Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.

Joseph Sherwood McGinnis, Jr.

  • 0

Joseph Sherwood McGinnis, Jr. 76, of Carlisle, PA, passed away peacefully while surrounded by his loving family on Thursday, November 18, 2021. He was born June 14, 1945, in Richmond, VA to the late Joseph Sherwood and Mary Lucille (Bonnett) McGinnis.

Sherwood retired in 2011 as a Career Member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service with over 30 years of experience in the areas of national security, rule of law, governance, economic development, and foreign policy. He moved to Carlisle to be a Professor of National Security Studies at the Army War College, during which time he was also assigned to overseas postings in Afghanistan and Amman, Jordan. Upon his retirement from the U.S. Department of State he became an Adjunct Professor at Dickinson College.

Sherwood was an active leader and member of several Carlisle community organizations, including serving as: Project Director, Carlisle War, Peace, and Justice Symposium; Vice-President of the Bosler Memorial Library Board of Directors and member of the Cumberland County Library Association; a member of the Parish Council and Stephen’s Ministry for Mary Queen of Peace Catholic Community. He participated in the Carlisle Area Religious Council, Carlisle Community Action Network (CAN), Sunrise Rotary Club, Cumberland Valley Rising, Cumberland County Workforce Development Task Force, Cumberland County Democratic Committee, and was a candidate for the Pennsylvania State General Assembly in 2018.

His State Department assignments included: Political Advisor to the Commander of NATO and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan (COMISAF); Special Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Cooperation and Development (OECD); Political Advisor at the U.S. Mission to NATO; U.S. Representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva; and Political Counselor at the American Embassy in Paris.

Prior to his entering the Foreign Service, Sherwood worked at Drexel University as Director of Academic Computer Services, and as a systems analyst and trainer at the University of Cincinnati and American University, where he earned a Ph.D. in International Studies. Sherwood received his M.A. and B.A. in History from the University of Virginia. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa (Virginia).

By his life and work, Sherwood exemplified the role of service in everything he accomplished locally, nationally, and internationally.

Sherwood is survived by his beloved daughter, Claire, her mother, Jocelyn McGinnis, both of Paris, France; sister Cheryl, her daughter Catherine and her husband Sheridan of Richmond, VA; brother Gary McGinnis, his wife Betty of San Raphael, CA and daughter Ginny of Burlingame, CA; brother John McGinnis of San Raphael, CA; and cousins Don Bonnett, his wife Margie, and their daughter Margie Anne of Timonium, MD and Mitchell Bonnett, his wife Jo Ann, and their son Bryan, of Bloomfield Hills, MI.

A visitation will be held from 6:00-8:00pm on Monday, November 22, 2021, at Hoffman Funeral Home & Crematory, 2020 W. Trindle Rd., Carlisle, PA 17013. A prayer service will commence at 7:00pm. The Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Saint Patrick Catholic Church, 85 Marsh Drive, Carlisle, PA 17015 at 11:00am on Tuesday, November 23, 2021. You’re invited to join the family for a luncheon immediately following the Funeral Mass in the Parish Activity Center (PAC).

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bosler Memorial Library, 158 W. High St., Carlisle, PA 17013 or United Way of Carlisle and Cumberland County, 145 S. Hanover St., Carlisle, PA 17013.

To sign the guestbook please visit

Obituaries Newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News