American Veteran 04

John Joseph McGrath Jr.

May 24, 1925 ~ May 14, 2020 (age 94)


Fitchburg-John Joseph McGrath Jr, 94, died Thursday, May 14, 2020 at the Highlands, after an illness.

   He was the husband of 57 years to the late Audrey J. (Richardson) McGrath who died in 2005.

   John leaves two sons, John R. “Jack” McGrath and his wife Debbie of NH and William C. “Bill” McGrath of Fitchburg; one grandson, Daniel R. McGrath; one sister, Irene Allain of Oxford; one brother, James McGrath of Milford; three godsons, David Allain, Daniel Allain, Peter McGrath and many nieces and nephews.

   He is predeceased by three brothers, Joseph, Robert and Charles and one sister, Catherine Richardson.

   John was born in Boston on May 24, 1925 a son of the late John J. Sr and Irene (Casey) McGrath, the first of seven children. His family later moved to the Worcester area and lived in Shrewsbury. He was a 1943 graduate of the Worcester Commerce High School. After graduation, at the height of WWII, John enlisted in the US Navy and given the results of his entrance testing, he was enlisted in the Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) and was enrolled at Notre Dame University in Indiana to study engineering. When the war ended, he had to leave school to help provide for his family. He worked at A&P Supermarkets and became a butcher and was in training to be a store manager. At a training rotation in Fitchburg is when John met the “Fannie Farmer’s Candy Girl”, Audrey Richardson, who he vowed to marry. John and Audrey were wed on October 12, 1948 at St. Bernard Church.

   Around 1950, John was hired at the General Electric Manager’s training program and was assigned to various GE plants over the next few years and lived in Pittsfield, Lynn, Utica and Schenectady, NY before returning to Fitchburg permanently. He rose through the management ranks at the GE Small Steam Turbine Division in Fitchburg and retired as a Manager of Advanced Materials and Planning in 1985 after 35 years.

  At this time John started his own manufacturing consulting firm, JJM Associates and worked in association with Ernst and Whiney, now “Ernest and Young of Boston”.

   After a triple bypass he was no longer able to work. John enrolled in Fitchburg State College to finally complete his degree and graduated in 1995, earning his bachelor’s degree.

   John was a licensed Ham Radio Operator and enjoyed talking to many fellow hams around the world. He was a devout Catholic and attended daily morning masses at. St. Bernard’s Church for most of his working life and into his retirement. John also collected dutifully for the diocese’s Bishop’s Fund for many years. He also enjoyed boating and spending time by the water, he prized the time he could spend at the family’s summer home in Ashburnham. He served as a longtime member of the City of Fitchburg’s Planning Board.  John also was a longtime supporting member of the New Players Theatre Guild in Fitchburg and served for the group’s executive advisory panel.

   John’s family wants to particularly thank all the nurses and staff at the Highlands for providing John with amazing and loving care over the past 7 plus years. Thank you all.

   In consideration of our current restrictions on gatherings and to preserve the health of others, services for John will be held privately and is burial will be at St. Bernard’s cemetery, Fitchburg.

   The Smith-Mallahy-Masciarelli and the Fitchburg Chapel of the Sawyer-Miller-Masciarelli Funeral Homes, 243 Water Street, Fitchburg, MA have been entrusted with John’s care.

   Please visit our website to leave an online condolence and for further information see

John F. Masciarelli and Walter C. Taylor funeral directors

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