IRVINGTON—Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Charles Joseph McGrath, 95, born May 17, 1925, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, died on October 14, 2020, at home in Irvington.
He attended Canterbury School, New Milford, Conn., where he was a letterman in tennis. He graduated in 1943 and was accepted to Yale but joined the Navy to fight in World War II. He became a U.S. Naval Aviator and piloted seaplanes until they were decommissioned in 1967.
He later received a bachelor’s from Florida State University and a master’s in international relations from The George Washington University. Capt. McGrath also attended and served on the faculty of the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island.
Capt. McGrath traveled extensively during his 34 years as a career officer. His tours of duty included Pensacola, Norfolk, Japan and several California assignments. He served as commander of VP 48, in various aircraft squadrons in southeast Asia—including commanding a ship’s company on the USS Midway CVA41—prior to serving as defense attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Italy. His last assignment in the Navy was as chief operating officer of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
After retirement in 1977, Capt. McGrath worked for the Folger Shakespeare Library from 1979-1981 and Sallie Mae, both in Washington, D.C., until 1989 before arriving in the Northern Neck in 1990. He has lived in Bertrand and Irvington working as a realtor and served as a senior warden of St. Mary’s Whitechapel Episcopal Church, Lively. He also sang in the choir.
He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Alexa Blount McGrath; two daughters, Carla McGrath Summers (Tom), Malena Blount McGrath (Claudio Leo); their son, Charles Alexander McGrath (Robin); and their grandchildren, Malena Summers, Eleonora Leo, Lorenzo Leo and Carter McGrath.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to St. Mary’s Whitechapel Episcopal Church, Lancaster, www.stmaryswhitechapel.org; Smile Train, www.smiletrain.org/donate/ways-donate; or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, www.stjude.org/donate/donate-to-st-jude.html.