Vernon McGrath

Vernon McGrath

Friday, August 15th, 1924 - Friday, January 10th, 2020
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Vernon V. “Vern” McGrath, of Dubuque, the loving husband, and the wonderful father of four children answered the Lord’s call to return home at the grand age of 95 on Friday, January 10, 2020.
Visitation will be from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, January 14, 2019 at Lord of Life Lutheran Church where a funeral service will follow at 11 a.m.
Vern was born August 15, 1924, in Lattnerville, Iowa, son of Peter and Anna (Lucas) McGrath. He married his best friend, Eleanor Freisinger, on September 18, 1948 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Dubuque, Iowa. Their 75 years of marriage was filled with faith, hope, love, joy and peace. Together they freely taught, loved, cared, and cherished their four children, Mike, Sherry, Roger and Kevin.
Vern was an accomplished horseshoe pitcher; pitching horseshoes in the many of the World Tournaments, State Tournaments, and Dubuque, Iowa league. Vern had a vision for Horseshoe pitching in Dubuque. He shared his vision with the city of Dubuque Parks and Recreation Department. Vern was instrumental in the development of the Horseshoe Courts located in Flora Park and having Dubuque participate in the annual State Horseshoe Pitching Tournaments. His vision became a reality in the 1980’s.
He was a true man of faith. Vern was a member of St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Dubuque, where he served as a Deacon for over 40 years. As time went on, Vern and Eleanor joined their family at Lord of Life Lutheran Church. Vern’s passion was taking friends and family for rides along country roads, making stops along the way for a meal, a tasty dessert, or ice cream. He loved being outside, it was heaven on earth to him. Breathing the fresh air, looking up at the sky, enjoying the many shapes he could make from the clouds not only did he stop to smell the roses; he grew a beautiful, colorful, and unique rose garden. He shared bouquet of roses with many. No one was a stranger to Vern, he always said hello to anyone he met and wished them a good day.
Vern enjoyed reading, writing poetry and a daily journal. His days were filled with good and kind deeds. He was a man that opened doors for strangers, only spoke kind words about a subject or a person. He always wanted family and friends to succeed by doing their best.
He did make time to work, he never missed a day of work. He sold newspapers on ninth and Main St. He made mentors in life selling newspapers to many businessmen in Dubuque. Many treated him as a son since his father had already passed when he was nine years old. He worked at Farley and Loetschers Manufacturing Company, the Dubuque Packing House and was a guard at the Dubuque Building. Vern has surely lived a full and fruitful 95 years here among us. His kindness, patience, and compassion for those around him have impacted numerous lives along his journey. We will definitely miss him, forever love and respect him, and never doubt that our Heavely Father now has a very welcome new addition to Eternal Life. A life well lived by a good and faithful servant.
He was preceded in death by his oldest son, Michael “Mike” McGrath.
He is survived by his wife, Eleanor; daughter, Sherry (Duane) Ellerbach of The Villages, Florida and their daughter, Lisa (Rob) Higareda of Austin, Texas; and son Kevin (Guin) McGrath of Dubuque and their children, Shawn McGrath of Dubuque and Brad (Justine) McGrath and their daughter, Evelynn, of Garner, Iowa.
He is also survived by his son Michael’s children, Beth McGrath of Dubuque, Scott McGrath and his son, Jackson, of Cedar Rapids, and Mike McGrath of Cedar Rapids; a brother, Chester (Eunice) McGrath of Cedar Rapids and a sister, Coletta Schultz of Dubuque and a special cousin, Bob (Jan) Miller of Dubuque.
Also surviving are three brothers in law, Joe Freisinger of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Richard “Dick” Freisinger of Anchorage, Alaska and Rusty Oberhoffer of Menominee, Illinois.
He was also preceded in death by his parents and a younger sister, Anna Mae and her husband Albert Hoist and older brother, Ralph and his wife Bernadine McGrath and his brother in law, Merlin Schultz.
He was preceded in death by by wife’s siblings, Louis and Shirley Freisinger, Paul and Darlene Freisinger, Genevieve Oberhoffer and Earl Freisinger.
The family would like to extend our appreciation to everyone at Bethany Home and Hospice of Dubuque for all the care, kindness, and compassionate love you gave our father.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, January 14th, 2020 | 9:45am - 10:45am
    Tuesday, January 14th, 2020 9:45am - 10:45am
    Lord of Life Lutheran Church
    2899 Hales Mill Rd
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Funeral Service

    Tuesday, January 14th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Tuesday, January 14th, 2020 11:00am
    Lord of Life Lutheran Church
    2899 Hales Mill Rd
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Tuesday, January 14th, 2020 |
    Tuesday, January 14th, 2020
    Linwood Cemetery
    2735 Windsor Avenue
    DUBUQUE, IA 52001
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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