John Ronald McGrath, 71, Hechinger Co. executive

April 24, 2005

John Ronald McGrath, a former home-improvement store executive and liquor store owner, died Wednesday at Anne Arundel Medical Center of a heart attack. He was 71.

Known as "Jack," Mr. McGrath was born and raised in Burlington, Vt. He worked for Hechinger Co. for 27 years, retiring as a vice president. He helped open the first store of the chain in the Annapolis area in 1973, said his son, Kevin McGrath of Stevensonville.

Mr. McGrath, who lived on Weems Creek in Annapolis, opened and operated Muddy Creek Liquors in Edgewater for 10 years, before retiring again about three years ago, his son said.

Mr. McGrath enjoyed gardening and playing with his grandchildren and cat, his son said.

His wife of 17 years, T. Sue Gladhill, is a vice president for external affairs at the University of Maryland at Baltimore. Three previous marriages ended in divorce.

A memorial service is planned for noon tomorrow at the Fleet Reserve Club in Annapolis, where Mr. McGrath had lunch every day, his son said.

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. McGrath is survived by five other children: Mark McGrath of Orlando, Fla., Sandra McGrath of Williston, Vt., Ruben Nalda of Belleville, Ill., Johnna McGrath and Matthew McGrath; five grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

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