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McGrath, USN (Ret.)
Chief Petty Officer Lawrence J. McGrath, USN (Ret), died peacefully on November 20, 2012. He was born on November 17, 1919 in Brooklyn, NY to Elizabeth and Raymond McGrath.
He joined the US Navy in 1942 serving the South Pacific. He was a decorated veteran of WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He spent 6,000 flight hours as a flight engineer on Willie Victors. After serving for 24 years he retired as an AMC. His duty stations included Hawaii, Pensacola, Millington, Patuxent River, and Argentia Newfoundland Canada. He then went to work for Grumman Aerospace and retired in 1982. Prior to joining the Navy, he was a Professional Football Player and Semi-Pro Softball Pitcher.
He is preceded in death by his daughter, Donna Lynn McGrath and brothers, Frank, Gene, Arthur and his sister, Lillian.
Always giving a kind and uplifting word of advice, he spent many of his later days as the family 'advisor' having a kind word of encouragement for any situation. While rarely missing a football game or a good cigar, he spent his later years enjoying the company of his devoted wife Helen, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He recently celebrated his 70th wedding anniversary and marriage of his youngest grandson, Brant.
Although he is remembered by all who were blessed to know him, he is survived by his loving wife of 70 years, Helen McGrath. Surviving children include son, Lawrence J. McGrath II (Karin); daughters, Christine McGrath, Loueen Castleman (Thomas), Mary Wigg (Peter) and Barbara Downing (Russell). He was also blessed with 6 grandchildren, Kimberly McGrath, Tiffany Martzall (Jeremy), Shannon Downing, Lenna Wigg, Thomas 'Noah' Castleman and Brant Downing (Shaina); and 4 great-grandchildren, Ayden, Brody, Jade, and Colby.
Visitation will be held 9:30am until the Funeral Service to begin at 10:30am Saturday, November 24, 2012 at Harper-Morris Memorial Chapel with Msgr. Luke Hunt officiating. His final resting place will be in Arlington National Cemetery.
He will be sorely missed.
In lieu of flowers the family request that donations be made to The Navy Relief Society.
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Published in Pensacola News Journal on Nov. 24, 2012