Renada McGuire, Resilient Home Health Aide, Dies at 39
This obituary is part of a series about people who have died in the coronavirus pandemic. Read about others here.
The challenges kept coming at Renada McGuire, and she kept rising to the occasion.
Whether raising six children as a single mother, fighting through kidney and heart problems or learning how to fish, Ms. McGuire, family and friends said, was determined to triumph.
While raising her first son, who was born prematurely and developed a mental disability, Ms. McGuire decided to become a home health aide specializing in mentally challenged adults.
“There was just a spunk she had in her,” her sister-in-law Natasha Guerrero said.
The illness came days after Ms. McGuire and her boyfriend, Brooks Greene, had dined out at a Jacksonville restaurant as the pandemic was surging in Florida.
Renada McGuire was born on Nov. 28, 1980, in St. Augustine, Fla., to Jorge Guerrero Sr., a farmworker, and Patricia McGuire, a home health care worker. She adopted her mother’s surname.
When she was young, her father was deported to Guatemala, his home country, and never heard from by the family again. His departure made her older brother, Jorge Jr., the family patriarch and turned Ms. McGuire, her family said, into a lifelong fighter.
“She didn’t back down from anything,” Natasha Guerrero said.
When Ms. McGuire was a child, she stuck up for her brother whenever she thought he was being threatened. “She was the little sister, but she was tough,” Ms. Guerrero said with a laugh. “There were times, Jorge told me, she’d be tougher than Jorge.”
A lover of R&B music, Ms. McGuire committed herself to “anything involving music” while she was a student at Allen D. Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, becoming a member of the flag team, the winter guard and the school band, in which she learned to play the flute and clarinet.
She became an avid fisherwoman after being introduced to fishing recently by Mr. Greene. With him by her side, she would seek out “any little watering hole she could find, often fishing several times a week,” Ms. Guerrero said. “It brought her peace.”
“The strength she had as a mom, though — that was the greatest thing about her,” Ms. Guerrero said.
Ms. McGuire is survived by her brother and her children: Elijah, 19, Victerius, 17, Tyvicrean, 16, Alexius, 12, Kourtney, 10, and Davian, 6.
To lighten her load, Jorge and Ms. Guerrero, who have four children of their own, would watch Ms. McGuire’s children on weekends.
That weekend role has become full time now: They have taken the children in.
“They need us right now,” Ms. Guerrero said. “And, at the same time, I think my husband needs them as well. She was all he had left.”
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Author: Aaron Randle
August 1, 2020