TRAVERSE CITY — John Bristol McGuffin, 74, of Traverse City, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday, June 28, 2013, at home with his loving wife at his side.
John was born on June 5, 1939, in Traverse City, to the late Carroll “Doc” and Florence (Bristol) McGuffin. He married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Joan Kay Kreps on Aug. 27, 1960, in Traverse City. Together they lovingly raised three incredible children.
John graduated from Traverse City Central High School in 1957, where he enjoyed competing on the ski team and was named to the 1956-57 All State Ski Team. Upon graduation from Western Michigan University he began his career in the insurance industry.
For many proud years John owned McGuffin Schmidt Insurance Agency. Prior to that from 1965 to 1991 John was an owner in the successful Mavis-McGuffin Insurance Agency.
Sailing was a significant part of John’s life, and he was truly an accomplished sailor and competitive racer. John raced boats of many different classes including Lightnings, J-Boats, Catamarans, Thistles, Ice Boats and his beloved Morgan 33t Charade. John sailed in over 15 Port Huron and Chicago to Mackinac races and finished each race he and his crew started. In 1981 McGuffin skippered Charade, winning the Grand Traverse Yacht Club overall fleet champion award.
John loved racing, but was also an ardent supporter of all levels of boating and took great joy in teaching and introducing others to the beauty and serenity of life on the water. He was a member of the Grand Traverse Yacht Club (GTYC) and commodore in 1971 and 1982. He was also a member of the Traverse City Elks Lodge #323 and past member of the Kiwanis Club.
John possessed a deep appreciation of music and loved Jazz, Swing and classic 60’s Bossa Nova. In his younger years he played the guitar, banjo and ukulele. He enjoyed playing poker with the guys, traveling, golf, football, skiing, was a ski instructor at Hickory Hills and coached high school skiing for several years.