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Margaret P. (Hardiman) McGrath, better known as “Peg”, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, December 27, 2022, at her home in Sharon, Massachusetts, surrounded by her loving family. She was 90 years old.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts on March 16, 1932, Peg was the daughter of the late John J. and Margaret Agnes (Joyce) Hardiman. She was raised in Roxbury, the Mission Hill neighborhood, alongside her siblings, Dolly, Jack, Mary, and Barbara.
Living in that same Roxbury neighborhood was the McGrath family, including a young man named Neil, better known as “Chip”, who would eventually steal Peg’s heart and after a long courtship, marry her on June 20, 1952
Initially, the young couple made their home in Boston, but in 1954 Peg and Chip moved from the city to the suburb of Sharon, Massachusetts, settling first at 113 South Main Street and then a few years later, moving to 29 Station where they hunkered down to raise the ever-growing McGrath clan; eight children in all, six boys and two girls, including a set of fraternal twins.
As if keeping track of eight kids wasn’t enough, Peg did her fair share to help make ends meet, working part-time jobs at Thayer Pharmacy, CVS, taking on the “lunch lady” role at the school cafeteria and waitressing tables at Bickford’s Pancake House. Chip worked full time for the Boston Gas Company and took on way too many side jobs as the family grew. For many years Peg and Chip worked together at Big League Bowling in Walpole. Chip took care of the operation in general, while Peg worked evenings and weekends covering the “snack bar”, a family affair you might say.
Over the years, Peg found many ways to socialize, have fun and, above all, laugh. She played Bingo games at Sacred Heart, enticing friends and family to join her. They won, she laughed; they lost, she laughed, they all laughed and laughed, Terry, Connie, all of them. To be in Peg’s company, you were destined to enjoy a great laugh, the kind of laugh that doubled you over, made you wheeze. It was that kind of laugh. And the laughs continued for years, at her Tupperware parties, copperware parties, at the casinos, on her trips to Aruba with her sister Barbara and her husband John. Her laughter, her humor was infectious. The simplest conversation at her kitchen table, whatever the subject, serious in nature or not, so often would turn to laughter. Laughter was her medicine, for you. Almost always, you left a happier person, problems seemed less problematic, still chuckling on your way home.
When Peg and Chip successfully raised all eight children, then watched them move out and move on, it soon became time for them to do the same. They sold the family home on Station Street, bid farewell to a great neighborhood, filled with great people and memories and moved to a small ranch style home on Reynolds Road in Sharon, more suitable for the two of them.
Peg and Chip lived out their lives on Reynolds Road, never alone very much at all. Their eight children now married, brought them 26 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. As was Station Street, Reynolds Road was open to all, friends and family, front door never locked, drop in any time, no need to call ahead. No one ever called ahead. If they weren’t home when you pulled into the driveway, chances are you’d find one of the McGrath clan hanging around and eventually “Ma and Pa”, as the grandchildren eternally dubbed them, would walk in.
After a lifetime of Ma and Pa together, Pa passed away on June 13, 2010, leaving Ma broken hearted. We wondered if and how Ma, the McGrath Matriarch, could possibly survive without Pa, her love, her Patriarch partner. Though she grieved and mourned as expected, in time, she rose and she shined. It was a lesson to us all. Selflessly, she picked herself up and resumed her role as the matron of the family, there always, for everyone, to listen, to advise, never to judge and almost always to laugh. Oh, how she loved to laugh. So often through the years, Pa would watch her with someone, see her laughing heartily, and comment, “she loves to laugh, she loves life, she should live forever.” If only she could…if only.
Beloved wife of the late Neil John McGrath, Jr. Loving mother of Neil J. McGrath, III and his wife, Joanne, of North Attleborough, Robert W. McGrath and his wife, Dawn, of Sharon, John J. McGrath and his wife, Kathleen, of Sharon, William R. McGrath and his wife, Geeta, of Wrentham, Patricia A. McGrath of Sharon, Linda M. Willhauck and her life partner, Doug Mirable, of Mansfield, Stephen M. McGrath and his wife, Dawn, of Foxborough, and Barry R. McGrath and his wife, Pauline, of Assonet. Cherished grandmother of twenty-six grandchildren and great grandmother of sixteen great-grandchildren. Sister of Barbara Moriarty and her husband, John, of Kingston, the late Theresa "Dolly" Brown, the late John "Jack" Hardiman, and the late Mary Desmond.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend Peg's Life Celebration on Wednesday, January 4, 2023, from 4 to 8 PM in the James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, 48 Common Street, Walpole.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 59 Cottage Street, Sharon on Thursday, January 5, 2023, at 10:00 AM. Interment will follow in Rock Ridge Cemetery in Sharon.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Peg's name may be made to Cops for Kids with Cancer, PO Box 850956, Braintree, MA 02185 or at https://copsforkidswithcancer.org/
Wednesday, January 4, 2023
4:00 - 8:00pm (Eastern time)
James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home
Thursday, January 5, 2023
Starts at 10:00am (Eastern time)
Our Lady of Sorrows
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