family. Sue and Erv Portman

Nancy & Jim Raynor

November 8, 2012

Please accept our condolences in the loss of our dear friend, Faye. We valued her friendship so very much. I especially enjoyed getting to know you, Amy. Faye and I always enjoyed meals in the Glenaire Cafe. How fortunate First Pres is to have recorded Faye for the oral history as one of two first female elders. What an influence she has been. Clearly, she blessed us with "Mary's heart and Martha's hands."

Jan, Mike & Katie Baxter

November 8, 2012

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. We are thankful for the influence Ms. McGinnis had on students while she taught at Farmington Woods Elementary School. The loving way she directed everyone in music classes, chorus and handbells instilled a life-long joy of music for many. What a wonderful lady she was!