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James Joseph McGrath

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James Joseph McGrath Obituary
James Joseph McGrath

Melbourne Beach , FL

James Joseph McGrath of Melbourne Beach, FL, and Brick, NJ, a retired insurance executive and US Navy veteran who never lost his love of the sea and of travel, died Jan. 16. He was 88. Mr. McGrath left his studies at Seton Hall Preparatory School the day after he turned 17 to enlist in the Navy in the final months of World War 2. He served as a medical corpsman until 1952. He returned to Seton Hall and received his diploma, going on to attend Seton Hall University at night. Mr. McGrath began his career in insurance as a claims adjuster for Public Service Coordinated Transport in Newark and, for 40 years, he worked with Certified Claims Corporation Co., Edison, retiring as vice president. Born in Newark, Mr. McGrath lived in Fords and Spring Lake before moving to Brick. He lived seasonally in Melbourne Beach for 30 years. He is survived by his wife, the former Beatrice Zontanas. They would have celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary in March. He also is survived by three sons, James (Kathleen) of Edison, NJ, Steven (Wendy) of Colonia, NJ, and Michael (Lori) of Barnegat, NJ; a daughter, Karen Rawley (Andy) of West Orange, NJ; ten grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents, James and Elizabeth McGill McGrath; two brothers, Frank and William, and a sister, Colleen Walsh He was a vice president of The Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh in West Orange in 1969. Mr. McGrath was an avid fisherman who loved family vacations that included leaving the land behind for deep sea fishing with his sons. He and his family also traveled to Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico and Ireland. "He knew so much about so many things," said his daughter Karen Rawley. "My father always gave us good advice. He was very patient with us." Rawley said her father also loved to tell stories about his childhood, his parents, and growing up in Newark. His family members gathered from throughout the country to be with him when he passed away in Melbourne Beach, Fl. A funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 10:30 am at St. Catherine Catholic Church, Spring Lake, New Jersey.
Published in Asbury Park Press on Apr. 30, 2017
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