Don McGinty was a quiet man who loved his family and spoke with conviction and humor, said his wife, Hope McGinty.
“He loved his family, and was always there for each member,” she said. “People liked him, enjoyed his company and admired his grit.”
McGinty, 82, of Valparaiso, died June 7. He worked 30 years for the Chicago Fire Department, retiring in 1991. He was a member of St. Paul Catholic Church.
“Don loved the camaraderie and special friends he made in the fire department,” she said. “He was proud of his job and was very good at it.”
McGinty lost his parents and several siblings when he was young, and learned the value of family at an early age, his wife said. He was devoted to his four children and his six grandchildren.
“We watched how you nurtured (your grandchildren), encouraged them, taught them, laughed with them, held them, kissed them and loved them,” said his daughter, Dawn Gallinatti. “You loved us all unconditionally.”
In part because he lost his family at an early age, he became fascinated by family genealogy, and studied his family lineage, his wife said.
He loved to travel, and had visited all 50 states. A favorite trip was to Ireland, where he visited the village his family was from.
Daughter Joy McGinty said she loved family vacations, especially trips to national parks.
Shortly before his 75th birthday, he was diagnosed with esophageal and lung cancer.
“He was a fighter and a survivor,” his wife said. “He had lived through the hardships during his childhood and continued to fight through the battles of cancer. He seldom complained, although he had constant pain. He demonstrated a dignity and strength in the face of death.”