Austin Joseph McGuigan passed away peacefully on March 23 at home in Columbia at the age of 77, surrounded by his loving family. God has called him home to join his beautiful daughter M. Erin McGuigan Parker and his mother, Mary Ellen “Ma” McGuigan. Austin is survived by his wonderful wife of 53 years, Joan McGuigan, his daughter Kerry Hoffman and son Austin Ryan McGuigan and his sister Patricia Quinn. Also by his daughter-in- law Claudia McGuigan, and his sons-in-law Joshua Hoffman and Leland Parker, and his 9 grandchildren Teddy, Lindsey, Elena, Cate, Alexandra, James, Emilia, Eibhlin & Maibel.
Austin attended Merrimack College on a Diocese scholarship then served in Army intelligence, returning home to finish law school at Boston University while also working in banking full time and raising a family. By the time he was 34 he had risen to Chief State’s Attorney of Connecticut where he became known for fearlessly prosecuting the mafia as well as corruption in government. After leaving office he built a successful national and international career as the head of Rome McGuigan.
More than just a formidable legal presence, he was also a fiercely loyal friend and tireless supporter of the less advantaged, playing Santa each Christmas for families in need and supporting countless charities. Austin and Joan were also wonderful entertainers and hosts of many a legendary St. Patrick’s Day party.
While Austin’s lasting image might be that of standing in front of a courtroom arguing his case, those that knew him best remember a different Austin. The man that loved to stand by the lake on a sunny Sunday afternoon grilling for his family, glass of red wine in hand, twinkle in his eye, and a story on his lips. Forever may his laugh boom across the waters.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 31 at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, 140 Farmington Ave., Hartford, with the Very Reverend Daniel J. McLearen officiating. Masks and social distancing will be required. The Mass may be watched via livestream on the church website, www.hartfordcathedral.org .
A walk through visitation will be held on Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Erickson-Hansen Funeral Home, 411 South Main St., New Britain. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, PO Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148-0142 ( www.stjude.org/donate ). Please share a memory of Austin with the family in the online guest book at www.ericksonhansen.com .