James Phillip McGrath, a native of the Gila Valley, passed away on August 24, 2021 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was 58 years old.
Phil was born December 24, 1962 in Safford, Arizona to Wayne and Barbara Shumway McGrath. Phil grew up in a house of faith and basketball. He loved playing basketball for Thatcher High School and later Eastern Arizona College. He grew up in a community and with friends that he held dear his whole life. He spent many afternoons on the college basketball court while his father coached for Eastern Arizona College.
Phil was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served a mission in Fukuoka, Japan for 18 months. After returning home he married his eternal companion, Susan Kern. They were married for 36 years at the time of his passing. They have five loving and faithful children: Megan (Brian) McEwan, Bryan McGrath, Logan (Heidi) McGrath, Jordan (Madi) McGrath and Ethan McGrath. He adored his grandchildren – Claire, Jack, Joseph and Calvin and was looking forward to a new grandson in December. He was a wonderful husband and loving father. He cherished his family and they cherished him. His family was his life.
He had a strong testimony of his Savior, Jesus Christ, and believed in the reality of eternal families. He was a devoted disciple of Christ, and served as a branch president and bishop many times.
He was preceded in death by: his father, Wayne, and father-in-law, Russell.
He is survived by: his wife and children; as well as his mother, Barbara; and sisters, Lindyl and Kelly; and brothers, Derrin, McKay and Kresten.