North Greenbush-James J. “Bud” McGrath Jr., passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, February 23, 2020. Bud was born on December 5, 1929 in Troy, NY to James J. McGrath Sr. and Mary Elizabeth O’Connor McGrath. He was educated in Troy schools and was a member of the class of 1947 at LaSalle Institute. He was a lifelong member of St. Michael’s parish in Troy. Bud married the love of his life, Phyllis A. Clifford McGrath on December 30, 1950. They recently celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary, a fact that he would proudly announce to everyone he met. During his earlier life, Bud enjoyed playing softball, skiing, fishing, bowling and water skiing with the Sliter family on Lake George. In later years, he developed a passion for golf, and he hit the links almost every day after his retirement. He also played in the Troy Lodge of Elks golf league. Just a few of his many other talents were playing the harmonica and performing magic tricks for any children who crossed his path. For many years, Bud was an avid ham radio operator, building an entire “bunker” in his basement to contain all of the equipment and electronics that he loved. Bud was employed by the New York State Department of Transportation for several decades, beginning as a bridge tender on the Hudson River, then as a lock operator on the Erie Canal System. During his tenure as a bridge tender, he once saved the life of a young girl who was drowning in the river, resulting in many accolades in the local news media. He was promoted to the DOT main office, where he served until his retirement. He regularly traveled the entire canal system, inspecting and purchasing any needed equipment. In addition to his career with New York State, Bud spent many years as a homebuilder, a trade that he taught himself. He began with his own family home and went on to build homes for many friends, family members and others throughout the area. He always did top quality work, and these many homes still stand as a legacy to his skill and dedication to his craft. Bud was a lifetime member of the Troy Lodge of Elks, holding the positions of Exalted Ruler, State Vice-President, District Deputy, Grand Exalted Ruler, Trustee and Lodge Sponsor. Bud lived a long and fulfilling life, a life spent in service to others. Every person he knew could say that he did them some kindness, however small or large. He regularly rushed to the rescue of anyone who had a home emergency or needed a repair to be made. Although Bud gave and received much love in his life, of paramount importance to him was his love for his family and his faith, love that knew no bounds. Bud is survived by his loving wife Phyllis, his loving children Kathleen A. McGrath of North Greenbush, James J. McGrath III (Michele Millington) of Wynantskill, Daniel E. McGrath (Sharon) of Wynantskill, and Karen M. Rosman (John) of Rocky Point, NY. He is also survived by eight grandchildren, Kelly Wilber, Matthew McGrath (Jessica), Crystal McGrath (Christopher Regan), Andrew McGrath (Stacy), and Melissa, Emily, Katie and Johnny Rosman. Survived by seven great-grandchildren, Ashley and Ryan Wilber, Joseph and Lilly McGrath, and Ella, Lauren and Michael Regan. Also surviving Bud are his sisters Mary Galusky (late Joseph), Margaret Ziter (Joseph), Eileen MacKay (late Raymond) and Agnes Davidson (late Louis). His brothers William McGrath (Cathy), and John McGrath (Kathy). He is also survived by many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, his brother Joseph McGrath and wife Virginia Agars McGrath, and his sister Anne McGrath Meyer and husband Harry Meyer. Relatives and friends are invited to call at the John H. Clinton Funeral Home, located at Wynantskill Funeral Home, 294 Whiteview Road, Wynantskill, NY on Thursday, February 27 from 4 to 7 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Friday, February 28 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Michael’s Church in Troy. Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery on Brunswick Road in Troy. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Troy Lodge Elks #141, 134 North Greenbush Road, Troy, NY 12180 or St. Michael the Archangel 175 Williams Road, Troy, NY 12180. Please visit www.wynantskillfh.com
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