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John F. McGrath Sr., noted for selling tickets for a good cause

Feb. 21, 1931 – April 21, 2016

There is a reason John F. McGrath Sr. was known as “Tickets” in South Buffalo.

He was always selling tickets for a good cause, whether it was to raise money for the food pantry, a benefit for a friend in need or one of the many charities he supported.

He even got an award for selling war bonds during World War II.

Mr. McGrath, 85, died April 21 at home.

A graduate of St. Teresa School and South Park High School, he attended Chown Business School. He worked for the Durez Division of Occidental Chemical Co., retiring as a sales coordinator after 40 years.

Mr. McGrath volunteered for Meals on Wheels for 25 years, and he was a co-founder and former board member of the South Buffalo Food Pantry.

He organized food drives for the food pantry and the South Buffalo Community Table, where he was treasurer and a former board member.

Another group close to his heart was Upstate New York Transplant Services, where he was a volunteer. He also served as treasurer for Transplants Save Lives of Western New York.

He was active at St. Teresa, where he was a lector for 30 years, past president and treasurer of its Holy Name Society, served on the Parish Council, and was chairman of the Catholic Charities drive in the parish for six years.

He also was a volunteer for various activities at St. Teresa’s School and Trinity Catholic Academy. He also was treasurer of the South Buffalo Ecumenical Association. Mr. McGrath was grand marshal of the Parade of Circles in 2012 and president of the Unger Avenue Block Club. He was recognized by the Common Council for his work with the block club.

He was a volunteer for the Greater South Buffalo Chamber of Commerce, which gave him a community service award in 2006. He was a member of the Cazenovians, a sports promoting organization in South Buffalo. Mr. McGrath served on the Public Collections Board of Appeals for three years, and was a former Cub Scout leader.

Survivors include three daughters, Claire Savini, Diane Blaser and Nancy Ogorek; four sons, John, Paul, Leo and James; two brothers, Marty and Robert; two sisters, Ann Haettich and Teresa Gilliland; 19 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Services were held Monday in St. Teresa’s Catholic Church.