Nature 14

Joseph W. McPherson

June 2, 1948 ~ September 26, 2019 (age 71)

Joseph W. McPherson Jr, 71, of Silver Spring, MD passed on to Greater Glory on Thursday, September 26, 2019.  Born and raised in the Boston area by his parents Joe and Mary (Remmes) McPherson, Joe was the husband of Madlyn (Gillespie) McPherson. In addition to his wife, Joe is survived by his children, James McPherson, Elizabeth Miller (David), Catherine Bishop (William), Joseph McPherson III (Giulia), Mary McPherson, and Anne McPherson.  He is also survived by his siblings Mary Tousignant (Albert), Nancy Cincotta (Paul), Janice Gallagher (John), Richard McPherson (Janice), Steven McPherson (Tricia), Barbara Purcell (James), 12 grandchildren,  Charles and William McPherson, Claire, David V, Tilly, Tommy Miller, Bay, Annie, and Gigi Bishop, Joseph, Rocco, and Maria McPherson, and many nieces and nephews.  He was predeceased by his parents and his sister Ann Marie McPherson.  He deeply loved and was extremely proud of his entire family.   

A graduate of Harvard College, the Center for Research and Communication in the Philippines, and Georgetown University Law School, Joe served as a life-long educator, most recently as the founding Headmaster of the Brookewood School.  He was beloved by his students whom he inspired through his Catholic faith, prodigious mind, and cheerful embrace of life.  He was instrumental in the development of The Heights School and the founding of its Potomac campus, where he served 29 years including 13 years as Headmaster. He was the Headmaster of The American School in Switzerland and was a founding board member of the Avalon School in Maryland.  He was a Knight of Malta and extremely active in literary and artistic circles.  He was a prolific author of sonnets, favoring topics inspired by nature and history.  His particular love of Maryland inspired him to author The Ark and Dove, an epic sonnet sequence on the founding of Maryland.  

Visitation will be on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 10103 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD from 4:00 until 8:00 PM. Mass of Christian Burial will be on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church at 11:00 AM. Interment to follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 13801 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD.  Repast will be at The Avalon School, Claridge Room, 11811 Claridge Road, Silver Spring, MD from 2:00 until 4:30 pm.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Brookewood School, 10401 Armory Ave, Kensington, MD 20895 ( 


Donations may be made to:

Brookewood School
10401 Armory Avenue, Kensington MD 20895

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