John R. McGroarty, 85, passed away Dec. 14, 2013, after spending his last day surrounded by family and loved ones. John was born Feb. 18, 1928, in St. Louis, Mo., to Edward P. and Emma McGroarty. He was preceded in death by his parents and older brother, Edward J. McGroarty, and younger brother, Robert J. McGroarty.
He served in the U.S. Army
during World War II
, and following his discharge in 1947, John enlisted in the Missouri Army National Guard, 35th Infantry Division and subsequent reorganizations. He served for more than 20 years, rising to the rank of major and remaining in the inactive reserves until his retirement in 1988.
John worked in civilian life for Southwestern Bell Telephone, now AT&T, for more than 38 years, retiring in 1986 to Ocala, Fla. He enjoyed playing golf almost daily with friends and neighbors.
He spent five to six months each year in Alaska working with his son, Steve, on several of his homes. He enjoyed watching his granddaughters playing soccer through the years. Tired of making that 10,000 mile round trip each year, he moved to Fairbanks in summer 2000.
John was a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus and Sacred Heart Parish, life member of the Loyal Order of Moose
Lodge 1199 Ocala, Fla., and a member of Military Officers Association of America.
He is survived by son, Stephen J. McGroarty, and wife, Kimberly Maxwell; granddaughters, Kyla Marie Wilkinson (David), and Erin Lee McGroarty, of Fairbanks, plus nieces and nephew (Robert's daughters, Sue and Mary Pat, and Ed's son, James).
Visitation will be held from 10-11 a.m.; rosary at 11 a.m., and Mass at 11:15 a.m., followed by a reception Friday, Dec. 20, at Sacred Heart Cathedral, 1300 Peger Road, in Fairbanks, with full military honors.
John will be laid to rest at 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, at the Fort Richardson National Cemetery at Fort Richardson.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Sacred Heart Cathedral Fairbanks, House of Prayer: http://dioceseoffairbanks.org/joomla/index.php/donate/donate-by-mail
Arrangements are entrusted to Fairbanks Funeral Home.