Alva Zane McGrath; born December 18, 1930 and raised in Covington, IN, passed away Tuesday, June 30, 2020 in Savannah. He graduated from Scircleville High School and joined the U.S. Army where he served for nearly 24 years.
Mr. McGrath’s military service included three tours of combat, one in Korea (1950-51), and two in Vietnam (1966-67, 1969-70). He saw combat at Inchon, Korea, was involved in the evacuation of the Yula River area, and earned several medals including the Korean Service Medal with six battle stars. During his first tour in Vietnam, he served as First Sergeant and Operations NCO at NhaTrang where he again earned several service medals including the Army Commendation Medal. Al’s second tour in Vietnam saw him stationed at Quan Loi and Phuc Vinh where he served as the Commanding General’s Special Inspector of combat equipment loss. During this tour he earned his third Commendation Medal, a Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart which he refused as he thought his injury was not deserving of such an honor.
Following his military service, Mr. McGrath moved to Savannah, GA in 1976 where he lived with his wife, Carolyn McGrath until her death in 2004. His Savannah occupations included selling insurance for several years before semi-retiring. At that point he began working with Bradley Lock and Key Shop in downtown Savannah.
Al was always well respected for his easy nature and his ability to get along with others. He was seldom seen without a cheerful smile and a word of encouragement for those around him. An active member in any church he attended, Al is a past Elder and Deacon of Central Christian Church of Savannah, GA. One of his greatest joys was sharing his love of God and many Sunday School and Bible Study groups of young adults and adults. Al is considered by all to be a faithful servant of the Lord, and a spiritual encourager to others.
Mr. McGrath is predeceased by his faithful wife of 48 years, Carolyn Sue (Carlson) McGrath. He is survived by his children Shireen Kae (Smith) Fleshman of Roanoke, VA; Doreen Rae (Smith) Richards of Windermere, FL, Michele (McGrath) Perry of Pensacola, FL; and Jacqueline (McGrath) Terry of Pooler, GA; as well as seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
A private graveside service will be held at Forest Lawn Memory Gardens, 315 Greenwich Road, Savannah, GA.