Catherine A. McGrathDecember 25, 2017
Catherine Agnes Sherman McGrath, 97, wife of the late John “Jack” W. McGrath, Sr., passed away peacefully
on Christmas Day, December 25, 2017 in Oswego, New York, with her son John, at her side.
In addition to her husband Jack, who died in 1998, she was predeceased by son, James and daughters Anne
Loretta, Theresa Anne and Sheila Ann; sister, Mary Margaret (Sherman) McMahon and her husband Frank
McMahon; daughter-in- law Mella (DeAmbra) McGrath; sons-in- law Robert “Bob” Steele and Larry Philpott.
She was also predeceased by her brother-in- law George McGrath, Sr. and his wife Mary E. McGrath; sisters-
in-law and their husbands, Anamae (Richard) Mitchell, Sr., Hazel (Bob) Ebert, Helen (Bob) Benzing, and
Eileen (George) Ranous.
The daughter of the late William Webster Sherman and Agnes Catherine (Raney) Sherman, she was born on
October 1, 1920 in Washington D.C. and was a former resident of Kensington, Maryland. After graduation
from Holy Cross Academy, Washington, D.C., she was employed by the Department of Navy in Washington.
On September 19, 1946 she joined Jack McGrath in marriage to enjoy 51 years of a wonderful and loving life
together. They were co-owners and operators of the Veteran’s Liquor Store at 89 West Bridge Street in
Oswego for 43 years.
Catherine, a devout Catholic and communicant of St. Mary of the Assumption Church, was a former member
of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, St. Mary’s Women’s Choir and the Altar and Rosary Society. After
retirement, she volunteered at the Oswego Hospital Gift Shop.
“Mom” or “Granny” was a loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and homemaker. Always a
cheerleader and supporter of her children and grandchildren, she enjoyed seeing them pursue their dreams.
An avid gardener and bowler, she also took classes in ceramics and enjoyed reading and word puzzles. Her
enthusiasm for photography and film allowed her family to cherish and relive decades of memories through
the hundreds of photographs and reels of 8 mm films stored in her cedar chest.
Mom also loved packing her suitcase to travel throughout the United States, Portugal, Great Britain and
Ireland. With a keen eye for color and design she enjoyed caring for and remodeling the family home. She
made her home a place of comfort and enjoyment for all. In her later years you could often see Catherine
walking her dog “Daisy” in West Park.
She was the beloved mother of daughters Elizabeth “Betty Jane” Steele of Camillus, New York; Catherine
“Cathy” Philpott, of Denver, Colorado; Mary Margaret McGrath of Oswego and her sons, John W. McGrath, Jr.,
of Oswego; David McGrath, of Newark Valley, New York; Robert Sherman (Liz) McGrath of Oswego; and Tom
(Benette) McGrath of Fayetteville, New York.
Catherine also leaves behind to cherish her memory, her grandchildren, Jason Steele (Eileen Heagerty), of
Jamesville, New York and Ryan Steele of Syracuse, New York; Robert (Vicki) DeAmbra, and great grandchild
Eve of Brooklyn, New York; Katherine (Fred) Carter and great grandchildren, Kristine, Justin and Talia of Ho-
Ho-Kus, New Jersey; Spencer (Linda) McGrath, and great grandson Arthur Julius McGrath of Boston,
Massachusetts; Alison McGrath of Oswego; Eli (Lee Ann) Tiffault of Burlington, Vermont and Kallie Tiffault of
New Orleans, Louisiana; Nathan Philpott, Lauren (Nik) (Philpott) Stoffel, great grandchildren Layla Snow and
Parker Stoffel, all of Denver, Colorado; and her cousin, Regina Curtis, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, as well as
many loving nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to thank Mom’s caretakers, Ruth, Louella, Connie M., Mandy, Melissa, Shelly, Judy, Andrea,
Connie P., Carol, Kareen, Renee and Tracy, for their personal and loving care. The family also extends its
gratitude to the St. Luke Health Facility, Oswego, New York.
Calling hours will be Thursday, December 28 from 4-7 PM at the Dowdle Funeral Home, 154 East Fourth
Street, Oswego, NY. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Mary of the Assumption Church, 103
West Seventh Street, Oswego, New York on Friday, December 29 at 10 AM. Interment will follow in St.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions go to St. Mary of the Assumption Church preservation
fund, Oswego, NY, a local Veterans organization or your local ASPCA.