Shirley H. McGrath
1929 - 2020
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Shirley H. (Hathaway) McGrath 91, a 42 year resident of Westford, passed away on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. She was the beloved wife of William E. McGrath, Jr., with whom she shared 68 years of marriage. Born in Westfield, Massachusetts, on March 23, 1929, she was a daughter of the late Walter Leroy and Eldora Belle (Wait) Hathaway. After she attended school in Williamsburg, Massachusetts. Shirley went on to receive a Bachelors Degree in English from the University of MA. in Amherst where she met Bill in a creative writing class. Later she earned a Masters Degree in Library Science from the University of Minnesota. She worked many years as a reference librarian in South Dakota, Louisiana and most recently at Memorial Hall Library in Andover, MA. In addition to her husband Bill, Shirley leaves a daughter Lorna Zorko of New Hampshire; a son Dana McGrath and his partner Joan Seeba of New Jersey; a daughter-in-law, Emily McGrath of Washington, wife of Shirley and Bills late son Douglas McGrath; a brother Raymond Hathaway and his wife Gail of MA.; a sister, Elizabeth Maggs of New York; her much loved grandchildren, great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Shirley loved music and she also use to enjoy going to concerts with friends and family. She was a competitive Scrabble player with a keen mind and a will to win. Shirley enjoyed researching her family history and was proud of her early American heritage. She was an avid reader and also enjoyed movies. She loved to watch and identify the birds in her back yard and to watch the turkeys parading across her lawn. She looked forward to trips to the ocean. Her family will remember forever her wonderful, contagious laugh, her kindness and good nature. She will be greatly missed by all. For those who wish, donations in Shirleys name may be made to: JV Fletcher Library, 50 Main St., Westford, MA 01886 or the Westford Historical Society, P.O. Box 411, Westford, MA 01886. A celebration of Shirleys life will be held at a later date to be announced. The family requests no flowers at this time. For condolences, you may please visit

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Published in Eagle-Independent from Apr. 21 to May 1, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
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6 entries
June 16, 2020
Shirley and Bill were well known and loved around Sigma Kappa Sorority at many pleasant memories of those times so long ago
Claire Johnson
May 19, 2020
The Trustees of Memorial Hall Library want to send our sincere condolences to Shirley McGrath's family. Shirley was a valued member of the staff of Memorial Hall Library and will be missed by both staff members and patrons. She was a lovely, warm and engaging person. The Trustees have recently received a donation for our library trust fund from former Director Nancy Jacobson in her memory. Peace to all of you.
Karen Van Welden-Herman
May 6, 2020
Shirley was such a sweet woman. My condolences to your family.
Dede Lacourse
April 25, 2020
I knew Shirley from her frequent visits with Bill to the Cameron Senior Center. While Bill played ping pong you would always find Shirley reading in our library. Truly a pleasant lady, always friendly and smiling. She will be missed. Peace to the family.
Annette Cerullo
April 23, 2020
I will always remember Aunt Shirley for her kindness, intelligence and such caring nature.
April 22, 2020
Shirley recommended my hiring as a Reference Librarian at Memorial Hall Library in Andover and I will never forget her gentle guidance and delightful sense of humor. During my interview with her, we discovered a connection over a cookbook from Lafayette, Louisiana! She was an incredible person and even though I didn't know her very well, she was memorable in so many ways. Peace and love, Shirley.
Nancy Bartlett
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