Co-owned Green Springs Inn with his wife, Oregon state Rep. Pam Marsh
By Damian Mann for Ashland.news
Ashland resident Diarmuid McGuire died Sunday after being hospitalized for a fall. A well-known figure in the environmental community and married to state Rep. Pam Marsh, McGuire was 80.
“I think Diarmuid, like his wife, Pam, made the larger world and his world a better place,” said Dave Willis, a Greensprings resident for 40 years and chair of the Soda Mountain Wilderness Council.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he was born Nov. 5, 1942, McGuire ran Green Springs Inn & Mountain Cabins with his wife and four children for many years.
McGuire studied at both Princeton and Stanford, where he wrote for the Stanford Daily. He earned, respectively, a bachelor’s degree in U.S. history and American civilization and a master’s degree in communications.
Willis said he remembers having many long chats with McGuire while seated at the counter at the Green Springs Inn.
“The Green Springs, when he ran it, was a real community hub, a community center,” Willis said.
In an article for the Locals Guide Magazine in 2012, McGuire talked about running the Inn: “It’s a family business in every sense of the word. Pam’s parents, Walt and Barb Marsh, have been a big part of the adventure from the day we bought the business in 1994. All four of our kids lived with us in our apartment above the restaurant and worked downstairs for at least part of their teenage years. It wasn’t always easy, but I think we agree that it has been a heck of an education.”
In that article, McGuire talks about how his first experience out of college was in the Peace Corps in East Africa. He was a teacher in rural Uganda near the Congo.
After that he started a marketing career in the Bay Area, but said, “I think I missed the relationships you have in a smaller community.”
McGuire spent more than 10 years as director of community affairs at Lucile Salter Packard Children’s and El Camino hospitals in the Bay Area, according to his LinkedIn profile.
After the move to Oregon, McGuire partnered with a number of groups working to protect and enhance the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.
He also worked with The Beaver Coalition, a Jacksonville-based organization seeking to restore beaver habitat throughout “The Beaver State” and the U.S.
Willis said McGuire had the Oregon flag flying in front of his house with the Beaver side facing the street.
Willis said McGuire helped people understand the importance of beavers for riparian areas, maintaining ecological balance and mitigating climate change.
State Sen. Jeff Golden, also an Ashland resident, said he knew McGuire for a long time and found him to be extremely dedicated to the community.
“When he got into an issue, he got all the way into it,” Golden said. “He was one of the smarter guys I knew.”
Golden said McGuire has helped reshape opinion about beavers in Salem.
“The attitude about beavers has started to shift from pest to a great asset,” he said.
Peter Buckley, the Salem representative before Marsh, said he’d known McGuire was ill and hospitalized in December.
He recalls how McGuire and Marsh moved to Oregon from Palo Alto, California, in 1994, excited about the newly formed Oregon Health Plan. McGuire was on the board of Rogue Community Health.
“At the time, they were both working in California and heard about Oregon and all the work being done on the Oregon Health Plan,” Buckley said. “He was always well informed.”
Jakob Shockey, executive director for The Beaver Coalition, had visited McGuire in the hospital recently where he was recovering from a broken hip.
“He was a passionate champion for beavers,” Shockey said.
One of the projects McGuire was involved in was reintroducing beavers back into the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.
McGuire sent Shockey a text shortly before his death:
“This may sound a bit crazy to you, but I have never been happier. I have so much to be thankful for; so much joy, so much gratitude. I hope you can feel it. Maybe even the beavers can feel it in some cosmic way!”
Reach writer Damian Mann at firstname.lastname@example.org.