Obituaries – 10-23-2019

Bill McGrath

Bill McGrath, 75, of Bradenton, died Oct. 5.

He was lucky all his life.

In 1943, he was lucky to be born into an amazing, loving and lifelong supportive family of third-, fourth- and fifth-generation Floridians.

He was lucky to grow up in Plant City, a small Florida town that promoted stability but also encouraged his future wanderlust.

He was lucky to have a great assortment of childhood and adult friends who enjoyed plotting, arguing, adventures and laughing.

He was lucky with a career that began with a couple of University of Florida degrees and that resulted in 35 years of teaching in Florida and also for the U.S. Department of Defense in overseas high school classrooms.

He was lucky to associate with a dedicated bunch of professional colleagues for more than four decades.

He was lucky to teach thousands of students who usually were generous with their time, patience and dedication to learning.

He was lucky to serve as a successful guinea pig in a research program with M.D. Anderson Hospital.

He was lucky to return after 30 years from Germany to Florida, find a condo on the bay in Bradenton, meet neighbors from all over, check out bird habits, tidal movements and spectacular sunsets.

He was lucky to work with hundreds of activists who promoted Democratic Party activities and goals. He was a longtime member and spokesman of the Anna Maria Island Democratic Club.

Mr. McGrath wrote his obituary.

A memorial will be at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, at Motorworks Brewing Co., 1014 Ninth St. W., Bradenton. Memorial donations may be made to the South Florida Museum, Sarasota Orchestra or the Asolo Rep Theater, three of his favorite discoveries in retirement. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be made at

James R. Patterson

James R. Patterson, 87, of Holmes Beach, has died.

Services were in Illinois. Memorial Donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 55 E. Monroe St., Suite 3420, Chicago IL 60603.

Survivors include his wife Carolyn; children James R. Jr. and wife Sheri, Michael C. and wife Jennifer, Patrick A. and wife Kerry, Maryann and husband Mike Atkinson, Muffy Hostetler, Molly and husband Greg Johnston, Maggie and husband Robert Gapp, Bean Kingsbury and Carrie and husband Jack Buck; 36 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren; sister Patti and husband John Bennan.

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