McGuire, Erma Marra

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Dr. Erma Marra McGuire, M.D. passed away on Monday, November 5, 2018, in Giles Community Hospital in Pearisburg. She was 92. Dr. Erma was born in Wyatt, West Virginia on March 4, 1926 to Paul Anthony and Lucretia Oliver Marra, Italian immigrants. Dr. Erma grew up on a small family farm in Arnettsville, West Virginia, an unincorporated coal mining community near Morgantown. She learned the value of hard work and self-reliance during the great depression. Her father Paul who emigrated from Italy through Ellis Island in 1911, taught Erma the importance of an education to achieve the American Dream.

Erma enjoyed reading and excelled in school from an early age. She attended West Virginia University College of Arts & Sciences where she was selected into the Alpha Epsilon Delta Premedical Honor Society. Upon graduating West Virginia University School of Medicine, Erma completed her clinical training and Internship at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond in 1952. Dr. Erma was one of only 6 women in her graduating class of 97 physicians from MCV.

After working for a year in Grundy, Virginia, Erma settled in Pearisburg in 1954 to practice medicine and raise a family. She worked on staff at Giles Memorial Hospital and built a thriving Family Practice as a solo female practitioner. She enjoyed making home calls and delivering babies. She was also the first physician in Giles County to use a computer in her office practice.

Dr. Erma worked to improve the health care for all residents of Giles County. She helped recruit physicians and surgeons to the area and was instrumental in bringing the Giles Family Medical Group to Giles County. She also worked as the physician for the Riverview Nursing Home. Dr. Erma was a partner in bringing the first certified daycare center to Giles County. Dr. Erma was a diplomate and member of the American Board of Family Practice and a member of the Virginia Academy of Family Practice. Dr. Erma retired in Sept 2001 after 47 years of medical practice in Giles County.

After retiring, Dr. Erma enjoyed cooking, reading, raising tomatoes and caring for numerous pets. She followed the Spartans and her Mountaineers.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her brother, Dr. John Marra, of Sacramento, California, and sister, Kathryn Marra, of Pearisburg. She is survived by her sisters, Marie Womble, of DeLand, Florida, and Theresa Marra, of Carmichael, California, her children, Sarah Hvozdovic, Rachel McGuire Harwood, Dr. George McGuire, Dr. Paul McGuire, and 6 grandchildren.

Per her request, a graveside service will be held at Birchlawn Burial Park, Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 11:00am with the Rev. Dr. Fred L. Austin officiating. In lieu of flowers, please adopt a stray or make a donation to the animal shelter of your choice. Donations can also be made to the Giles Community Hospital Auxiliary.

Givens Funeral Home, Pearisburg, is serving the family. Online condolences can be sent to the family at