Molly McGuire Martin, October 31, 1936 – August 15, 2014, 77 years old of Stamping Ground, Kentucky, was born to two hardworking, humble parents – Ralph Lee Parker and Edith Clare Wright-Parker. Molly was the fourth of five girls. She is survived by three of her beloved sisters Lena, Edna and Jean. She was preceded in death by her beloved sister Evelyn. Molly was close to her sisters. Edna and Molly spent countless hours singing together. The girls were so talented that they were often called upon to perform at many public events in the close-knit town of Stamping Ground, Kentucky. It was this early beginning of performing in public that gave Molly her life-long passion for entertaining and singing.
Molly eventually left Stamping Ground by way of Jackson, Mississippi, and landed in Pensacola, Florida, where she and her true love, William McGuire Martin, were married on Pensacola Beach in 1977. Pensacola Beach is where, in Molly’s recent words, “McGuire brought us all together and made us one family.” McGuire and Molly were inseparable partners in every sense of the word. The same year they were married, they opened McGuire’s Irish Pub. McGuire was the cook, bartender and designer while Molly “held the house” as hostess, waitress and charismatic entertainer. Together they went on to build several other well-loved and world-celebrated restaurants, Flounders (Pensacola Beach, Florida, in 1982); McGuire’s Irish Pub (Destin, Florida, in 1996); Crabs, (Pensacola Beach, Florida, 2000); and Vinny McGuire’s Pizza (Destin, Florida, 2011). Her aura filled every space that she ever entered, especially McGuire’s Irish Pub in Pensacola, which always held a special place in Molly’s heart. Her singing can be heard throughout her Irish restaurants. The patrons and staff of her restaurants were not strangers or employees —they were her friends and family. She loved everyone. Many of the young servicemen and naval aviation students thought of Molly as their mother away from home. On many occasions, she was asked to pin their wings – she always treasured this honor.
Despite her many accomplishments as a successful businesswoman and entertainer, her greatest passion and love was reserved for her family who she loved with her whole heart. It is important to McGuire that everyone knows his dear Molly died of broken-heart syndrome after attending her grandson’s funeral last week. He said, “Only Molly would die of a broken heart.” The love and support she had for her eight children, twenty-four grandchildren, eight great-grand children, sisters, nieces and nephews was unwavering. These feelings were only eclipsed by the love she had for her soulmate, her husband McGuire
This past week surrounded by family, “Grandmolly” asked that everyone hold hands as she sang her last song — a hymn called “Blest Be the Tie That Binds.” It should be noted that this hymn is one of the most famous farewell hymns ever sung. “When we asunder part, It gives us inward pain; But we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.”
The beautiful sweet Molly McGuire’s warm spirit is forever joined in the hearts of all who have experienced her sparkling personality.
A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church, 75 Fairpoint Drive in Gulf Breeze, followed by a graveside service at Bayview Memorial Park on Scenic Highway.