OBITUARY

Donald Ray MCGUIRE

December 1, 1949March 19, 2020

Don McGuire passed away on Thursday, March 19th, 2020 in Little Elm, Texas. Don was born on December 1st, 1949 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Don is survived by his wife, Donna, his three sons, Brian, Jeff, and Cody, his daughter-in-law Katie, and his beloved grandchildren, Landen and Cameryn.

Don graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1971 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. He met Donna in 1978 in New York City while they were both working for NBC. After moving back to Albuquerque, New Mexico, they got married in 1980. A year later, the couple welcomed their first son, Brian. In 1983, the family moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he began working for Raycom Sports as an Executive Producer. While in Charlotte, Don and Donna welcomed their twin sons, Jeff and Cody, into the world, and the family was complete.

In 1987, the family picked up and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where Don began working for Turner Sports as an Executive Producer and Senior Vice President. During this time, he was in charge of the network’s coverage of the NBA, NFL, and MLB. Additionally, he also served as the Executive Producer for multiple Winter Olympics, Pan American Games, the World Cup, and the Goodwill Games. Don was an accomplished and revered leader and mentor.

In 1996, the McGuire clan moved to Coppell, Texas, and Don began working for Host Communications. Over the years, all three sons graduated from High School and began their adult lives, with Don always serving as the most loving and supporting father they could ask for.

Don later served as the Executive Producer and Senior Vice President for Programming, Production and Operations for The Golf Channel. Over his distinguished career, Don won multiple Emmy, Cine and CableAce awards.

A memorial will be scheduled at a later date. All will be welcome to attend and celebrate Don's life. In lieu of flowers, please send condolences to the McGuire family at 2709 Sunlight Drive, Little Elm, TX 75068.

Services

No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Donald Ray MCGUIRE

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Paul FitzPatrick

April 2, 2020

Don was extraordinary--devoted husband, father, mentor, a straightforward and talented leader. Friend and selfless, wherever Don was, whatever he did, he was a REAL difference maker.

We first met at The Golf Channel, when we asked Don if he would lend his expert hand, guidance, leadership. Thankfully he said yes, and in little time--as always the case--his presence was felt. Another of his difference maker imprints.

Don and I shared many similar life-work experiences--before and after TGC--but none more fun and bonding than love of our families AND the serendipity of being fathers of twin sons.

Over the next 20 years, we would check in, catch up, gossip, compare notes. Sadly our travels only allowed for once in a while get togethers. When we talked, when we did see each other, we didn't miss a beat. It was as if we had connected just the other day.

Donna, your and your family's sudden loss is stunning, unfathomable. One bit of solace may be your knowing that you, Brian, Jeff, Cody and McGuire family are on the hearts and minds of a LARGE community of friends. Nancy, I, our daughter Caroline and her husband, Rick Eckstein, and our twins--Christopher and Chase--join Don's many, many friends in prayers and deepest condolences.

Don...I'll see you one day on the other side.

Paul FitzPatrick



Ron Thulin

March 31, 2020

I first met Don as a young sports anchor in Oklahoma City. My boss, Bob Barry, who knew Don from his days at OU thought I should meet him. When Billy Sims won the Heisman, I went to NYC for the dinner. Called Don and told him I would be there. He said to come by the NBC studios to say hi. I was blown away. He gave me the tour including the SNL studio. When we left, got on a elevator with Dan Ackroyd! (He smelled like something was burning..ha) little did I know he would hire me for PxP for the B-8 and SWC football and hoops. From there, he brought me to Atlanta for the Hawks and NBA on TBS/ TNT. But what stood out was how much he cared about us away from the job. The stories about basketball games at his house are all true! Brian would usually kick our butts in horse! Joe V said it right! He knew how to do TV, but he also knew how to be a great man.

Jack Wheeler

March 30, 2020

I feel a little out of place writing this memory as still a young kid and recent college graduate. Especially seeing some of the names of people that have already shared their thoughts. It's inspirational to see who all Don has impacted in his life.
That just truly shows who he was as a person and his humility. I will always remember his heart for people that he took the time to make an impact on me, while he ran in an entirely different world.

My favorite memory of Don is when I was a college student at the University of Oklahoma and had just finished my Sophomore year. He offered to take me to dinner because he was in town and he was friends with my Dad. I had met Don many times growing up, but this was our first time we were going to spend time just the two of us.
I took him up on it because what college student doesn't like a free meal and my Dad spoke so highly of Don. I had no idea Don would be coming straight from an afternoon with the owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder... Clay Bennett. This was and will somewhat always be surreal to me. That he would spend the afternoon with someone of that prominence straight do dinner with an ambitious kid who was still learning how to do laundry. We spent the dinner talking about sports, his time at OU, and a lot about me. I'll never forget his belief in what I could be regardless of what I chose to do. I will never forget his humility and care for people.
Those are two things I will carry with me the rest of my life. His belief in me and to always remember no matter what I accomplish to live a life of humility just like Don. For that and your example I will forever be grateful.

Thanks Don!

Michele Zarzaca Cockerill

March 30, 2020

Well... somebody had to keep Don straight when he came to Turner Sports, and thankfully he realized I was just the girl to do it! I had the pleasure of working directly with him during his entire tenure, and it was truly an adventure every day. Our relationship grew on a personal level as well, and during my wedding, as Donna was busy with bridesmaid duties, Don self appointed himself as the official greeter at the front door of the Christ the King Cathedral! He knew everyone in my family (including a special bond with my Aunt Judy), and genuinely cared about them all. It's rare to have such a complete relationship with your boss, but Don is a rare breed! I was so lucky to know him and be part of his world.

Joe Vencius

March 29, 2020

Like alot of us here, Don was instrumental in helping and shaping my career in sports television. After taking a flyer on a young college kid from California recommended by Dick Enberg, Don allowed me to intern on an Olympic show that he and Robert Wussler had created for TBS. After 3 months of somewhat proving myself, Don decided I was worth hiring...at $6 dollars an hour.

Don taught me the "right way" to do TV and to this day, I still go through the processes and checks that he set in my mind when doing a show. That was from Don the teacher. Don the person is what I'll remember more--him taking in that young college kid and not only giving him a job, but welcoming him into his family--to his wife and his 3 sons. Inviting me over on weekends to barbecues, backyard hoops games that usually left someone pissed off, and at the end of the day, stories that I'll never forget--I'll just throw out "Reverend Reggie Jackson" and for those in the know, that should bring out a big smile:)

Don was a commanding presence--he was loud, he was forceful, and he was a stern taskmaster. But if you wanted to learn, if you wanted to be good, he was there for you--you just had to do it the right way.

For that I'll forever be grateful career-wise. But I'll miss the person and the welcoming heart even more.

All my love to Donna and the boys in this tough time.

Paul Babington

March 29, 2020

When was it, in 1959? I met you when we both were elementary school students. You were the kid up the street who lived with his Grandmother in a small two bedroom one bath home that also served as a respite for unwed teenage mothers. We played together in your bedroom, a converted garage, and fanaticized about sports teams, legends, and what we would do with our lives. Together we were friends, confidants, and holders of secrets throughout our lives for over 60 years. We were the yin and the yang. You, without parents- disciplined, goal oriented and attentive. Me, with parents- flip, unruly and an under achiever. Time moved on through Junior High, High School and eventually college. We always kept in touch, saw each other briefly, but frequently dispensed our philosophies on one another. I married, you were my best man and were there for me. You married, and I was present for you. Our face to face meetings became less frequent due to our being separated by a continent. But I knew you were always there, and you can be damn sure that I was there for you and will always have you with me deep in my heart. It meant so much to me when you told me that "I can talk to you like I can't talk to others." You always cared about other people, and reached out to me on the day that you took wing. Checking up on me to see how I was doing, one last time.

Donny Ray, you will always be mi hermano, my brother. Vaya usted con Dios. Things are now better in Heaven.

Pablo

Dan Mahoney

March 29, 2020

Saddened to hear of Don's passing. He was a true legend in sports broadcasting.

My connection to him, however, is on a much smaller scale. in 1981, while producing NFL games for NBC on the weekends, he took a job helping to run a new independent TV station in his hometown of Albuquerque, KGSW-14. He took a chance and hired me (age 21) to do on-air short news cut-ins. As those developed, he provided me more opportunities to be involved in Lobo football broadcasts and other projects. The trust and confidence he showed in me at that age was never forgotten. He's one of the top people who had an early and profound influence on me as I was starting my career. He was also a genuinely nice guy.

As is usually the case when you see someone you knew in the past has died, I wish I had stayed in better contact with him. I probably last communicated with him almost ten years ago, right after I took over the broadcasting side of the Thunder. He told me he was proud of me.

In reading his obituary, I learned something I didn't know. Although he grew up in Albuquerque, he actually graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in broadcast journalism.

Once we get past our current world situation and there is a memorial service, I hope to be there to remember this fine man who took the time out of a busy and impressive career to provide support to a kid starting out.

Thank you Don.

Sue Hettmansperger

March 29, 2020

I'm so sorry to hear this--I worked with him on the Sandian High School Newspaper in Albuquerque. It's so wonderful that he continued to excel in Journalism communications all his life!
Sue

Jerry Wheeler

March 28, 2020

We experience many friendships as we journey thru life. If you are lucky, a few develop into friendship's purest form. I am talking about a person who you know cares deeply about you and consistently provides unconditional support and camaraderie, during good times and bad. That was Don to me. There is a great scene in the movie City Slickers where the character played by Billy Chrystal and a couple of his buddies leave the grind of New York City for a trip to a dude ranch out west. One day as they are working the cattle drive, they begin to philosophize about the “best day” of their lives, outside of marriage and the birth of children. Mine is June 11, 1978, for which Don is responsible. The day started with watching batting practice on the field at Shea Stadium. The Mets were playing in the NBC Major League Baseball game of the week. Don Produced the pre-game show. We then proceeded to Belmont Park where we witnessed Affirmed win the Triple Crown by edging Alydar in perhaps the greatest race in the history of horse racing, a feat that would not be duplicated for 37 years. But in true Don McGuire fashion, there was still time in the day – time to enjoy life and friendships – so we capped it off with second row seats to Liza Minneli on Broadway. Oh yeah, Michael Caine the actor sat next to me. This type of experience was certainly not unique to me. For Don was a giver and had an incredible network of friends and colleagues across the country and the world. Don was also a very lucky guy, and knew it and was grateful. He was fortunate to meet an extraordinary woman in Donna and, together, had three impressive sons, each of whom possesses some of Don’s best characteristics and are destined to impact the world in a similar positive fashion. Life is too short and we need to enjoy it to its fullest. I find solace knowing that Don got more than his fair share. He will be missed a lot by many. It has been an honor to be his Friend.

chris carmody

March 28, 2020

I first met Don at ABC Sports in the mid 1970's. From that time our paths didn't cross again until I joined Turner Sports in 1991, where Don was the Executive Producer. I knew then his brilliant mind had put together a sports team of production people because of his vision and creativity. We worked together for many years and I will always remember his willingness to accept new ideas to make the Turner product better. Don was strict, but always fair. I respected Don's passion for all sports which included the Olympics , NBA, MLB and the Goodwill Games for Turner. Because of that, I will always remember that passion extended to all of us working for him. But most of all, I will remember Don's love for the Atlanta Braves. He invited me to join him, Brian and Ned Simon for the clinching game in the National League Championship series in 1992 against the Pirates. The Braves won that game in dramatic fashion as Sid Bream scored the winning run. Don said that day: " Isn't this the greatest" ! Yes it was ... and Don, you were the Greatest !

FROM THE FAMILY