Mary Beth Grady

December 23, 1950October 1, 2020

Mary Beth Grady unexpectedly, but peacefully, died in her sleep on October 1, 2020. Mary Beth was the daughter of Mrs. Evelyn and Dr. Donald O’Brien and born on December 23, 1950 in Sheffield, Alabama. Her family moved to Florence, Alabama, where Mary Beth graduated from Coffee High School and then attended Vanderbilt University, where she earned her degree, majoring in Economics. Mary Beth met Kevin Grady at a Vanderbilt alumni event on March 18, 1975. They had their first date in late July, 1975. They were engaged in October, and married on December 27, 1975. Contrary to some rumors, they did not have to get married. Mary Beth said that after their first date, she felt “doomed.” Kevin said that Mary Beth was the first woman who could make him laugh.

Mary Beth was the mother of two sons, Martin, born in 1983, and Donald, born in 1986. She also gave birth to twin daughters in December, 1985—Ann Ettienne, who was still-born, and Mary Evelyn, who lived only five days before dying of heart problems.

Mary Beth was a very intelligent woman, who had a great sense of humor, an incredible work ethic, and an unusual ability to endure pain without complaining. She lived for almost 50 years after being diagnosed with lupus and painful rheumatoid arthritis when a junior in college. She endured both illnesses with a stoic calm.

Mary Beth was an incredible wife and mother, who loved her boys and husband with a deep affection. Her energy inspired everyone. She loved to entertain, and the meals she served were the highlight of any event. She loved the French language and culture, and she was strongly interested in national political issues and proudly described herself as a “Yellow Dog Democrat.” From a musical standpoint, Mary Beth loved Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson. Closer to home, she was the number one fan of singer Francine Reed.

Mary Beth is survived by her husband, both sons, her daughter-in-law, Maggie, and her grandson, Kevin. She also leaves behind numerous relatives, including two brothers and several nieces and nephews. Mary Beth was the driving force behind most family vacations and family celebrations. She was the heart and soul of her extended family. Mary Beth will be deeply missed by all who knew her and loved her. She was a role model for all whom she met.

Mary Beth’s funeral Mass will be on Wednesday, October 7 at 10 a.m. at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 353 Peachtree Street, N.E., Atlanta, Ga. 30308. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the funeral will be a private ceremony. For those who cannot attend the funeral Mass, the Mass will be livestreamed and available for viewing on the Basilica of the Sacred Heart website ( or Sacred Heart’s YouTube Channel (

A celebration of her life will be planned in the future. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in honor of Mary Beth to the St. Vincent de Paul Society at Sacred Heart Basilica, 353 Peachtree St, N.E., Atlanta, GA, 30308.


  • Livestream: Funeral Mass

    Wednesday, October 7, 2020



Mary Beth Grady

have a memory or condolence to add?

Patricia L DeWitt

October 9, 2020

My father, Hugh Lynch, adored Mary Beth. Their special relationship was nurtured while volunteering at Sacred Heart and Meals in Wheels. Both shared an amazing sense of humor which built the foundation for a wonderful friendship. I can imagine the laughter they are sharing now. I am forever grateful to Mary Beth and to Kevin for the love & support they gave to my dad. Prayers to your family as you cope with her absence until you meet again.

God bless you, dear Mary Beth! ❤️

Phillip Proger

October 7, 2020

Lois and I both smile when we remember Mary Beth. She was special. We remember her wit which when combined with an impish smile warned you that she was about to make you laugh. One of our first memories is being at a dinner at an ABA Post Annual Meeting and wondering whether she was serious about going with girl friends to entertain sailors in New Orleans. Lo and I are thinking of Mary Beth, Kevin, Martin and Donald.

Sharon Paskoff

October 7, 2020

Dear Kevin, Martin, Donald and Family,
Steve and I are sad for the passing of Mary Beth. Mary Beth was a one of a kind, in a good way. She loved you with all of her heart, energy, and actions of wife and mom. I loved Mary Beth too. We came into each others life, struggling to become moms. Mary Beth gave her knowledge, time, friendship, and support to me. Best of all Mary Beth made me laugh. We had the same irreverent sense of humor with comic timing to diffuse and disrupt complicated emotional despair. Years later, while discussing our sons childhood mischievous adventures we would tell their stories and laugh together with a familiar unity of knowledge and humor. I know you will miss her everyday and I wish I could write the words to ease your pain.
I know for sure, Mary Beth's Memory will be a blessing. Steve and I are thinking about you and wish you strength for your grief and an abundance of healing for your heart. You have our deepest sympathy for the passing of your wife and mother, the brave, passionate and hilarious, Mary Beth Grady.

Patsy Null

October 5, 2020

I write to share about Mary Beth and Kevin Grady when I worked at Sacred Heart Church when Monsignor Churchwell was Pastor and Mary Alice was the receptionist. My title was Parish Manager and Kevin was the President of the Parish Council so it was important for me to know about him. Mary Alice knew not only the church operations but she especially knew the people. The first thing she shared about Mr. Grady was his love and devotion for Mary Beth. She told me a little about Mary Beth’s sufferings but said “you would never hear about it from her.” Mr. Kevin was considerate, kind, and professional with the Council, and I observed when seeing him and Mary Beth together he was also happy and light-hearted. I have had some sufferings lately and sometimes feel like giving-up...the comments of family and friends and remembering Mary Alice’s comment about Mrs. Mary Beth have encouraged me. I think Monsignor Churchwell and Mrs. Grady will have some very “in depth” conversations “up there.”

Don Cameron

October 5, 2020

It is inevitable that when I think of peacemakers, people of quiet presence that give of themselves to others, to inspire them, make them feel loved and cared for, and who show the face of God, I think of Mary Beth. Mary Beth was an instrument of the Holy Spirit. I want to extend my deepest sympathies to the entire family, especially Kevin, Martin and Donald. May you have you need now and in the days ahead. I am praying for you.

Paul Kurtz

October 5, 2020

Dear Kevin, Donald, and Martin,

You all are in our thoughts and in our hearts as you deal with your loss. Hope you are able to take some comfort in the assurance that the best of our loved ones----the lessons they taught, the laughs they shared, and the hugs they gave----remain with us so long as we have the blessed gift of memory. Mary Beth will bring smiles to your faces as you think through those memories. Peace and healing is what we wish for you and all of your family in this sad time.

Stefanie Spivey

October 5, 2020

Martin and family,

Your mom always had such a positive spirit and I recall her warm presence every time I was around her. I am stunned by the news and so very sorry to hear of her passing. I'll be praying for all of you.


Tony and Helen Noviello

October 5, 2020

Kevin, Martin, Donald, Maggie and Kevin,
Tony, Helen, Alessandra, Micah and the entire Ninos staff were so very sorry to hear about Mary Beth’s passing. Mary Beth was one amazing woman and always such a bright light when she entered our restaurant. We always enjoy seeing all of you.
Our love, thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this very difficult time.
God Bless,
The Nino’s Family

Bonnie and Gary Wolf

October 5, 2020

So saddened by the loss of such a great lady. Remember celebrating her 50th birthday almost 20 years ago. So sorry she did not live to celebrate her 70th. Mary Beth was so bright, witty and kind and loved her faith and family fiercely.
Our condolences are with Kevin, Martin & Maggie, Donald and little Kevin. You will all be in our prayers. May the angels lead her into paradise. . .

Creel McCormack

October 5, 2020

As a relatively new member of the Mary Beth fan club, I can say that she has been a gleaming light in my orbit of friends. Despite her health issues, she joined me at the fitness center on and off for a few years and persevered on those weight machines. Mostly our routine involved fits of laughter with our dear trainer friend, Elizabeth. We talked politics, such that we were quietly chastised. Mary Beth exuded a wonderful combination of strength, warmth. and humor. She was not shy in professing her moral and ethical values …I so admired her strength of character. In 2021 we were slated to go to a house rental in France that she turned us onto. Toward that goal, she shared her French books and invited me to her private French lesson group. It will not be the same without her. I am sure everyone is shocked and saddened by this news. With much love to Kevin and the family.


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