Granville D. Magee ’62, P’90, P’02 died on May 23, 2021 in Wall Township, New Jersey.
(The following was published by Asbury Park Press on May 25, 2021)
The son of a football coach and educator, Granville David “Skip” Magee (1940-2021) was imbued with an iron will and inner fire at a young age. Throughout his life, he saw the world through the lens of competition and the good fight, often advising to tape up your ankles everyday and get after it. He was also imbued with a strong personal belief in what he saw as good and right, always. Ultimately, his nature is best evidenced by being a loving and protective husband, father, and grandfather, his generosity, his care for his friends, and his long and successful career as an attorney.
Skip was an Eagle Scout and graduated from Manasquan High School, where he played football, basketball, and baseball, Bowdoin College where he played football and golf, and Rutgers Law School. He was licensed to practice in New Jersey and New York and after his clerkship in the Chancery Division engaged in the private practice of law for decades at his law firm in Wall Township. As an attorney, he represented large companies, the Shore Conference of High Schools, served as the local prosecutor in many municipalities, and represented many local governmental entities, serving as an attorney for Monmouth County, Upper Freehold, Wall, the Wall Board of Education, Spring Lake Heights, Neptune City, Long Beach, and Ship Bottom, among others. The following anecdote conveyed to one of his sons by random attorneys at a random driving range perhaps sums up his legal career best: he was a tireless fighter, but his word was his bond; he would fight you to the death, but was never underhanded and would never sandbag you — in short, fierce and principled.
Although Skip was a strong proponent of a Protestant work ethic, as anyone who knew him would certainly attest, he was also passionate about nature, education, Bowdoin, and Maine and made some time for hunting, boating, collecting, and golf. In terms of the latter, he spent a number of years as a high school student caddying at Manasquan River Golf Club, where he became a member in 1972. He was also a member of the Belmar Fishing Club and found time to be active in politics, serve on boards, and spearhead a number of charitable causes, including as a Board Member at Manasquan River, fundraising for Ducks Unlimited, fighting for lacrosse as a Shore Conference sport, and leading the way to “Relight the Knights” (the installation of new lights at Wall High football field in the eighties).
Although work, sport, and competition were how he viewed and approached the world and how he would certainly judge himself, it is evident looking back that his true passions in life were the love he had for his wife of fifty-four years, Suzanne Magee, and his family — it is simply without question that there was nothing he wouldn’t do for his family, nothing. Fortunately, like one of his childhood heroes, Joshua Chamberlain, he found some peace later in life in Maine watching and riding upon the water with Suzanne and his family, finding the perfect confluence of his love for his family and passions at a place sacred to him. Although his struggle with his long illness made Maine impossible in the later years, he was able to spend most of his final days watching the Shark River and the river of time flow by with Suzanne, his family, his deceased son’s dog Milo at his side, and an occasional visitor.
Skip is survived by Suzanne, his brother, Peter Magee ’64, his oldest daughter, Jennifer Ribeiro ’90, and her husband, Jay Ribeiro, his son, Peter Magee, and his wife, Katherine Magee, his son, Tennant D. Magee, Sr., and his wife, Bryn Magee, his daughter, Margaret Paul ’02, and her husband, Ian Paul, and his grandchildren, Julia Ribeiro, David Ribeiro, Calean Magee, Kenna Magee, TJ Magee, Aidan Magee, Arya Paul, Ingrid Paul, and, of course, Milo . . . who will greatly miss you by his side. He is predeceased by his oldest son, Granville Michael Magee.
Finally, as hard as it is to say goodbye to a parent, a spouse, a sibling, or a friend, it is clear there is little in this world that is harder than the crushing blow of losing a child, a gut punch Skip received when Granville tragically left him a few years ago. Now, he will be reunited with his beloved father, Granville V., his mother, Viola, his dog Beauty (at whose passing his children saw an outpouring of emotion as real as it was startling) and, most importantly, Granville. May he find peace and love amongst those whom he loved and may his life be judged by his inner core of fierce determination, principle, and his passion for what is most important in this world. For us left behind, he will be missed and always loved.