McGrath, Eleanor J.
Eleanor J. McGrath, 79, died Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, while recovering from open heart surgery in Cheyenne, Wyo. Services will be held Saturday, Dec. 1, at Chapman Funeral Home, Clarence, with Pastor Carol Mart officiating. Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m., with services at 2 p.m. Graveside services will follow at Dayton Valley Cemetery, rural Clarence.
Eleanor was born March 28, 1933, to Elwood and Elma Barber Kirkpatrickon the family farm in Jones County, Iowa, where she lived until attending college. Graduating high school in Clarence, Iowa, Eleanor went on to study music, history, and elementary education for which she received a Bachelor of Science degree. She studied at Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Mount Mercy College, Cedar Rapids, and Denver University, Denver, Colo.
She married Joe E. McGrath on April 2, 1955, in Clarence. They built a life in Cedar Rapids, where Eleanor worked as an executive secretary for Concrete Materials, Bud Jamison of the Cedar Rapids Airport, and then Iowa Electric, where she retired from in 1999 as a nuclear disaster trainer.
In retirement she decided to take up real estate and worked several more years with Skogman Realty. Passionate about Cedar Rapids she was involved in a variety of civic causes: she tutored English to immigrants from Bosnia and China, and worked to further education for all, establishing the McGrath Scholarship at Kirkwood Community College.
She is survived by her son, Kirk McGrath (Patti), Cheyenne, Wyo.; grandson, David Kyle Haley, Cedar Rapids; sister, Mary Jean Wilkey (Darrell), Marion; in-laws, Harry McGrath (Betty), Myrtle Robinson and Ted McGrath; numerous nieces and nephews; and “big brother,” Floyd Smith, Riverside, Calif.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Joe E. McGrath; son, Samuel McGrath; parents, Elwood and Elma Kirkpatrick; brother, Robert Kirkpatrick; and sister, Vivian Kirkpatrick Carbaugh.
Eleanor had a vivacious appetite for knowledge and was passionate that all should be educated, so any gifts received will be added to the scholarship fund she created for Kirkwood Community College.
She will forever be loved and missed by all who knew her.
Published Nov. 30, 2012 in The Gazette