He was born Feb. 12, 1929 to the late Edward McGrath and Margaret (Bradley) McGrath. Brad was born and raised in Easthampton but was a longtime resident of Northampton.
He graduated from the former St. Michael’s High School in 1947, attended Williston Academy on an athletic scholarship from 1947-1949, graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1954 and received his master’s degree in education from Westfield State College in 1960.
He spent his career as a teacher, coach, and administrator at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton; serving as teacher and coach from 1954-1967; its assistant director from 1967 to 1976 and its director from 1976 until his retirement in 1991. During his time there he was an inspiration to many students, athletes and colleagues due to his subtle yet encouraging style, character and example.
Brad’s life was dedicated to athletics, especially youth sports. He played semi-pro baseball as a pitcher in his youth leading the way to his many positions as a community sports enthusiast. He coached soccer, baseball and basketball at Smith School where he won many league titles. In 1992, the gym at Smith Vocational School was named “The C. Bradley McGrath Gymnasium” in his honor. He was director of the Northampton Recreation Department from 1965 to 1967 starting many new innovative sport leagues, served as a soccer and basketball commissioner, was a baseball, basketball and soccer official sharing all these talents with his children who proudly pursued reputable careers in these areas. Even though he was a humble man, he took great satisfaction in knowing he affected the youth of his community in such a positive way.
Brad insisted on contributing to his community in any way possible. He was head of the United Way, an officer and member of the Northampton Elks, the Massachusetts Teachers Association and Northampton Youth Soccer Association of which he founded.
In his leisure time, Brad was a member and avid golfer of the Northampton Country Club, enjoyed trips to Hinsdale Race Track with his many close friends, watching his grandchildren’s sporting contests and spending winter months with his wife in Vero Beach, Florida. Brad was also a faithful communicant of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Northampton.
His largest pleasure and gratification in life was his family. Brad leaves his devoted and dedicated wife of 66 years, Mary “Ginger” Bouthilette McGrath, his children, who will miss him deeply, Patty of Easthampton, Dan and wife, Maureen, of Ludlow, son, Jim, daughter, Maureen Sawula, and son Bradley and his wife, Ellen, all of Northampton; nine grandchildren who affectionately called him “Poppy”, Amy, Sarah (husband Chuck), Michael, Brian, Kevin (wife Aimee), Kristine, Allyson, Jillian and Luke. He also leaves four great-grandchildren. He leaves his brother, Ed and his wife Rueith of Harwichport. In addition, Brad leaves many nieces and nephews and a very large extended family.
Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his three sisters, Sr. Margaret James McGrath, Elizabeth “Betty” Walsh, Mary Woods and his nephew, Jeff McGrath.
Brad will forever be remembered for his kind and generous nature, but most especially for his dry, quick wit and memorable sense of humor. He devoted himself to his family, faith and community and we are all better for having known, loved and met him.