Dr. John Lawson Magruder, most beloved husband and adored father, has been confirmed to have died in Coopers Rock State Forest this past summer.
John is survived by his wife, Dr. Kathryn Kasicky and their children, Benjamin James (6) and Lillian Grace (10); parents, James and Abby Magruder of Hudson Oaks, Texas; sister, Jenny (Magruder) Marks; brother-in-law, Spencer Marks; niece, Samantha, of Aledo, Texas; parents-in-law, Paul and Mary Kasicky, of Jefferson Hills, Pa.; sister-in-law, Anna Kasicky; brother-in-law, Frank Sroka; nephew, Frank Paul, of Pittsburgh; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family and friends, who considered him family. John will be missed deeply by all.
John was loved in life for his warm heart, jolly laugh and enthusiasm for his work and family. Though short, his life was full, and he brought much joy into the lives of those who knew him.
He graduated high school in Richmond, Va., where he stayed to attend engineering school at VCU, then continued his professional career by attending Penn State College of Medicine and completing his residency and fellowship training at Wake Forest. He has been a pediatric neurologist with WVU Medicine since 2015, where his passion has been for the treatment of epilepsy in children and development of the epilepsy monitoring unit for the children’s hospital.
He spent his best times with friends and family singing, gaming, playing guitar, cooking, hiking, fishing, camping and skiing. He also was an avid student of football and poetry, filling piles of notebooks with football plays and writing hundreds of poems.
To his children, he was a best friend and champion. Always patient, understanding and ready to smooth away fears and frustrations. He spent many hours playing their unique creations of roofball, stickball and Run Dog Run. His expressive bedtime reading and storytelling is greatly missed.
His wife will treasure the time they spent together, from their first meeting in their medical school acapella group, rambles in the rain, coffee on the porch wondering at the diversity of birdlife, cozy evenings with friends and every other cherished moment.
Doctor Magruder was also a dedicated physician, with a passion for improving the lives of children, especially in the state of West Virginia. He had a passion for EEG and providing the best possible care for children with epilepsy, equally sharing in their triumphs and grief.
For all of his life, John was most at home in the natural world: from his boyhood days climbing a spruce in Glenn Allen, Va. to trekking with the Boy Scouts on his way to earn his Eagle Scout Award; picking huckleberries and proposing to his wife among old growth hemlocks to exploring new trails with his children. He will always be found in the rocks, trees and waterfalls.
The family is so grateful to their friends and family who have shown such care and kindness while waiting to bring John to rest. They also thank the people of Morgantown, the Monongalia Sheriff Department, the Mountaineer Area Rescue Group and all the others who searched and supported them.
At this time, the family asks for privacy while they continue to grieve the loss of this wonderful man and work towards keeping his legacy alive. In lieu of flowers, they ask that donations be made in his memory to The Epilepsy Foundation of West Virginia (www.epilepsy.com/local/west-virginia, 445 West Main St. Suite 253, Clarksburg WV 26301) or the Mountaineer Area Rescue Group (www.wvmarg.org, 714 Venture Dr. #119, Morgantown WV 26508).
Hastings Funeral has been entrusted with arrangements.