John Francis McGrath
Bloomingdale resident John Francis McGrath died on Oct. 24, 2020, at the Saratoga Hospital in Saratoga Springs. He was 81.
Mr. McGrath was born on Aug. 3, 1939, in Rockville Centre to John and Lena McGrath. While residing in Long Island, John worked for the United Parcel Service in Manhattan. In 1967, he followed in his father’s footsteps (who was a New York City police officer working for the Long Island Railroad) and became a New York state trooper. After spending his childhood summers in Schroon Lake, he decided to relocate to the Adirondacks.
He was a resident of the town of St Armand for 51 years, until two years ago when he moved into his son Brian’s home, located in Saratoga Springs, to be close to their daughter Brenda. After his retirement in 1996, he worked for several years as a bus driver for the Saranac Lake Central School District.
John was an avid motorcyclist, a member of the Blue Knights Motorcycle Club, and the NYS RC Airplane Clubs and Flying Fields. He owned many Harley-Davidson motorcycles throughout the years, even before they were trendy. He had a great passion for flying airplanes, was a Civil Air Patrol pilot in Long Island, and even owned a single-engine Piper at one time. He would joke that he even let his wife fly it once and would emphasize that fact … JUST ONCE. He was a longtime member of the Saranac Lake Ham (amateur) Radio Association and was probably the New York Yankees’ biggest fan.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Florence, daughter Brenda McGrath LaPierre (Saratoga), son Brian McGrath (Washington, D.C.), grandson Jonathan LaPierre (Tupper Lake), granddaughter Elisabeth LaPierre (Saratoga), and his sister Mary Sheila McGoldrick (Queens).
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no calling hours. The family is planning a celebration of life for him sometime in 2021. Donations in John McGrath’s memory can be made to the Tri-Lakes Humane Society in Saranac Lake or to your local Police Benevolent Association.