Obituary of John Rutherford Maggard
John Rutherford Maggard (1926-2020)
John Rutherford “Jock” Maggard died at home surrounded by family on May 25 after a long and full life. He was 94.
Born in New Rochelle, NY to Oliver and Mary McGiffert Maggard, Jock graduated from Mamaroneck High School, attended Virginia Military Institute, and served in the United States Army. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1996 from the State University of New York and attended Columbia Business School.
Following the paths of his father and grandfather, Jock began his career in heavy equipment sales. He later founded successful road materials businesses in New York and Florida. As an entrepreneur with a relentlessly optimistic outlook, Jock was willing to assume the substantial investment risks involved in introducing the latest asphalt pavement maintenance products and systems to municipalities in both states.
In 1950, Jock married Nancy Drake at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Larchmont, NY where he served at various times during the 1940s through the 1960s as a Sunday school teacher, vestry member, and senior warden.
In 1976, the Maggards moved to Campbell Hall, NY to be closer to Jock’s business. In 2000, Jock and Nancy moved back to New Rochelle to be near children and grandchildren. From the 1980s until recently, they also spent part of each year at their house in Mountain Lake, Lake Wales, FL. Wherever they were, they loved welcoming family and friends. Jock also loved tending his gardens, particularly his roses.
Especially during the past twenty years, Jock was a prolific watercolor artist. He enjoyed annual painting retreats with family in Vermont as well as the camaraderie of the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Seniors art group. He viewed painting as his sacred work, a talent to develop and joyfully share with others. He continued to paint during the final weeks of his life and even then said, “There’s so much to learn.”
Jock was also an avid athlete. He loved to ski, played tennis into his eighties, and golf into his nineties. He loved teaching his children these sports, even critiquing their golf swings from his bed during his final week. Family ski outings, tennis round robins, and golf with his children offered many life lessons, which continued into his last days with golf advice for a son, “Swing harder and follow through. The best is yet to come.”
Jock was predeceased by Nancy in November 2019 after 69 years of marriage. They are survived by their eight children (and spouses) Mary Maggard Hays (“Whis”); Nancy Maggard Richey Prichard (Thomas); John Oliver Maggard (Christina Battalia); William Drake Maggard (Margaret); Jane Rutherford Maggard; Robert Harold Maggard (Amédée); Jeffrey Drake Maggard (Victoria); and Susanna Maggard Farnham (Alan) and by 18 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Mary Miller Maggard Dickinson, and many nieces and nephews. Jock’s brothers, Andrew McGiffert Maggard and Oliver Maggard, predeceased him.
A Celebration of his life will be held Saturday, October 23, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Larchmont, NY.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Jock and Nancy may be made to St. John’s Episcopal Church, 4 Fountain Square, Larchmont, NY 10538.