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Phillip McGrath

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.

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Oh my sweet friends! I just heard about his passing. My heart is broken for you all and your loss. I am so sorry! I think of you all often. I am so thankful for Pres. McGrath and the friend he was to me in Nauvoo. He was a great man! I was so thankful to be able to get to know you all and to have you in my life those few months.

Jennie (Sanders) Plastow Jun 16 2022 2:17 PM

I was so saddened to read this, Barbara. May you find peace at this time and remember how much you are loved. Sending much love and prayers to you and your family.

Linda Layton Norton Sep 3 2021 1:05 AM

So sorry for your loss. Great memories growing up in the small town of Thatcher. Fond memories of the McGrath family. God bless you all!

Tina Anderson Aug 29 2021 5:40 PM

We are very sorry to hear of Phillip's untimely death. Sincere condolences to all of the family.

Robert and Diane Allred Aug 29 2021 8:50 AM