Cover photo for Shirley (Hathaway) McGrath's Obituary
Shirley (Hathaway) McGrath Profile Photo
1929 Shirley 2020

Shirley (Hathaway) McGrath

March 23, 1929 — April 14, 2020

WESTFORD - Shirley (Hathaway) McGrath, 91, a 42 year resident of Westford, passed away on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. She was the beloved wife of William E. McGrath, Jr., with whom she shared 68 years of marriage. Born in Westfield, Massachusetts, on March 23, 1929, she was a daughter of the late Walter Leroy and Eldora Belle (Wait) Hathaway. After attending school in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, Shirley went on to receive a Bachelor's Degree in English from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where she met Bill in a creative writing class. Later she earned a Master's Degree in Library Science from the University of Minnesota. She worked many years as a reference librarian in South Dakota, Louisiana and most recently at Memorial Hall Library in Andover, Massachusetts. She was an able administrator. Her staff called her "Mother Superior."

In addition to her husband Bill, Shirley leaves a daughter Lorna (aka Lonny) Zorko of New Hampshire; a son Dana McGrath and his partner Joan Seeba of New Jersey; a daughter-in-law, Emily McGrath of Washington, wife of Shirley and Bill's late son Douglas McGrath; a brother Raymond Hathaway and his wife Gail of Massachusetts; a sister, Elizabeth Maggs of New York; her much loved grandchildren Manny McGrath and Michael McGrath [Ann] of Washington; Daniel [Jen] Zorko of New Hampshire; Melanie Zorko of Wyoming; great grandchildren Kylie, Sydnee and Evan; many nieces and nephews; and other special family members and long-time friends.

Shirley loved music and used to enjoy going to concerts with friends and family. She was a competitive Scrabble player with a keen mind and a will to win. Shirley enjoyed researching her family history and was proud of her early American heritage. She was an avid reader and also enjoyed movies. She loved to watch and identify the birds in her back yard and to watch the turkeys parading across her lawn. She looked forward to trips to the ocean. Her family will remember forever her wonderful, contagious laugh, her kindness and good nature. She will be greatly missed by all.

For those who wish, donations in Shirley's name may be made to: JV Fletcher Library, 50 Main St., Westford, MA 01886 or the Westford Historical Society, P.O. Box 411, Westford, MA 01886. A celebration of Shirley's life will be held at a later date to be announced. The family requests no flowers at this time.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life at a Later Date

Westford Healy Funeral Home

57 North Main Street, Westford, MA 01886

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 11

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors