IrishCentral Staff February 01, 2017
Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch and President Donald Trump.
The new Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch, though Episcopalian, is all Irish Catholic ancestry on his mother’s side.
His mother, Anne Irene McGill was born on April 21 1942, in Casper, Wyoming. Her father, an Irish Catholic surgeon, Dr J.J. McGill, with Donegal roots, married another Irish American Dorothy O’Grady. Doctor McGill moved the family to Denver from Wyoming when Anne was an infant.
She had a spectacular political and government career and, under President Ronald Reagan, Anne Gorsuch Burford (her married names [divorced twice but buried in the Church]) became the first female to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
Justice Neil Gorsuch’s mother was also voted Outstanding Freshman Legislator of the Colorado State House of Representatives. She served on the National Commission on Uniform Sentencing. In her final years, she was in private practice with a concentration on children’s advocacy.
Her 2004 death notice stated, “She is survived by her children Neil (Washington D.C.), Stephanie and J.J. Gorsuch, (both of Denver); five grandchildren. Also by her mother, Dorothy O’Grady McGill, sisters, Mary Edwards, Theresa Peace, Dorothy McGill, Veronica Urban, Rosie Binge and brother, Joe McGill.
“Preceded in death by her father, Dr. Joseph John McGill.”
Irish Catholicism ran deep in the family. Her sister, Dorothy, Neil’s aunt, was a prominent Democratic Party operative in El Paso, Texas, known for her work with immigrants.
Her obituary noted that “Dorothy was a lifelong, devout Roman Catholic. She attended Mass daily, prayed the rosary, and was a patron of the Virgin and of St. Jude, often petitioning them for their mercy and intercession. At the age of seven, her parents took her to Mexico City where she celebrated her first Holy Communion at the main altar in the Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica.”