Howard Joseph McGrath Jr., 88, of Virginia Beach, passed away peacefully in his sleep Saturday, June 15, 2019, surrounded by loving family and friends in the Christopher Center at Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, he was the son of the late Howard J. McGrath Sr. and Evelyn Trombley McGrath; the oldest of five siblings. He was also preceded in death by his loving wife, Maureen Curley McGrath; and son, James McGrath.
Howard was a U.S. Navy veteran who retired as an aviation electrician senior chief petty officer after 30 years of honorable service. He enjoyed a follow on career as a Navy support contractor teaching sailors how to prevent electromagnetic interference to electronic equipment on U.S. Navy aircraft and ships. He was a lifelong Catholic who actively supported his church and countless humanitarian efforts. He was an altar boy, a paper boy, and a leader in cub scouts and boy scouts.
He loved the Izaak Walton League and served as president of the local Little Creek Chapter and as state representative for over 30 years planting trees and maintaining our lakes, beaches and forests. Most importantly, he was the McGrath family patriarch who joyfully kept the new generations of extended McGrath clan together by organizing and leading annual family reunions that were enjoyed by all.
Mr. McGrath is survived by four siblings, Patricia, Richard, Janice and Barbara; wife, Patricia; six children, Howard, and his wife, Wendy, Pam, and her husband, John, Lisa, Elaina, Chuck and Karen, and her husband, Tod; grandchildren, Christopher, and his wife, Ashley, Dave, and his wife, Liz, Dean, and his wife, Dennese, Cory, Zachary, Madison, Cody, and his wife, Kristy, Jason, and his wife, Tara, Devon, Ashton, and her husband, Steven, and Austin; 19 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A wake will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, June 19, at Rosewood- Kellum Funeral Home. A funeral Mass will be conducted at 10 a.m., Thursday, June 20, at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, 5345 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach. Entombment will follow funeral services in Rosewood Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, the McGrath family gratefully appreciates donations to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Christopher Center, where “Howie” spent his last days in the loving care of his devoted extended family of caregivers.
Share online condolences with the family at Rosewood-Kellum Funeral Home.