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Bill McGuiness Obituary

Oct 20, 2020

Bill McGuiness was born in Oakland, California and grew up amid a large extended family on his grandparents’ Napa Valley ranch and the McGuiness clan’s cottage in Santa Cruz, CA. Ordained in 1961, Bill served the Archdiocese of San Francisco as parish priest and educator until 1972, when his life took a new direction. He studied Prosthetics and Orthotics, received laicization from the church, and married the love of his life, Cath Maloney. Together they had two children, Megan and Patrick.


Bill began his new career as a student in the UCLA Prosthetics and Orthotics program and started as a  clinician in June 1973 at the San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Centre. A few years later Bill was invited to join the Research Centre for Prosthetics in New York City where he set about incorporating new research developments into clinical practice. He was also appointed director of the Veterans Administration apprenticeship program for prosthetics, orthotics and maxillo-facial restorations. Returning to California in 1977 to support his ailing father, Bill resumed his original clinical position at the San Francisco VA.


Bill was encouraged to apply for a faculty position at the University of Washington in 1979; while pondering a career outside of the VA, he noticed an ad from BCIT looking for someone to help initiate a new P&O program. With the strong support of local clinicians and individuals in the broader Canadian P&O community, the BCIT P&O program was launched in 1980. Bill led this program until his retirement in 2001. Bill’s appreciation of a sound foundation in both theory and practice became a cornerstone of the program. As he used to say “When all is said and done, clinicians judge the success of their efforts by the success of those whom they serve. So too for the educator. The greatest satisfaction of my years at BCIT has come from witnessing the achievements of so many of our graduates. Certainly, I can not take credit for what they have accomplished, but I do take great pleasure in knowing I had something to do in their getting started. More than anything else, that realization will remain with me through the years to come.”


Bill will be sorely missed by his wife of 47 years, Catherine, daughter Megan (her husband Brian Wilson and their children Katie and Charlie), son Patrick (his fiancée Jodie Wilson) and the countless colleagues, patients and students whose lives he touched and careers he had a hand in launching.


If you so wish, donations may be made to The Bill McGuiness Bursary Endowment established by students and colleagues when Bill retired. Please visit