Dr. Brian McGrath
Dr. Brian McGrath, a longtime resident of Guilford, passed away on July 15 at the age of 90. Brian was the son of John Patrick and Eleanora McGrath of Hamden. He was predeceased by his loving wife of 62 years, Judith Winchell (Dayton) McGrath. He is survived by his seven children: Martha (Seiver), Matthew McGrath, Allison (Thomas), Sharon (Thompson), Stephen McGrath, Tom McGrath, and Carol McGrath, as well as six grandchildren and a great-grandson. He was predeceased by his sister, Margaret “Peggy” Kearney.
Brian grew up in the Spring Glen section of Hamden. As a youth, he excelled in both academics and sports and participated on the chess and debate teams. After graduating from Hillhouse High School, he attended Yale University (1955) on full scholarship, majoring in psychology. He participated on the wrestling team and in other athletics and held various part-time jobs. It was during this time that he met the love of his life, Judy Dayton. They married in 1957 and started a family in Guilford. Pursuing a medical career, he became a Doctor of Internal Medicine through the Yale School of Medicine (1959) and was a practicing associate with Dr. Elisabeth C. Adams in Guilford.
Brian served as a physician in the U.S. Air Force in Tacoma, Washington, and in Columbus, Ohio. He then returned to the Yale School of Medicine and specialized in becoming a doctor of dermatology (1969). He subsequently began his private practice in Guilford, making weekly visits to Yale to lecture and attend rounds with dermatology students. In 2007, he retired after 50 years of practice.
Known affectionately to many as “Doc,” Brian connected with friends through his hobbies and active lifestyle. He and his wife Judy were avid tennis players, hikers, gardeners, and bridge players, and they both loved the ocean. His many passions included windsurfing, walking or running in the West Woods, playing ball of all kinds, and entertaining his beloved dogs. He was a devout Catholic and parishioner of St. George Church. Brian generously dedicated time to caring for the Dominican nuns at The Monastery of Our Lady of Grace in North Guilford.
Brian and Judy were best friends. The two met and lifeguarded together at the Madison and Clinton beaches in the 1950s. They raised their seven children in Guilford and never left the area, designing and building their dream house on the water to enjoy with their family and grandchildren and to live out their retirement years. Together, they enjoyed traveling to various islands and later wintered joyously in Jupiter, Florida.
Brian’s full life provided us with many values and unspoken truths to carry with us, including the power of a healing and patient demeanor, a strong religious faith, a love of athletics, a gift for play, an appreciation of music, as well as an interest in astronomy, and a deep connection to the natural world.
A funeral mass will take place at St. George Church later in September. The family will hold a private burial and requests that any donations in his honor be made to Connecticut Hospice, www.hospice.com.