In memory of
Colonel USMC (Ret.) JAMES RUSSELL McGRATH
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In memory of
Colonel USMC (Ret.) JAMES RUSSELL McGRATH
McGRATH JAMES RUSSELL McGRATH Colonel, USMC (Ret.) Passed peacefully on October 13, 2016 surrounded by his family after a brief but strong battle with cancer. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. James Gerard and Irene V. McGrath,his sisters, Nancy Gasior of Oak Park, Illinois and Irene Weir of Chicago, Illinois, as well as his former wife, Anne (April 10, 2016). Jim was born and raised in Oak Park and attended Fenwick High School and then Catholic and George Washington universities for two bachelors, a masters and a PhD, all in Washington, DC which soon became "base camp". While he travelled throughout his life for various career endeavors, he always returned to his adopted Washington,DC area roots. He retired from Booz Allen in April at age 83. A true patriot, he served in the Navy, had been a member of the Civil Air Patrol, was a current member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and retired as a Colonel of the US Marine Corps. He wore many hats with great pride but father was his favorite. And grandfather soon topped that. Having travelled the world for business and pleasure he was happiest in the sky and finally retired his pilot's license at 80. His renewed passion for the water became more navigable and he spent his last Father's Day on the water with his children and grandchildren piloting his beloved trawler. That day will be indelibly ingrained on the hearts of his whole family. He was also a long time civil servant at the Naval Research Laboratory but as a devoted father managed to privately educate his four children through college and instill in them his strong work ethic and value of education though none will ever match his accomplishments. Try as they may. He was a beloved father and friend to all who appreciated his "Great Santini"/bad Irish humor. His wry wit was also embraced by his many kind caregivers and, of course, his children and friends. He lost his father at an early age and struggled as a young boy but determined that he would be the best father he could be-and he was. Job well done. Semper Fidelis. Jim is survived by his sister, Winnie of Arizona; children, Eileen of Washington, DC, Jim (Paulina) of Houston, TX, Mike (Laura) of Richmond, VA and Kay (Steve) of Bethesda, MD and his adored grandchildren, Anna, Caragh, Alex, Finn, Jack, Luke and Norah. A viewing will be held on Sunday, October 16, 2016 from 4 to 7 p.m., at Joseph Gawler's Sons, LLC, 5130 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, (at Harrison St., NW), Washington, DC 20016. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the Church of the Little Flower, 5607 Massachusetts Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20816 on Monday, October 17 at 12 noon. Burial at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jim's name to Fisher House Foundation ( www.fisherhouse.org ). Online condolences at: www.josephgawlers.com
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