The memorial organizer requested donations in honor of John David McGee

As many of you know, John was a caring and active member of his community, who would always give and do whatever he could to help anyone that needed it. While John and our family focused on battling his cancer, John’s restaurant, Mamma Maria, was forced to shut down due to the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Mamma Maria is not only John’s life work, but also a beloved gathering place for so many of our friends and family. In lieu of flowers, please consider supporting the restaurant and ordering dinner at, or donating here to help us continue John’s legacy during these unprecedented times.

$5,325 Raised of $10,000   Contributors (15)
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Memorial Created By
Zoe McGee

John David McGee

February 03, 1960 - May 10, 2020

We created this online memorial to celebrate the life of John McGee and collect the many stories and memories so many of you have kindly shared with us. Thank you for your contribution and support, it means so so much to us.

On May 10th, 2020, John David McGee, loving father, committed friend and dedicated restaurateur lost his struggle with cancer, while surrounded by his family. John was the son of Harry and Mary McGee, born on February 3rd, 1960 in Montreal, Canada. He grew up playing hockey and was a lifelong fan, successfully hiding his closet support for the  Canadians from his loyal Bruins patrons.  He attended Middlebury College in Vermont, where...  see more
6,284 Visits

Posts & Photos

  • GatheringUs Support Team
    John was the best of the best and a dear friend. The list of what made John so great is long. Some things relate to what he could do; others reflect what was in his soul. A partial list follows:

    Great golfer; I can still see his swing, as smooth as...  more
  • Richard Packwood
    I met John through our shared passion for golf. He was a very accomplished golfer whose sense of humor, wry wit and unusual observations made him the most wonderful company both on and off the golf course. He will be sorely missed by the many friends...  more
  • Paul Henderson
    Paul Henderson added 4 photo(s) to the memorial John David McGee:
  • Paul Henderson
    John was a dear friend and I am crushed by his loss. He had a sharp mind and an even sharper wit. A conversation with John was wide ranging, insightful, irreverent, and always entertaining. He was passionate about Mamma Maria and built it into one of the...  more
  • Nina Winston
    Dear Laila, Zoe and Phoebe:

    Sending my love and hugs to you all and thinking of you. A great man and a great loss— much too soon. We will all miss John, he shared so much of himself and brought joy to us all.


    Chicago, IL

    Sharing a few photos...
  • Zoe McGee
    Zoe McGee added 2 photo(s) to the memorial John David McGee:
    Father/ Daughter Trip to Prague
    Father/ Daughter Trip to Prague
  • Patrick Duffy
    My most sincere condolences to the McGee’s. I am proud to have worked for him. Rest In Peace, John.
  • Ed Neuhaus
    John always had something to say, and worth listening to. Anytime we hung out, I left with something important to think about, and usually laughing about one of his quips. Our worlds collided at Middlebury in 1979, whether through Kierkegaard,...  more
  • Julie Hallama
    John was so good to Tim and I when we were dating, got married (traveling all the way to Jamaica to attend our wedding), and first started our family. I admired him as a father and a businessman - showing Tim the ropes in the restaurant business. We...  more
  • Tim Hallama
    Always the best conversations in the valet zone...
  • Andrea Arango Arroyave
    John McGee was an amazing man, father, mentor, and businessman. When I was 18 he gave me my first job at Mamma Maria as a hostess I was there for a year before I went off to join the Air Force, while in Mamma Maria he mentored me, spent time talking to...  more
  • Julie Davis
    Laila, Phoebe and Zoe I am so very sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I was so deeply saddened to hear of the passing of John. John was my boss for 12+ years. Sitting side by side all of those years created a bond. John was a very...  more
    • Zoe McGee reacted on this.
    • Julie Davis
      Patrick Duffy He was a great owner. He mentored a few guys that have become pretty successful. So sarcastic that you couldn’t do anything but laugh. I really enjoyed my time there. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
  • Annette Baldao
    John has a hand in getting myself and Wilson together back when. Always made time to chat no matter how busy Mamas was. Fond memories. Thoughts and prayers to Laila, Phoebe, Zoe and Joan
  • Dan Zoen
    John was a driving force in the Restaurant industry in Boston. My seven years at Mamma Maria, were some of the best years of my life, minus the parking of course:) I always run across people who tell me that Mamma Maria is there favorite and John was...  more
  • Andy Gluck
    So sorry for your loss. John was such a big part of our Middlebury Family. I will always remember our lovely visit at my niece’s wedding. Love, Andy Gluck
  • Amparo Marks
    Who is going to carve the turkey at Thanksgiving?! We will miss John terribly but have so many rich memories of him! The good times are forever etched in our minds! Sending love!
  • Paul Vincent Hagan
    I'm a procrastinator. My wedding last year at Mama Maria was no exception. My wife Valentina and I asked John if we could be married in the restaurant with just a couple weeks notice. John put together such an amazing atmosphere for us. Flowers, menu,...  more
  • Kerri  Foley
    Marc and I were so very sad to hear about John's passing. Our deepest condolences to Laila and his daughters.  John was a great mentor to us when we were opening our restaurant Pigalle.  We have great memories of going to restaurants with him and Laila...  more
  • Elizabeth Auran
    Elizabeth Auran added 1 photo(s) to the memorial John David McGee:
    • Kerri Foley and Zoe McGee reacted on this.
    • Elizabeth Auran
      Elizabeth Auran May 1982 -- This photo was taken on the "deck" of our falling-down decrepit off-campus house at Middlebury. It's a miracle the railing didn't break and tumble John into the creek below. (Zoe and Phoebe: your dad would NOT have been psyched about your...  more
      • May 13, 2020
  • Elizabeth Auran
    Elizabeth Auran added 1 photo(s) to the memorial John David McGee:
  • Luana L
    I’m terribly sad and sorry to hear about your loss, my deepest condolences.

    Jon was a great man full of humour and loved his Funk music.

    His dedication to Mamma Maria was a true love story. From the freshness of his ingredients to the thoroughness...  more
  • Elizabeth Auran
    Elizabeth Auran added 2 photo(s) to the memorial John David McGee:
  • Elizabeth Auran
    John was one of the first people I met at Middlebury College, 42 years ago this fall. Our friendship was immediate and at first maybe a little improbable: I was the girl from NYC, he was the boy from Boston, and from the start we had a lively repartee...  more
    • Zoe McGee reacted on this.
    • Elizabeth Auran
      Zoe McGee This means so much and makes me smile to read, thank you Liz <3
    • Elizabeth Auran
      Elizabeth Auran Ah, you're so welcome, honey. Your wonderful dad makes us all smile simply thinking of him! I just sent you a message XOXOX
      • May 14, 2020
  • Kristin G
    My husband and I held our rehearsal dinner at Mamma Maria 13 years ago and this past winter we brought our two daughters to dine there for the first time. It is a very special place for us and holds such wonderful memories, and every time we dine there...  more
  • Ellen Hume
    The North End community will always treasure what you have created here, God bless and rest in peace.
  • Tina Henderson
    Here is one more. Classic John. ❤️
  • Tina Henderson
    John introduced me to my husband Paul in 1979. The story goes that they had a bet who would ask me out first. John lost but our friendship was never lost! We loved John with all our heart. He was the most irreverent, authentic, sarcastic, loyal,...  more
  • Zoe McGee
    Zoe McGee added 2 photo(s) to the memorial John David McGee:
    John live with "Wheel of Fortune" when they featured Mamma Maria
  • Zoe McGee
    Zoe McGee added 5 photo(s) to the memorial John David McGee:
    Young John
    The McGees
  • Zoe McGee
    Zoe McGee added 5 photo(s) to the memorial John David McGee:
    John and family in Bogota, Colombia
    Family dinner in Hawaii
    John and Laila in New Orleans
    John and friend Liz at Middlebury
  • Zoe McGee
    Zoe McGee added 5 photo(s) to the memorial John David McGee:
  • Zoe McGee
    Zoe McGee added 5 photo(s) to the memorial John David McGee:
    John and his favorite cat Neppy
    John and Laila in NYC
    John and the girls at a Mamma Maria wedding
  • Zoe McGee
    Zoe McGee added 4 photo(s) to the memorial John David McGee:
  • Zoe McGee
    Zoe McGee added 5 photo(s) to the memorial John David McGee:
  • Zoe McGee
    Zoe McGee added 5 photo(s) to the memorial John David McGee:
    A very stylist John at the Kentucky Derby
    John and Phantom in New York City
    John and Laila in front of Pastis in NYC