Obituary: Arthur Jerome McGinnis
Arthur Jerome McGinnis, born in Gratiot, WI and a resident of St Augustine for more than 40-years, passed away Monday, March 19, 2018. He was 95-years-old. McGinnis was one of 10 children; survived by Roseanne Gerbick, Patricia Hintz, and Toni Fox.
Art had a large family. He was married to Thelma James (deceased), and they had four daughters, Sylvia Martin McGinnis (Jason Martin), Susan Burk, Sally Parmentier (deceased), and Sandra McGinnis Conners, all of St. Augustine. Grandchildren: Alexandra (Pete) Cramer, Ponte Vedra Beach, Willie Erke (deceased), Roxanne Erke (Shane Moore), St. Augustine, Charles (Tracy) Burk, California, Sally (Mike) Pfenning, Germany, David Parmentier, St. Augustine, Jenny (Terry) Thompson, Perry, South Dakota, and Jammie Knight of St. Augustine. Great Grandchildren: Katie, Rodger and Kelly, Dylan and Abigail, Bryce, Julia, Isaak, Jakob, Kadin, Zavior, and Rickayla.
Arthur later married Lorraine Schlappi, with whom he went to high school in Monroe, WI. They lived summers in Wisconsin and winters in St. Augustine. Her four children became part of the family also.
Originally, Art was a Wisconsin dairy farmer, then a veteran of World War II. He served in the Army Air Corps and was a flight engineer on B17, B24 and B29 bombers. He was a retired policeman before becoming a motel entrepreneur.
Historic City News editor Michael Gold, who grew up on Vilano Beach, remembers Art McGinnis as one of those “larger-than-life” characters that you count yourself lucky to have known. To many, McGinnis was legendary. He is credited with saving the east end of the Vilano Beach drawbridge that is now used as a fishing pier. He was the former owner of three iconic motels on Vilano Beach. He owned the Vilano Beach Motel (Magic Beach) and built the Ocean Blue I and Ocean Blue II. Many Historic City News readers will remember King Arthur’s Golden Fried Chicken at Vilano Beach, which he also owned.
On his 90th birthday, he was knighted by the Royal family as Sir Arthur. Then, as he celebrated his 95th birthday last November 29th, Art was presented the seal of the City of St Augustine by Mayor Nancy Shaver.
Services will be held at San Sebastian Catholic Church on SR-16, on Friday, March 23, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. Burial will follow at San Lorenzo Cemetery at 2:00 p.m. followed by a Celebration of Life at North Beach Community Center, 120 Meadows Avenue at 4:00 p.m. This is a CELEBRATION of Arthur McGinnis, please wear vibrant colors.