Joseph "Joe Bob" McGrath, 66, of Nicholson, died peacefully at home Saturday after a courageous battle with cancer. Joe passed with his loving wife, Debbie, by his side.
Joe was born on May 2, 1954, in Scranton to the late James P. and Hope Tattersall McGrath. He graduated from West Scranton High School.
Joe was employed by Trane Company for more than 20 years until its closure. There he was chief union steward for Local 730 Plumbers and Pipefitters. He was also president of the Board of Directors for Trane's Federal Credit Union. In 1997, he opened and operated McGrath's Pub in West Scranton and opened his second and present location in Dalton in 2000 along with his sons.
Joe was a lifelong member of St. Patrick's Church, Scranton. He was president of the Industrial Softball League. Joe was on the Board of Director for the Forkston Mountain Association. A lifelong Yankee and Penn State fan, Joe was also an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoyed his favorite pastimes with his wife, brothers, sons and nephew, Patrick McMullen.
Joe's personality was larger than life. He had a million friends because he was a true and loyal friend. He cherished the communities he lived among and loved giving back. He volunteered for the Taylor Fire Department. He also established the Annual Dalton Fishing Derby in 2003 which is still enjoyed by children every spring.
He is survived by his beloved wife and best friend, the former Debbie Shaffer; his sons, Joseph Jr. and wife, Rachel, Clarks Summit; James and companion, Kelly, Nicholson; his siblings, Joan Dennebaum and husband, Paul, Scranton; James McGrath and wife, Linda, Scranton; Michael McGrath and wife, Susan, Moscow; Mary McGrath Perrone, Dunmore; Margaret Schultz and husband, John, Dunmore; Judith Jones and husband, Thomas, Scranton; Sister in-law Ann McGrath; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Mark T. McGrath; and recently his brother, Jack McGrath.
His family would like to thank the countless healthcare staff, doctors and especially Traditional Hospice for their compassion and care given to Joe and his family throughout his illness.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday at noon in the St. Patrick's Church, 1403 Jackson St. Scranton. Interment, Cathedral Cemetery, Scranton.
Friends may call Wednesday, 4 to 7 p.m. at St. Patrick's Church. CDC guidelines and recommendations will be observed.
In lieu of flowers, because of his love for his dogs Cody and Lucky, remembrance can be made to Griffin Pond Animal Shelter, 967 Griffin Pond Road, Clarks Summit, PA 18411.