Cary McIlwaine Maguire Sr.

May 30, 1928August 10, 2021

Cary McIlwaine Maguire, Sr., passed away peacefully in his home on August 10, 2021. Cary was born to J. Russell Maguire and Luna Ambler Maguire in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, on May 30, 1928.

Cary attended the Landon School and then graduated from the Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania with a BS in Economics in 1950. After college, he joined his father in the oil business and moved to Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1951 to open a Texas office. In 1956, he drove to Dallas for a blind date with Ann Thompson Maguire, the woman he would marry on February 27, 1960, who became the love of his life for 52 years. He is survived by his three children and their spouses, Cary Maguire, Jr. (Rhonda), Melinda Maguire Down (Martin) and Blainey Maguire Hess (Marshall), and his six grandchildren: Alianna Maguire, Thomas Maguire, Aston Down, Payton Down, Christopher Hess and Katherine Hess.

Cary founded Maguire Oil Company in 1969 and would become a pioneer in oil and gas education and advocacy, founding the Maguire Energy Institute at SMU’s Cox School of Business in 1974 and establishing the Maguire Chair in Oil and Gas Management. He served on the National Petroleum Council, was a member of the All American Wildcatters, and held various positions of leadership in the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association. Extending his innovative business acumen and leadership, Cary also served as Chairman and CEO of Components Corporation of America. Additionally, Cary had a passion for education and served on the Boards of many educational institutions, foremost of which was his longstanding service on SMU’s Board of Trustees and his honorable role as Trustee Emeritus. Cary believed in making a difference and challenging the status quo and was actively involved within his community to impact politics, education and business. He also served as a devoted member of the Vestry of Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church.

His dedication to the city of Dallas was marked by his renowned philanthropic support of Southern Methodist University, UT Southwestern Medical Center, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the AT&T Performing Arts Center, the George W. Bush Institute and countless other charitable organizations. His commitment to ethics ran deep, leading him to establish the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at SMU, which offers university-wide ethics related education and activities to students and faculty. He additionally founded the Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in American History and Ethics at the Library of Congress, as well as funded the Maguire Fellow in Applied Ethics at The American College.

Cary was the recipient of many awards for his outstanding achievements, including the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award (2021), the Mustang Award (1995), the Pioneer Award (2019) from SMU, the American College Solomon Huebner Award (2016), the Frank Pitts Energy Leadership Award (2010) and the Dalenpac Governor Clements Award (2013). He was additionally honored with the Dallas Police Department Award (2010) and the prestigious Legends Medal Award by the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers (2005).

A loving husband, father, grandfather, mentor and friend, Cary lived his life to the fullest and was known for his sense of humor, avid curiosity, and dedication to principle, fairness and reason. He had an interest in a wide range of hobbies including tennis, golf, music, art, travel, reading, politics and presidential history. A true Renaissance man, Cary was a self-taught painter, sculptor and author. He was creative, tenacious, persistent, and incredibly determined in all that he wanted to accomplish and believed that there was a solution to every problem. His strong faith in God and commitment to his community, nation and family guided him each day, and he enjoyed the friendship and respect of many leaders within the Dallas community and beyond. He loved his family and always enjoyed spearheading annual family vacations full of memorable and often hilarious activities.

Cary was a member of Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, Brook Hollow Golf Club, the Dallas Petroleum Club, Idlewild, Terpsichorean Club and Calyx Club.

The family would like to thank the fabulous household staff and caregivers for their loving support in his final months: Robert Pimentel, Shelia Phillips, Leslie Saulny, Selina Smith, Sharon Davis, Angela Ceballos and Josefina Gaytan.

A Memorial Service to celebrate Cary’s life will be held on Monday, August 16, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. at Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Cary’s name can be made to the Maguire Center of Ethics and Public Responsibility at SMU, PO Box 750316, Dallas, TX, 75275-0316.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Maguire family.


  • Cary Maguire, Jr
  • Marshall Hess
  • Martin Down
  • Thomas Maguire
  • Christopher Hess
  • Aston Down

  • Maguire Center of Ethics and Public Responsibility at SMU


  • Memorial Service

    Monday, August 16, 2021


Cary McIlwaine Maguire Sr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Sturgis Woodberry

August 15, 2021

Dear Cam, Melinda and Blainey,

Please accept my profound condolences on the loss of your remarkable father. He was such an inspiring man!

A couple of things stick with me: he was a hard worker! I remember how he had his office in the garage. While we might be playing soccer or climbing trees in your front yard, or bouncing on the trampoline in your back, I have an image steadily and thoughtfully working away under his desk lamp. It was a wonderful example.

I also loved the way he put your family first. Your Sunday night dinner and movie tradition was one I thought was so cool that Carolyn and tried to do it a lot in our family.

My prayers of strength and condolences to you all.

Sturgis Woodberry

Cynthia Carlisle (fka Cindy Rosser)

August 14, 2021

I worked at Maguire Oil Company in the early 80’s through around 1985 as Tax & Budget Director for the corporation and on Cary’s personal staff. It was a challenging job that I really enjoyed. Cary was interesting, strong-willed and generous. We butted heads from time to time and were both better for it. While he was known as an Oil Man, he also had an amazing talent with the stock market. He developed great insights and on more than one occasion shared some of that knowledge with me. Some years after I had left the company I still did occasional contract work with him and Cary and I stayed in touch. In 1987, I had a strong premonition that the stock market was going to crash and I called Cary for advice. My dad had all his retirement invested with his employer, Amoco Oil. Cary said to tell my dad to sell it that day, he did and a couple of days later the market crashed. It literally saved my parents’ retirement and I was so grateful for his expertise and willingness to share. Over the years he offered me very helpful advice on a variety of subjects and I remember one point he made. He said to never bring him a problem without a possible solution. It has proved to be valuable advice in multiple settings. He made it clear that he valued my opinion and called on me even after I was no longer an employee. It is a rare gift for a boss to let you know that your opinion really mattered to them and to often seek it out. He believed in rewarding his employees and recognizing them for their achievements, a rare trait, indeed. He was a good man and enriched my life by knowing and working with him. There are lots of stories and fond memories for those of us that worked with Cary Maguire.

Donn Chickering

August 14, 2021

In 1960, I was in Bermuda on a college Spring Break when I met the beautiful young woman who was to become my wife. Her name was Marina Justine Jane Maguire and she was Cary's sister. He was an usher at our wedding on May 5, 1962. Our son, Donn Jr., was born in 1965.
I have many vivid memories of the lovely Maguire home on the Long Island Sound in Belle Haven, Greenwich. Russell, Cary's father and his wife, Zsa Zsa, were still alive, of course, and their home was an active hub, replete with scintillating, energetic, fascinating people.
Amongst my most valued memories are those are of an elegant, well-spoken young man, Cary, and his beautiful, radiant, kind Texas wife, Ann and my clear remembrance of how happy a couple they were. When I learned of Cary's death, I was struck by the knowledge that I am likely the only one still alive able to remember the personalities, the faces and voices of those who inhabited that house so long ago.
As the years passed, I sometimes read of the bountiful, rewarding life Cary and Ann built together, of their children and their children's children, of their successes and the generous, caring manner in which they passed on the fruits of their success to the Dallas community and the world beyond. I was not surprised. The traits of character, intelligence and kindness which governed their lives were manifest in them both when I knew them sixty years ago.
As I passed through Dallas over the decades, I often had the impulse to call Cary and Ann in an effort to pick up the thread of an old but cordial relationship. With that possibility now foreclosed, I am mightily regretful that I never did so.
To you, Cam, Melinda and Blainey, some of whom I briefly knew when you were infants, I extend my most sincere condolences. I hope you will find solace in the good fortune bestowed upon you by having had such a stellar couple as your Mom and Dad.
I wish God's blessings upon you in this sad and difficult time
Donn Chickering

Jeff Hoffman

August 14, 2021

Cary was an inspiration to many including me. I was blessed to be in a position to learn from him, get his insights on major business issues and collaborate on business strategy. I will forever be grateful for having that opportunity!

My deepest condolences to Blainey and the entire family. You will be in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this difficult time!

Jeff Hoffman

Ginger Flournoy

August 13, 2021

I have worked for Cary for 46 yrs at Maguire Oil Company. He was a fabulous mentor, which has allowed me to assist his daughter and now my boss, Blainey Hess, in the same ways. My children grew up knowing him and enjoying his Christmas and birthday gifts - he was so generous. My loving husband, Ken, ran the drilling operations at MOC during which he became good friends with Cary - enough so that Cary was Ken's Best Man at our wedding 25 years ago. Cary and Ann hosted a wonderful wedding reception for us. Cary had a photographic memory and remembered every well drilled, depth and completion zone! He was so funny and had such a quick wit - which allowed him to keep up with Ann! Wonderful man, wonderful family and a blessing to me for having his friendship all this time.

With much affection,
Ginger Flournoy

Jeanne Cox

August 12, 2021

I am grateful for having known both Ann and Cary Maguire, and for their philanthropy to and love of SMU. Cary faithfully served the SMU John Tower Center for Public Policy and International Affairs since it’s inception, hosting in his home one of the inaugural events with President George H.W. Bush and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He shared his home and his Presidential History Collection graciously and he and Ann were warm and engaging friends.
Berry and I send our love to the family and most especially Blainey at this time of loss.
~Jeanne Cox

Caren Prothro

August 12, 2021

Cary and I had Wichita Falls and SMU in common, and I was greatly honored when he invited me to serve on the Maguire Center's board, back in the 1990's. I was struck by his total commitment to the goal of establishing the study of Ethics across all schools throughout SMU. It would be a key part of shaping a student in his or her journey through life, far beyond the campus experience. How prescient Cary was, in recognizing the importance of exposing students to the study of ethics in the 21st century secularized world He never minced words, a man of strong convictions! I'm thankful to have known him and I send sincerest condolences to all the family.
Caren Prothro


August 12, 2021

It saddened my heart to hear the passing of Cary. He was an amazing person with a great heart. His leadership help me not only at work but in my life journey. My thoughts and prayers go out to all the family with special blessing for Blainey and her family who I worked with a number of years. This family was generous, thoughtful and provide leadership and kindness to many employees and friends. He will be missed.