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Catherine J. McGrath

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Catherine J. McGrath Obituary
Catherine J. McGrath Nov. 4, 1926 - July 28, 2011 Resident of Antioch Catherine J. McGrath passed away at home in the arms of her loving family on July 28, 2011, after a sudden illness. Catherine was born on November 4, 1926, in Garrett Hill, PA. The daughter of Bambino and Anna Marrella, emigrants from Italy, she was the fifth of six children. After graduating from Radnor High School in 1945, Catherine began work at the Bryn Mawr Trust Company. Catherine met James A. McGrath of Philadelphia when he delivered a wedding cake for Catherine's sister to the family home. Jim had the only convertible among the groom's friends that could accommodate the cake and, even though he had worked a double shift, he eagerly agreed to help. After delivery, Grandmom Marrella fed Jim a pasta dinner and sent him upstairs to sleep. Catherine found the stranger asleep on her bed and promptly threw the intruder out of her room. Eventually loved prevailed. She and Jim married on September 18, 1948, at St. Thomas of Villanova Church, PA. Catherine left all she knew to move with Jim to California where they set up home in Antioch. Catherine helped Jim in the family-owned business, Monarch Maintenance, which operated from 1950 to 1995. Jim and Catherine also farmed almonds & walnuts in Knightsen for many years. An accomplished homemaker and hostess, amateur gardener and jigsaw puzzle expert, her greatest joys were her family, friends and home. Catherine's backyard was her idea of heaven where family and friends gathered frequently. She enjoyed watching the wildlife play in the large pecan tree, tending her favorite geraniums, and sharing warm days with Lady, her cat. All were welcomed to her home with loving hugs. Not one to find happiness in extravagances, she enjoyed a good thrift store and garage sale. Catherine is preceded in death by Jim after 60 years of marriage, and is survived by her devoted children: sons Barry (Roseanna) McGrath and Kevin (Pat) McGrath; daughters Gina (Michael) Rozenski and Erin (Mark) Oliver; by grandchildren John, Andrew (Thao) and Katie McGrath, Mark "Mojo" and April Oliver; by great grandchildren Drew, Dillon, Amber and Aiden McGrath. She is also survived by her brother, Louis (Bambino) Marrella of Springfield, PA, and many nieces and nephews. Catherine was the art of motherhood, a beloved wife, wonderful mother-in-law, cherished grandmother and a loyal friend, with never a cross word for anyone. Her gentle spirit, quiet strength and delightful nature will never be forgotten. The loss of Catherine is immeasurable, but also immeasurable is the love she leaves behind. The family is grateful for all the caring thoughts and prayers extended to us. A memorial Mass will be held at Holy Rosary Church, 1313 A Street, Antioch, at noon on Friday, August 19, 2011, immediately followed by a celebration of Catherine's long life at the family home. Family prefers contributions be made in Catherine's memory to Hospice of East Bay, 3470 Buskirk Avenue, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 or the Antioch Riverview Garden Club, PO Box 2781, Antioch, CA, 94531.
Published in Contra Costa Times from Aug. 7 to Aug. 9, 2011
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