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Jeb S. Magruder

November 5, 1934 ~ May 11, 2014 (age 79) 79 Years Old

Jeb S. Magruder


Jeb Stuart Magruder died peacefully on May 11, 2014 in Danbury CT, due to complications from a stroke. He is survived by his four children and their spouses; Whitney Magruder (Jacqueline), Justin Magruder (Joyce), Tracy Sennett (Scott), and Stuart Magruder (Emily); and nine grandchildren.

Magruder was born on November 5, 1934, on Staten Island, NY, the younger of two brothers, to Donald and Edith Magruder. His father was a Civil War buff who named his second son after the Confederate General James Ewell Brown Stuart (J.E.B. Stuart). Magruder attended Curtis High School on Staten Island, followed by Williams College in Williamstown, MA. Midway through college, he served two years in the US Army in Korea. After graduating from Williams, he began his business career in San Francisco with the Crown Zellerbach Corp.

In 1959, Magruder married Gail Barnes Nicholas and moved with his new wife to Kansas City, MO, where he drove a Jewel Tea truck for home delivery of grocery items. In 1961, while continuing to work for Jewel, the family moved to Chicago where Magruder entered the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago to earn his MBA. He also worked briefly for Booz Allen & Hamilton while in school. In 1965, the family moved to Los Angeles, CA, where Magruder joined the Broadway Department Stores. He left Broadway after two years to start-up his own cosmetics company.

Early in 1969, Magruder was appointed to be the Special Assistant to the President of the United States for Domestic Policy Development, in the Nixon Administration. He accepted the position and the family moved to Washington, D.C. After several years, he was appointed Acting Director and then Deputy Director of the Committee to Reelect the President. Magruder and his team won the election by the second largest margin in history at the time, but his involvement in the Watergate burglary and cover-up resulted in Magruder spending seven months in Federal Prison.

Upon his release in 1975, the family moved to Colorado Springs, CO where Magruder worked as Vice President for YoungLife. In 1978, the family moved to Princeton, NJ, so he could attend the Princeton Theological Seminary. In 1984, Magruder was ordained as a Presbyterian minister, and he served several churches as associate pastor, in San Mateo, CA and Columbus, OH, and as pastor in Lexington, KY. He married Patti Newton Filipski in 1987, and helped raise her two children, Jennifer and Joseph.

Magruder was an outstanding athlete for his entire life. He was a competitive swimmer and tennis player throughout high school and college years, and set records and played on the varsity teams. Later in life, he took up skiing, scuba diving and bicycling, and enjoyed weekend rides and the occasional century ride. He raised his kids to love skiing and the outdoors, and the children and grandchildren are outdoorsmen and women to this day. Magruder wrote two books: An American Life, One Man’s Road to Watergate (1974) and From Power to Peace (1978). His love of reading and politics live on in the next generation as well.

Burial after cremation will take place at Arlington National Cemetery, and a private family service will be held at that time. Because of his work for Habitat for Humanity in Lexington KY, donations in his memory can be sent to that organization at  

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