Teresa LaVina McGrath obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Teresa LaVina McGrath

May 31, 1922 - December 24, 2017

Obituary


Even a long life is too short. There is a place in our hearts reserved especially for you. We are comforted to know that you are at peace and with those that have gone before you. Your parents John Nathanial McLean and Marta Agnes(Fitzgerald) McLean, your brothers John and Jerry Mclean and sisters, Catherine Stanton, Maureen Newcomer, Jude Campbell, Sr. Bridgid McLean, Jeanne Weisgerber and your Son, Michael McGrath.
You will be remembered lovingly by your children, Helen Leach and her husband Steve (San Clemente, Ca), Teresa Eakle and her husband Kemper (La Quinta, CA),...

Even a long life is too short. There is a place in our hearts reserved especially for you. We are comforted to know that you are at peace and with those that have gone before you. Your parents John Nathanial McLean and Marta Agnes(Fitzgerald) McLean, your brothers John and Jerry Mclean and sisters, Catherine Stanton, Maureen Newcomer, Jude Campbell, Sr. Bridgid McLean, Jeanne Weisgerber and your Son, Michael McGrath.
You will be remembered lovingly by your children, Helen Leach and her husband Steve (San Clemente, Ca), Teresa Eakle and her husband Kemper (La Quinta, CA), Colleen McGrath (Bremerton WA), Kim Carpenter and her husband Bill(Bremerton WA) and Brendon McGrath (Palm Springs CA), your Grandchildren, Stephen Leach, Sarah Leet, and Michael Leach and his wife Alex, your Great- Grandchildren, Lennon and Bennet Leach, your brothers and sisters, Len McLean (Coeur d'Alene ID), Bob McLean (Arroyo Grande, CA), Aggie Hamman, (Bakersfield CA) and Vivian Messbarger (Torrance CA)
Teresa was born and raised in Outlook Montana. At the end of her life, when dementia had erased so many memories, she reminisced often about her years in Outlook on the Farm with her Family. She often spoke of her gentle Dad and loving mom. She remembered her brothers and sisters and the fun they had growing up on the farm. This was home for her. Her phrase of the day when she moved to Washington was "I'm not cold, I'm from Montana!"
After the depression and during WWII, her family left Outlook and moved to Los Angeles California. As a young woman, she worked at North American Aviation as a Rosie the Riveter for four years. After putting down the Rivets, she worked as a telephone operator, "number please" for several years.
Teresa had a busy life, caring for her family, volunteering and working various jobs. She was a "Head Start" Bus driver in PA & MA, a Van Driver at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in MD, cashier at the Photo Booth in CA, and did laundry for the restaurant where her daughter, Teresa, waited tables.
She lived her life with a Strong Faith in God and love of the Catholic church. Every place we moved, she was active in the church and community. She volunteered as a Eucharistic Minister and brought communion to the nursing home and assisted with set up for the weekly mass. She was referred to as the energetic little lady. In addition, she also volunteered in the parish food bank and served as housekeeper at the parish rectory. When she lived with her sister Maureen, they both were very busy as volunteers in the church. She and Maureen also volunteered working the voting polls. She reminisced about her time at Maureen's as one of the best times during her life.
Her love for her family was equally as strong as her faith. She rarely gushed with emotion, but she demonstrated love every day. She made sure we always had clean clothes to wear, packed our lunches every day, while making oatmeal (or sometimes lumpy cream of wheat) for breakfast. That was after getting up hours before us to shovel coal into the furnace, so we didn't freeze while getting dressed for school. She drove us to catechism, church, school, girl scouts, band, golf, baseball and in search of lost
animals. She helped us take care of dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, turkeys, rabbits, horses, burros, cows, bulls, Shetland ponies, sheep, and pigs.
With every relocation (12 moves with children in school), she made sure we were home in our new house. We always had a welcoming home. No matter how confusing or scary it was to start all over in a new school, she made sure we could leave our troubles at the door and find love and understanding inside our home. We had fun bowling, playing softball or badminton in our yard, riding horses or the burro- she loved to be a part of all of those things. She was home for us.
She always loved the Dodgers- She cheered every year for them and this year they did not disappoint (as much)-they made it to the World Series and even though they lost to Houston, she was excited to see them in the Series!
She was a long -time member of the Republican National party. She believed and strongly impressed upon her children their civic duty to vote. She voted in every election up to her 95th year. She read the newspaper daily-baseball scores first, then the news and then the crossword puzzle.
In November 2017, she was honored by the Washington Women in Trades (her and the other Rosie Riveters) for paving the path for women in the trades. The "Rosie's" are featured in the 2018 calendar. Mom became a calendar girl at the age of 95. She never looked more beautiful than she did that evening holding her rose and posing for pictures.
Her Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren always put a smile on her face. She called Sarah - her little buddy. She was her little travel buddy- going to North Dakota a couple times, Massachusetts and all over California. She looked at pictures of her Great Grand Children with so much love and pride. She would always remark on what a great Dad Michael was to those 2 little boys. Stephen was her first Grand child and she spoke of him with great pride and a big smile- she loved him so much. He could always make her laugh with his silliness.
At the end of the day, we shall always remember Mom sipping her Gin martini with three olives while cheering on the Dodgers.
We will celebrate Teresa's life with her family and friends at a future date. The funeral and Rite of Committal will be held in Arroyo Grande California.