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Edward W. McGrath, Youth football leader


July 3, 1939 – Nov. 1, 2016

Edward W. McGrath of East Aurora, a retired labor relations specialist, died Nov. 1 at Hospice Buffalo following a lengthy illness. He was 77.

He was born unexpectedly in Erie, Pa., while his mother was accompanying his father on a business trip. He graduated from Nichols School in Buffalo and Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H.

Mr. McGrath attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, where he played hockey and football and sang with the Singing Saints. He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration/labor relations from the University at Buffalo and was a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Air Force as a first lieutenant stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

He was director of labor relations at Service Systems and then for 25 years at Delaware North.

Mr. McGrath moved to East Aurora in 1966 and became active with his five children in youth sports, especially football. Through the next four decades, he coached kids, including his own sons and grandsons, and served on the board and as commissioner of East Aurora Little Loop Football and Cheerleading. During his tenure as commissioner, East Aurora began the practice of having players on the field for a minimum of eight plays per game, built an announcer’s booth at Hamlin Park, the location of the town’s football field and established a weight room for Little Loop and high school players. In 2009, the Edward McGrath, Sr. Field in Hamlin Park was named in his honor.

He was known for his sense of humor. He was also known for his diverse interests including reading, Civil War history, music, movies, puzzles, bridge and fantasy football.

He is predeceased by his wife of 13 years, the former Carol Buscaglia; his daughter, Susan Reger and son, Christian; and survived by his wife of 37 years, the former Carol Dahlin Maeder; three sons, Edward Jr., Daniel and Jonathan; stepchildren, W. Erik Maeder, Karl Maeder, and Rebecca Doll; eight grandchildren; six step-grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

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