Cover photo for Francis Graham McGill's Obituary
Francis Graham McGill Profile Photo

Francis Graham McGill

August 11, 1932 — September 22, 2023

Frederick, MD

Francis Graham McGill

Francis Graham Montrose (Frank) McGill, 91, of Frederick, died at his home on September 22, 2023. He was the beloved husband of Patricia K. Britton (Patty) McGill. He cherished his wife, and together, their greatest joy was expressing their love for each other by making every moment of the life they shared together very special.

Born in Thurmont, Maryland on August 11, 1932, he was the youngest child of William McPherson McGill and Caroline Reisler McGill. He was a member of All Saints Episcopal Church. He attended Boy’s Latin School in Baltimore and graduated from Thurmont High School, where his interest in music was stimulated by well-known music teacher, Mildred Trevette.

He attended the University of Maryland where he was a member of Delta Tau Delta. During the Korean War, he served as a Drill Instructor in the United States Marine Corp at Parris Island, SC. He was also a member of the Pershing Rifles. Upon leaving the Marine Corp, he studied voice at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, beginning a career that spanned two decades. He continued his studies in New York City and moved to Germany where, for ten years, he performed with many opera companies throughout Germany, and also at Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna and the Gran Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona, Spain. He performed some 40 roles, mostly in the lyric Italian repertoire, such as Rudolpho in La Boehme, The Duke in Rigeletto, Alfred in La Traviata, Cavaradossi in Tosca, and Lenski in Eugene Onegin.

After returning to the United States, he founded and was the Director of the Concert Arts Society of Frederick. He also began a career in the insurance industry, earning the LUTC Fellow designation, later forming McGill Associates, Ltd., an insurance brokerage, which he operated at 21 E. Church Street in downtown Frederick for over 25 years.

After retiring he led a full and active life with his wife on their Golden Oaks Farm near Libertytown, not far from the birthplace of his Mother at Indian Garden and his Father at Catoctin Furnace. Frank was devoted to caring for the land and his beloved oak trees, and nurturing the many species of wild animals and birds that made their home there as well. He was proud of his Scottish heritage and proudly wore his McPherson kilt and regalia upon many occasions. Although few folks locally had the opportunity to hear him sing professionally, he was widely acclaimed for singing “Danny Boy” at many gatherings. He was an avid reader and appreciator of all fine music.

The McGill and McPherson families have figured prominently in the history of this country, as well as Frederick City and County, with their origins dating back to the American Revolution, where Frank’s 5 th great grandfather, Col. Robert McPherson, served on General George Washington’s staff. Frank was a proud member of the Sgt. Lawrence Everhart Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, with Col. Robert McPherson being his “Patriot”. His 4 th great grandfather, Col. John McPherson built the huge townhomes on Court Square in downtown Frederick, now known as the McPherson-Ross and the Mathias homes. Frank’s father, William McPherson McGill, was born, grew up and married at the Auburn estate near Thurmont. During this time, his father built the handsome stone arches that remain in Harriet Chapel at Catoctin Furnace. He was also the last one-room school teacher in Frederick County and passed on to Frank his love of the vast wonders of the Catoctin Mountains.

Frank’s beloved Mother, Caroline Faries Reisler McGill was a founding member of the Historical Society of Frederick County. She was also honored as Maryland Mother of the Year.

Over his lifetime, Frank was a member of the Anglican Church, the Life Underwriters Association of Maryland, the USMC Drill Instructors Association PISC, the Walkersville Kiwanis, the Mt. Vernon Legacy Leaders Association, the National American Legion, the Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 142, the National Rifle Association, Life Member of the Clan McPherson Association USA, and the Sons of the American Revolution.

He was preceded in death by five brothers - William McPherson McGill, Jr., Ernest McGill, John Wakefield McGill, Lloyd Howard Reisler McGill, Alexander DuMont McGill; and two sisters - Caroline McGill Whelan and Margaret Brent McGill. In addition to his wife, he is survived by many nieces, nephews and their extended families.

Near the end of his life’s journey, Frank was blessed to be the beneficiary of exceptional care - Melissa Angleberger, Jen Stonebraker and Ursula Ramos with Hospice of Frederick County - Dr. Sarah Oliveira and Becky Elkins of Supportive & Geriatric Services - and personal caregivers Paula Neiderberger - and Eileasha Fox, whose devotion and loving care to Frank brought him countless hours of happiness and contentment. Patty wishes to extend her appreciation to each of these extraordinary women.

A Celebration of Life & Thanksgiving honoring Frank will be held at a later date. Interment will be at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.


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