Thomas McGrath III(1946 - 2013)

Thomas "Tom" Francis McGrath III was 67 years of age and lived in Fillmore, CA. He peacefully passed away Sunday, October 13th at home surrounded by his family after a brave battle with cancer.

Tom was born in Oxnard, CA on April 5, 1946, the son of Thomas Francis "Frank" McGrath, Jr. and Lee Carroll McGrath. He is 4th generation of the McGrath farming family and grew up on the Oxnard plain with his brother Sean and sister Bridgit. An active member of the McGrath family, Tom lived and farmed in Ventura County all his life.

Tom attended Santa Clara elementary school and High School in Oxnard, class of 1964. He also attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and St. Mary's College in Moraga, CA. Tom proudly served in the US Army, and after service returned to Ventura County to work with his father for most of his farming career. He married Brianne Patricia Johansen in 1975. Together they raised their four daughters here in Ventura County, while Tom continued to farm throughout the county and develop partnerships throughout the state and region.

Tom was devoted to his faith, his community, his family, and to farming in Ventura County. He was a devoted cowboy and a proud member of the Rancheros Visitadores, Rancheros Adolfo, Santa Barbara Trail Riders, and Ventura County Sheriff's Posse. Tom served on several boards and supported many community organizations including; the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley, the Resource Conservation District Ventura County, Livingston Memorial Foundation, he served as President of the Farm Bureau of Ventura County, Mesa Union School Foundation and School Board, was a member of the Oxnard Rotary Club, and supporter of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation. Tom was a proud graduate of Class 4 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program, and was a partner of AgLand Services in Somis, CA. He was the recipient of many service awards including the Ranchero Adolfo Carl Lowthorp Award, the Jeremiah Millbank Award from the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley, a three time Paul Harris Fellow through Oxnard Rotary, and the Award for Excellence in Leadership from the Resource Conservation District Ventura County, among others.

Tom is survived by his wife Brianne Patricia McGrath, brother Sean Higgins McGrath, daughter Marianne Carroll McGrath, husband Michael Vincent Napolitano and granddaughter Marlowe Rose Napolitano, daughter Helen Conroy McGrath and her husband Peter Francis Chausse, daughter Patricia Lee McGrath, daughter Kailyn Bridgit McGrath and her husband Andrew Shalby Dennis, and animals including his beloved horse Truckee and dog Shorty. Tom's sister Bridgit McGrath Massey, mother Lee Carroll McGrath and father Thomas Francis McGrath, Jr. preceded him in death.

A memorial mass will be held Saturday, October 19th at 2 p.m. at St. Francis of Assisi in Fillmore. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Boy & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley, PO Box 152 Santa Paula, CA 93061.


Published in Ventura County Star from Oct. 16 to Oct. 19, 2013