Patricia Marie "Pi" (Shea) McGrath
PROSPECT- Patricia Marie “Pi” McGrath (née Shea) died after a well fought battle in Yale New Haven Hospital on May 16, 2019in New Haven at the age of 70. She was the beloved wife of Thomas J. McGrath of Prospect, CT and beloved mother of John Thomas McGrath of Norwalk, CT.
In addition to her husband and son, Patricia is survived by her mother, Constance O’Loughlin Shea Copes; sisters, Margaret Shea of Prospect and Maria (Shea) Terrell and her husband Robert of Royal Oak, Maryland. She is also survived by step-sisters Lois (Copes) Redline of Prospect, Carolyn (Copes) Barrows and her husband Franklin of Prospect and Claudia (Copes) Purcell and her husband Dr. John of Southbury, CT. and step-brother Paul Copes and his wife Cathy of Pelion, SC.; and also many nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews, cousins and godchildren. She is preceded in death by her twin sister, Bernadette Shea; father, Bernard J. Shea and step-father, Francis Copes.
Patricia was born on June 13, 1948 in Waterbury, CT to Constance (O’Loughlin) and Bernard J. Shea. She graduated from Wendell Cross School in 1962, Sacred Heart High School in 1966, Albertus Magnus College (B.S. Mathematics, magna cum laude) in 1970, Syracuse University (M.S. General Science) in 1974 and Southern Connecticut State College (M.S. Education) in 1980. She married Thomas John McGrath, Jr. in 1977.
While in college, Patricia worked in the summer at Starbuck Sprague Co. and First Federal Bank. Patricia began a 43 year teaching career at Francis J. Maloney High School in Meriden, CT, and taught all level of mathematics, from Remedial to A.P. Calculus (for 20 years). At retirement Patricia was also an Adjunct Professor teaching Calculus at the high school for University of Connecticut. She was a dedicated teacher who loved mathematics and who was passionate about educating her students and tutoring those in need. Patricia was a proud member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), Mathematics Association of America (MAA), Associated Teachers of Mathematics in Connecticut (ATOMIC) and Meriden Federation of Teachers (MFT).
Patricia taught CCD religious education class for over 50 years starting in high school at St. Anthony’s Church in Prospect, then Immaculate Conception Church in Waterbury and St. Aloysius Church in Plantsville. Patricia was a member of the Ladies’ Guild, an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist and received the Archdiocese of Hartford St. Joseph Medal of Appreciation for service at St. Aloysius Church. She was a member of the Ladies of St. Anne Society at the Shrine of Ste. Anne in Waterbury, CT. and the Pioneer Total Abstinence association of the Sacred Heart in New Haven.
An avid lifelong learner, Patricia participated in educational programs such as a 4 year examination all of the books of the Bible with the Archdiocese of Hartford Catholic Bible Study and a 6 year summer NSF Fractal Geometry workshop at Yale University with Benoit Mandelbrot. She loved social and pilgrimage travel: Austria, Canada, France, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Her favorite memories were of the religious experiences of Lourdes, Fatima and dawn at the Sea of Galilee and also of our honeymoon in Ireland and our 35th anniversary at the Eifel Tower in Paris.
Patricia was an accomplished singer, Alto II, and was an active and dedicated member of The Waterbury Chorale, area Church choirs and Resurrection choirs. She especially enjoyed singing in French at the Shrine of St. Anne in Waterbury. She was also active in attending and supporting the arts: International Arts & Ideas of New Haven, The Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, Yale Repertory Theatre and many community organizations.
Patricia was a compassionate, loving, and prayerful person whose generosity and faith in God guided her every day of her life and made it possible for her to touch so many with small and great acts of kindness.
Funeral will be held on Tuesday, May 21,2019 at 8:30 a.m. from the Murphy Funeral Home, 115 Willow Street in Waterbury to the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, 74 West Main Street in Waterbury for a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Patricia’s life. Burial will follow in Old St. Joseph Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home on Monday, May 20, 2019 from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.
The family would like to thank her caregivers (Brenda, Kirsy and Margaret), the staff at Yale New Haven Health for their efforts and care from ER through hospice and the staff of VITAS.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist at 405 Allen Ave, Meriden, CT 06451. Condolences can be sent to www.fbecommunity.org
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