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Marilyn Noonan McGrath, 83 passed away on Friday, February 24, 2017 at Albany Medical Center.
Born in Troy on June 17, 1933, she was the daughter of the late Walter Noonan and Evelyn Bestle Noonan and beloved wife of the late James J. McGrath, Jr. who died in 1965.
Marilyn grew up in St. Patrick’s Parish, Troy. By all accounts she was a fiery, spirited tomboy who once chased down a gang of hooligans who had stolen her brother’s bike and got the bike back. She attended School 1 and graduated from Catholic Central High School, class of 1951, where that tomboy turned into a beautiful young lady. She worked for a short time at the Telephone Company as an operator. Marilyn loved music, she could cut a mean jitterbug, her dance moves catching the attention of a handsome young man, James McGrath at the YWCA Saturday night dance. They married on Columbus Day, 1959 at St. Patrick’s Church and with the birth of her children, she devoted herself to raising her family. Sadly, she was struck with schizophrenia and so began a lifetime of psychiatric hospitals and mental health services. Her husband died at the age of 32 in 1965 and her children were placed in the care of others, a situation which caused her great sorrow. Despite her illness, she was able to live independently for many years and was especially proud of her tidy apartment at the Burns Apartments in Troy where she had many friends. A devout Catholic all of her life, she was a member of the Third Order of Franciscans and a devoted parishoner of the parishes where she resided, especially St. Anthony’s Church in Troy and Our Lady of Angels in Albany. She counted many priests and nuns among her friends. Like St. Francis, her favorite saint, she loved animals and had several loving pets over the years. She adored her daughters and they in turn were devoted to her. She was smart, funny, beautiful, fiesty and kind. For the past fifteen years she was a resident of CDPC where she received loving care. Her family would like to thank the staff of CDPC who provided Marilyn with tenderness and love. To the countless caretakers who were kind to our mother over the years, her family wants you to know how much you are appreciated. Surely great is your reward. If you wish to honor Marilyn’s life, her family asks that you commit an act of kindness in her name. Visit the sick, feed the hungry, welcome the stranger. We especially ask that when you meet a person with mental illness, you look beyond their illness to see the person within. Recognize that they are someone’s parent or child. Include them in the fabric of life and acknowledge all of the gifts they have to offer. Your life will be richer for it.
Marilyn is survived by her four daughters, Diane Hull of Troy, Nancy McGrath of Troy, Kathleen McGrath of Albany and Sheila Zane of Manhattan, her granddaughter Chantal Vacher of Saratoga, her brother John Noonan of Clifton Park and her niece Jamie Bandos of Clifton Park.
Funeral service will be held at 8:45 am on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 from the McLoughlin & Mason Funeral Home, corner of 109th Street and Third Avenue, Lansingburgh and at 9:30 am at St. Anthony’s Church, State Street, Troy.
Burial will follow at St. Peter’s Cemetery, Troy
Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
at the funeral home. Please visit www.mcloughlinmason.com
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