Joan Esther McGuire, who was the driving force behind the 2003 restoration of Seattle’s 100-year old Immaculate Conception Church and who, in a 30-year career as Director of Nursing Services at Northwest Hospital in Seattle, oversaw the development of the city’s first in-hospital hospice for terminally ill patients, died on Wednesday, May 29, following a short illness. She was 88.
Joan arrived at Immaculate Conception Church as a volunteer in 1975. By that time, the church had fallen into disrepair, the victim of neglect, vandalism and urban flight. In 1998, she was promoted by the Archdiocese of Seattle to Parish Life Coordinator at Immaculate, a role she held for seven years.
Using her skills as an organizer, fundraiser and activist, she led the restoration of Immaculate, a significant event in Seattle’s constantly evolving Central District. The 2003 reopening of the restored church was hailed by a grateful Archdiocese and parishioners and covered by The Seattle Times.