James Guinan: December 27, 1925 to April 1, 2009

James Guinan died last night at Tampa University Community Hospital following complications from a chest cold. He was 83 years old.

Jim was with his daughters Christine and Margaret, his son-in-law Mike and some of his grandchildren. His friends and family in the Hudson Highlands were fortunate to have seen him here in "God's Country," as he called it, around St. Patrick's Day.

The family is still working out details and timing of the memorial services, and I will update everything here when they are ready, but here is the information they have so far. They thank everyone for their thoughts, good wishes and prayers:

Monday, April 13th and Tuesday April 14th
Clinton Funeral Home
21 Parrott Street, Cold Spring, NY 10516(845) 265-3333
2-4PM and 7-9PM (both days)

Funeral and Mass:
Wednesday, April 15th
24 Fair Street, Cold Spring, NY 10516(845) 265-3781
Interment to follow at the Cold Spring Cemetery

He was the Mayor of Garrison, he was equal friend to loved ones and strangers, and he touched and changed many, many lives, mine included. Thanks to his family of blood, and extended family of choice, he was never alone, even at the end.


Edward N. Preusser said…
I will miss you my friend..... God speed and God bless..... Ed Preusser, "Grandson-in-law"
Ward Haskell said…
I will truely miss Jim he was a great man and a good person to my whole family
Hank Beukema said…
A sad time for the Hudson Valley family as well as the Guinan's... Hank Beukema
anitaprentice said…
How very very sad. It feels like we're saying goodby to more than Jim. Thanks to you, Wendy, for all you have done to make us aware of all the facets of this remarkable person and his family.
Becka said…
I'm sure the Honorable Mayor never really knew how many lives he touched. From my chance encounter with Mr. Jim, I felt I tasted the sweetness of his soul... his friendliness left a mark of love on my life. I felt that we were kindred spirits. I am so thankful for my good memories of Big Jim Guinan.
Becka Roger
Bessemer, Alabama
michnian2 said…
We are fortunate to have met a man as lovely as Jim Guinan. His kindness touched many and our thoughts go out to his family and friends.

Michelle & Ian Sarsfield
Denver, CO
Audrey said…
God bless you wherever you may be!!!
Jack McAndrew said…
Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to the legions of people like myself who were part of his extended family. On behalf of all the musicians who enjoyed the hospitality and friendship of Jim and his family over the years, we thank you for all the good times, and know that we were blessed to have been a part of the Guinan's legacy. God be with you, my good friend.
Jack Mc Andrew
Seisiun leader "Rising of the Moon"
Anonymous said…
I was so touched by the book..I feel like I know this family. This was tough news to read. What a guy!
Anonymous said…
Sad news. Godspeed, Jim. Thank you Wendy for painting such a vidid picture of Jim, his family and his Chapel in your book and on this blog. I only met him a few times, but thanks to your writing, I feel like I knew him for decades.
Anonymous said…
I read "Little Chapel on the River" a couple years ago and picked it up again this past week and read it again. It was sad news to me to find that Jim Guinan passed April 1st. Because I read the book I felt as though I knew Jim,his family and friends. I lived in Highland, NY and never knew Guinan's existed...how I wish I had, I like the author would have loved to have experienced this "story" in person. God's speed Jim!
Anonymous said…
Sorry to hear about Mr. Guinan. I only read the book, but felt like I knew him or wanted to.

He will be remembered.

Joe Marcklinger
Nantucket, Ma.
Unknown said…
To the Guinan family, our thoughts and prayers are with you on this day, from the Walker family.

It has been 17 years since moving from the area, and each visit over the years has brought different experiences some enjoyable and some filled with sadness. I have only recently discovered Gwendolyn Bounds book, by chapter 4 I had experienced a range of emotions, happiness, sadness, fondness, and tears. I look forward to this Mothers Day visit, indeed an era has come to a close, hopeflly I will see this small town with different eyes.
Kerrie Sansky said…
I am so grateful to have had the honor of meeting Jim and passing time in Guinan's. I will always treasure the gift of community and music that was at the heart of Irish Night.
Frances Rivetti said…
I stumbled upon Little Chapel on the River in a bookstore in Northern California and thoroughly enjoyed meeting you all through the pages of Gwendolyn's lovely book. How sad it was to go online and discover that Jim passed away while I was in the middle of reading his remarkable story of a most successful American life.One which puts family and community above all else. I am a British journalist who has made a life filled with friends and surrogate family and my own three sons in Sonoma County, California. I was raised in a small town in England in which my Grandad and my Dad owned and operated corner stores and the local newsagents shop for more than 50 years. I can completely relate to the Garrison community. When my Dad retired and sold his business, it was the end of an era. Just like Guinans.
Marie Larson said…
Reading Little Chapel on the River helped me come to terms with a death in my own family. Now it is so sad that both Jim & John are gone. Although from across the country I was able to meet both of them and hear Jim sing "Danny Boy". That day is something I will remember always. I'm so sorry for the family's loss- just remember their story lives on and will never be forgotten. God bless.
Amanda J Wallace said…
I first read the book "Little Chapel on the River" about 2 years ago. I live in the Lehigh Valley PA and have always wanted to take a visit up to Garrison NY to see this great place and meet all the wonderfull people I had come to know in the book. Last month I finaly made by way up to the chapel but I was very saddend to realize I was too late. I was even more saddend to realize that both John and Mike had passed away. I thought that maybe I could make my way up to Cold Spring next St. Pats day and hopefully meet Jim but as I have just learned I am too late for that too. I feel so sad that I never had a chance to meet all of these great people. Thank you Ms. Bounds for writing such a great book and intoducing us to this wonderfull family and place. Rest in peace Jim, John and Mike. You will be missed more then you could ever know. My heart goes out to all of your family and dear friends.
Fr Robert said…
I was blessed to meet Jim just prior to the closing of Guinan's. What a truly amazing man. The sacred moments I spent talking with him while having a pint I will treasure. To his family I offer my deepest sympathies and my prayers for you in your time of loss. One thing is certain, the angels are learning some new songs, and also being schooled in Guinan hospitality.
Anonymous said…
My wife and I were priviliged to have visited this wonderful place and these wonderful people several times over the years when driving home after shopping in Cold Springs. The trip was always made much better by having a few beers at Guinans. We loved the place, the setting, the atmosphere, everything!
The best experience and the saddest was hearing Mr. Guinan sing "Danny Boy" for the last time at Garrison. Thanks to the great work of Wendy Bounds, we learned just how lucky we were and what a great man Mr. Guinan was and his family and friends are.
God Bless you Mr. Guinan, God certainly did bless all who knew you.
Anonymous said…
I found Ms. Bound's book in a secondhand book shop a while back, put it on my bookshelf, and promptly forgot about it until this week when I was looking for something to read. I was captivated from the start. I finished the book late last night and woke up this morning with the first thought of getting on-line to see if Jim was still alive and whether John had ever got his name on the lease. How sad to learn that both of these men have died and that Guinans is no longer. Our world needs more people like Jim and more places like his store and bar.

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