McGraths celebrate their 71st wedding anniversary

Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Charles Joseph McGrath and Mrs. Alexa Blount McGrath of Lancaster, formerly of Springfield and longtime residents of Pensacola, Fla., on December 27 celebrated their 71th anniversary.

 The couple met when Capt. McGrath was attending naval aviator training in Pensacola. Mrs. McGrath’s family has lived in Pensacola since before statehood. They were married December 27, 1947, at the Naval Aviation Memorial Chapel, one of the many historic structures in the Pensacola Naval Air Station Historic District.

 Capt. and Mrs. McGrath traveled extensively during the 34 years the career officer served in the U.S. Navy. His tours of duty included Pensacola, Norfolk, Okinawa and five California assignments

 He served as commander of VP 48, in various aircraft squadrons in South East Asia including commanding a ship’s company on the USS Midway CVA41 and in Vietnam prior to serving as Defense attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Italy.  Capt. McGrath attended and served on the faculty of the Naval War College, Newport, R.I.

He attended Canterbury School, New Milford, Conn., and received a bachelor’s from Florida State University. He also earned a master’s in international relations from The George Washington University.

Mrs. McGrath attended Pensacola High School, St. Mary’s College, Raleigh, N.C., Florida State University and is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. She has extensive volunteer experience including serving in the Junior League of Pensacola and as a Grey Lady in several military hospitals.

After retirement, Capt. McGrath worked for the Folger Shakespeare Library and Sallie Mae in Washington, D.C., before retiring to Lancaster County.

 The couple are joined in celebration with family and friends, including their daughters, Carla McGrath Summers (Tom) and Malena Blount McGrath (Claudio); their son, Charles Alexander McGrath (Robin); and their grandchildren, Malena Summers (Josh), Eleonora Leo (Alex), Lorenzo Leo and Carter McGrath.