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Pinecrest Funeral Home & Memorial Park

7401 Highway 5 N, Alexander, AR

OBITUARY

John T McGrail

August 1, 1938May 16, 2020

John Thomas McGrail

Loving husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, cousin, and friend. John Thomas McGrail passed peacefully and comfortably with Janet, his wife of 60-years and his son Johnny at his side on May 16, 2020. Dear friends visited frequently, shared touching memories and told funny stories getting a rise out of John in his final hours. The family was also touched by the overwhelming compassion and love of the hospice care team allowing John to pass with dignity. He was 81 years of age.

Born August 1, 1938 to Caroline (Boles) and John McGrail and raised in Baltimore, MD. John proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corp, before meeting his sweetheart and best friend at the Western Electric Company. He married Janet (Steele) in 1959 where they began their life together in Baltimore, MD.

Just as they were committed in marriage, they too worked for a single employer for 35-years. With the expansion and then break-up of Ma Bell, company names changed but John remained true to the phone company. His worked in a number of roles over the years, from loading trucks in the reel yard, paint shop operator, assemblyman and machine operator, as well as a union official later in life. John worked hard to take care of others and was quick to join a just cause if another employee was not fairly treated in some way. Though they began their life together in Baltimore, they also relocated to Oklahoma City, OK, Hot Springs Village, AR and ultimately Little Rock, AR.

Life-long friendships and strong bonds followed John over the years. He was a quick wit, kept in contact and in recent years had daily telephone calls with his closest allies. He was known for telling a tall tale or getting a rise out of those he loved most. Various couples would travel to Ocean City, MD together and play cards, see shows, etc. Over the years the venues may have changed (e.g. Branson, MS, Las Vegas, NV and Phoenix, AZ) but the friendships only deepened.

John also had a lifelong penchant for sports. In high school he was a gifted lacrosse player and for many years played competitive fast and slow pitch softball, but perhaps his top love of sports was coaching basketball where several of his teams won the Maryland state championship. For many years he officiated softball, lacrosse and soccer. Helping improve others was something that he enjoyed and excelled at. John was also a mason and a Shriner. He so loved visiting the Pediatric Burn Unit and all the good that was being done for the injured and less fortunate among us.

John leaves behind the love of his life, Janet, to whom he was married for 60 years. He will be cherished and remembered as a loving father to Johnny McGrail of Castle Rock, CO, a loving father-in-law to Giselle McGrail and a proud grandfather to Ian, Peter & Nicole. He was a doting and very proud Pop-Pop. He also leaves behind his loving brother Mack and his wife Peg.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the family is grieving privately and will delay in having a Celebration of Life at Pine Crest Funeral Home in Alexander, AR and internment at St. Stanislaus Cemetery in Baltimore, MD. The family finds comfort in kinds thoughts. To share in John’s memory please leave a message or photo as we celebrate his life. www.pinecrestfh.com.

In lieu of flowers please consider making donations in his memory to the Shriners Children's Hospital, www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/shc or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, www.stjude.org

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

John T McGrail

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Walter Lucke

May 26, 2020

Walter Lucke

May 26, 2020

Judy Wise

May 25, 2020

Dear Janet im so sorry for your loss prayers for you and your family I lost Dave August 1st 2016

Walter Lucke

May 25, 2020

Coach McGrail. Thank you for coaching me and fostering my future love of coaching. You were a tremendous influence and I always look back on my times playing basketball for you as one of the great learning experiences of my life.

Walter Marciniak

May 25, 2020

To the best basketball ball coach ever. We took a bunch of kids in the back of your pick up truck to basketball tournaments for years. I do believe all of us will be Eternally grateful for that. You’re the best coach ever we miss you Johnny.

Pam Michalski

May 24, 2020

I have so many great memories of Mr. John that go back to when I was a young girl. He was such a great friend (more like family) to our family. He will be truly missed and always hold a place in our heart.

Earnie Matheson

May 23, 2020

I send my love, prayers and sincerest sympathies. John was a saint on earth, and a remarkable friend to me. I will certainly miss his tremendous laughter and remarkable wisdom.

Dan Hitch

May 21, 2020

Hot Springs Village Shrine Club sends our condolences to Lady Janet and family

Bill MATCUK

May 20, 2020

Jane, I am sorry to hear about John. What can I say, am lost for words. What good times we had with you guys. Loved working Soccer and Lacrosse games with John, what a great guy. Leona and I always talk about the fun time we had with you, John and the Moxs in Las Vegas, we still get a laugh every time we talk about it. Memories last forever. We will say a prayer for John and your family at this difficult time. Love from us to you.

FROM THE FAMILY
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FROM THE FAMILY

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