August 10, 1945 – May 19, 2020
Bradley Thomas McGrath Retired Detective III, Bradley Thomas McGrath, End of watch (EOW), May 19th, 2020. Survived by his beloved wife, Marilyn McGrath, three sisters, Mary and Maureen McGrath, and Annette (Bob) Swift, and two brothers, Philip and Vincent (Margo). Also survived by loving nieces, Sarah and Jessie Hernandez, Erin (Sean)King, Katie McGrath, Lauren and Bridget Swift, Nicole McGrath, Madeline (Bill) Mackler and Brooke (Sarano) Kelley, and nephew Ryan (Angelique) McGrath. He also will be sadly missed by his second family in Canada;- loving mother-in-law, Virginia Viger, sister-in-law Cheryl (John) Hasson, brother-in-law Joseph (Marion) Viger, and his wifes extended family of cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles. He is pre-deceased by his parents, Anita and Gerald McGrath, and his brother, Michael. Brad was born in Los Angeles and graduated from Mount Carmel High School before joining the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). His career with LAPD spanned 24 years of distinguished service beginning on March 21, 1968, and carrying through til late 1992. During that time he enjoyed assignments with the Training Division, the University Patrol Division, as well as the elite Metro Division, where he was a lead officer with the SWAT Team. He was also part of the Special Surveillance Team, aka the “Dirt Bag Squad”. He spent time as a uniformed training officer in Pacific Division before being promoted to Detective in that Division. He worked all detective assignments in Pacific before being assigned to the Homicide Division. Homicide cases would become his true passion. When he left Pacific Division in February 1987, he was transferred to the elite Robbery-Homicide Division, Homicide Special Section, aka, the “Hat Squad”. In that capacity he served as lead investigator on some of the most politically and administratively sensitive homicide/serial killer cases in the history of the Los Angeles Police Department. After retirement in 1992 Brad moved to Maui where his door was always open to friends, family and fellow officers. Many stories and much laughter circled his table. It was there that he obtained his Captains License allowing him to drive vessels up to 100 gross tons. He spent many happy hours ferrying people off the shores of beautiful Maui. It was also on his Maui Isle that he met his future wife, Marilyn, walking the beach at sunset. He stopped her to explain the magic of the Green Flash phenomenon that he just knew was about to happen. The rest was history, as they say, and Brad and Marilyn spent his remaining retirement years in Encinitas, California. They enjoyed time at home and their door was always open to visits from family and friends. They also loved to travel with time spent in Costa Rica, various spots in Canada and California, cruises to Alaska, the French Polynesian Islands, the Grand European River Cruise, and a Paddle Boat Cruise on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The Rocky Mountaineer Train Ride was a highlight of their travels through Vancouver, Whistler, Lake Louise, and Banff. Brad was excited to actually visit the shores of the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, Canada. He had learned so much about the Fundy Tides in his Captain’s training that to actually see them was special. He and Marilyn were soul mates in the truest sense of the word. All that ever really needed to be said between them were three words;- “All my heart” . It may be EOW for Brad, but his amazing life force will continue to be felt by so many who knew and loved him. He was one of a kind. He lived and loved with all his heart.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Nina DeCampos Carroll
May 26, 2020
I met Brad when I was four years old and he was a teenager, the big brother of my best friend, "Moe". Coming from a family of girls, it was strange to be around boys and there was several at "Moe's" house. Thinking back, it was Brad who was always nice to us and played with us, always kind and generous. As we grew Brad would listen, encourage and give advise. He was never judgmental.
As an adult, I did not see Brad very often but whenever our paths crossed Brad was always positive and even told me he was proud of me and my accomplishments. Brad will be forever in my heart!
May 26, 2020
It was the 2nd worst day of my life when Marlyn McGrath called me yesterday (5/19/20) and told me the passing of Brad–great friend, mentor and excellent wine connoisseur. I knew that he had severe medical issues and I tried to keep him up beat for the past 5 years. I met Brad in early 2013 when I commenced the San Diego Luncheon get together. He hardly ever missed a luncheon, especially when it was Mexican food. When he could not attend anymore, I would bring him his favorite meal to go, tip toe to his porch and set it down, rang the doorbell and beat feet fast. When he asked me if I had dropped off the food–I lied–several times and I felt good doing it. He finally got wind of my mischievousness. Several times throughout the years, we would have coffee (0730 or earlier) and his favorite chocolate donut on Saturday morning’s here in Encinitas. His early morning telephone calls to me were “wanna go get a F—– Donut”. I asked him to explain, but he could not. Of course–it made him happy to sit and reminisce of old Murder cases he handled as RHD’s– D-3. I knew he had retired in 1993 but it seemed like he never left the job. I listened patiently to some of his cases. He spoke for hours on the “Hillside Strangler”, “Skid Row Stabber”, “Night Stalker” and “Grim Reaper”.
He was a stout Roman Catholic (alter Boy) and we talked religion several times. When he was able too, he loved to travel. So I sent him on a mission to Bavaria (Germany) on a cruise. I had known that the boat would stop at a certain location so I asked him to get off and see if he could find, the large bullet holes in the rear end of a large concrete lion statue sitting on a certain bridge, where in 1945 the British had bomb my mother’s home and she barely got out. I gave him very few clues and He was successful. He enjoyed my WWII stories provided to me by my parents.
It truly is a sad day as I will really miss him alot. I know now that he is out of pain & I ask you all to say a prayer.
May 25, 2020
Do to space limitations, I could not attach this link. Here He was at the SD Wild Animal Park. The tour truck stopped, the Giraffe wandered over, and I handed Brad a bunch of green beans. Seconds later, the camel thanked him with a quart of fresh saliva. He never forgave me.
May 25, 2020
Brad was a unique character whose quick smile and easy laugh made him the center of the crowd. He will be missed but not forgotten by all his friends and loving family.
My father hired Brad as a plant protection officer for Aerojet General in the 1960s and a mutual admiration followed. Brad came to know and appreciate my father’s poetry and in later years asked for a copy of his poems.
Brad especially liked the poem “Your Legacy” that ends with the stanza:
“Of the plaudits and the laurels
Won by sword and ship and pen,
Yours will be the greater pride;
To be called a man by men.”
Brad felt that the last line was one of the most important attributes a man could achieve in his lifetime.
Mission accomplished Brad...Godspeed my friend.
May 24, 2020
I will always remember you as, first and foremost, a true gentleman. When I first met you, through my husband, I immediately felt your true inner gentle soul. I will never forget (along with other things) how much you cared for your sweet dog. The fact that you put her first by holding off on your much planned and anticipated move to Maui until she was no longer with you so you wouldn't have to put her into quarantine is something I will never forget.....it proved to me (what I had always sensed) that you were the kindest and gentlest loving soul I could imagine. I will also cherish our "lunch dates" on my layovers in Maui.......Will never forget my flying partners' "Who was THAT??!!" reaction whenever you picked me up or dropped me off at the hotel.....You certainly were one of a kind, and I will always cherish the memories......sleep softly......
May 24, 2020
My Dear Uncle Brad,
A man who lived by his own moral code and loved with a ferocity second to none. He provided me with the greatest example of living life on your own terms and leading with your heart always. He took the business of living life to the fullest seriously, but understood the importance of remembering to laugh along the way. Daring, audacious, loyal and generous to a fault I will remember him and miss him everyday. There will never be another “Uncle Brad” and rightfully so as we are all better for have knowing such an irreplaceable man.
May 24, 2020
My memory of Brad is that he was a kind, handsome and fun stand-in big brother for my sister Nina and me. He always had patience and time for Maureen, Nina and I for whatever little highjinks and escapades 3 little girls could think up. Whenever we would decide to put on some kind of little song and dance show in the McGrath carport, there he was, clapping and encouraging our entertaining efforts. I remember him tossing me up in the air as high as I could possibly go, like a circus acrobat. He was a wonderful big brother to Maureen and to Nina and me. We were so proud of him when he joined the police force; it seemed a natural fit for his quietly heroic persona. My memories of him will always be golden, like the man himself. Many condolences to the McGrath family, and with much love,
May 23, 2020
Many fond memories of Brad and his wonderful family. I loved his sense of humor and it was easy to laugh at his silly jokes because they were funny after all. He was always a friend you could count on. It has been a long time since I have seen him but I will always be aware he is not here anymore but I am sure he is in the best place to Rest In Peace.
May 23, 2020
I met Brad playing beach volleyball in Venice. In the early 70s We were both on the Lapd and Became good friends. Brad was the best most humble person I have ever known , He treated my wife and I like part of the family. . We visited him In Maui and called each other to catch up on occasion. Our last conversation a few months ago I could tell he was winding down physically although he never complained. I will miss BRAD and I will s Always think of him as being on a long trip and will see him when he returns.
Dave & Kate Gartner
May 22, 2020
Good Evening Brad. We know you're surely listening from above. Right now we're listening to a fellow Irishman sing named Sir Van Morrison. You guys must be kindred spirits since Van was born exactly three weeks after you! You were such a blessing and inspiration to both of us. You exuded lovingkindness and care not only for your family, but also for your friends and colleagues. Anyone who ever met Brad McGrath would surely remember him forever! That probably goes for the Bad Guys you had to take care of too! Thank you for your lovingkindness to our Grandmother Loree and our Mother Connie. They both loved and adored you so much! Please tell them that we said hello. Your own Grandmother was wise to you early on by calling you "Rascal!!" You're gonna be missed terribly Brad. "Love Ya Boy!!" With Love, Dave & Kate
May 22, 2020
My brother Brad was my hero.
He knew my date of birth, weight and gender
Before I was born. He gave me away at my wedding and gave me my first car, a ‘57 Chevy.
Brad loved without condition and literally gave the shirt off his back. Yes, he did that for someone.
He helped everyone he loved. He loved Jeopardy, , The word jumbles and telling stories of his police days.
He took care of our mom, a widow until her death.
Generous, selfless, funny, handsome.
My Grandma called him a rascal.
He brought her a rose each time he saw her.
My brother was a gift.
Now his gift is in heaven.
He now can reap Gods gift of peace.
I will miss him forever and continue to
Make him proud.
May 22, 2020
The BEST WAY to honor Brad, is to remember the MAN!
He lived life on his own terms.
He fought the good fight bravely & courageously.
A selfless generous man who put everyone first.
So it’s OK to not to be OK right now...
Just remember he would not want anyone
grieving over him.
He would rather see them live life to the fullest and keep on charging !!!
He played the hand that was dealt to him in life and played it better then everyone else...
Yes, we all will miss Brad, he was a special human being...
Who gave a lot to this world and made an impact on many people’s lives!
Amen my brother, Rest In Peace ...
See you on the other side...
May 22, 2020
I met Brad through his beautiful sister Maureen. He was warm and friendly and very funny. He accepted me into his world and I immediately liked him. I could see the close bond he had with Maureen, so that endeared him to me further. Brad was a noble man with a heart of gold. As an officer, he worked hard to make the world a better place. I believe his presence on Earth, did indeed make it a better place. We have lost his light here on Earth, but another star lights the heavens and he is flying free and he is rewarded for his work and dedication to his family and his work. We are all richer for having known this true Gentleman.
May 22, 2020
My Cousin Brad was always someone I looked up to, and as a kid growing up in a very very close knit family, I would always get really excited if I knew he was coming to a family gathering! That always meant I would hear the coolest stories and tales about his life’s adventures, and especially as a stud cop putting bad guys away. From visiting him at his Venice Beach House many times to having him stop by Gramma and Grandpa’s house while on duty, and hosting my wife and I on our honeymoon in Maui, it was always a treat. I love you and will miss you Brad! RIP Cuz!
May 22, 2020
When I was little I remember my mom (Julie McHenry) taking me and my sister Heather up to grandma and grandpa McHenrys house in O'side to visit. Brad would come over to hang out with us. He used to lift me up into the tree out front of their house and coax me on as I climbed up into it. Then when I was done he would help me down and praise me for being such a good tree climber. lol. He kept his handgun with him at all times because he was a cop, he would let me look at it and tell me how he was putting the bad guys away so they couldnt hurt anybody. I was always fascinated by him. My mom loved him like a brother, in fact when we were little and even into adulthood we used to call him "uncle Brad". I have so many memories of him helping my grandma and my family. The advice he would give my mother in times of trouble or hardship. He was an awesome man and I am proud that I can call him family. I will miss his spirit and love that he had for his family. Rest in peace Uncle Brad, say hi to my mom and grandma. I will see you on the other side! Aloha my braddah!!!
May 22, 2020
When I think of Brad I think “Dirty Harry” he always had a fast car and and a gun! Larger than life and funny!! He lived a great life and will truly be missed!!
May 22, 2020
I've known Brad since he was about 16. I was a friend of his brother Mike.
I remember Brad as a big, strong and strong willed guy who was also a hell-raiser. I always liked him and regarded him as a first class human being.
I hope he made it into heaven a half-hour before the devil knew he was gone.
I offered Mass for you both this morning.
Colin (Gil) Gilbert
May 22, 2020
Brad was my off duty partner in the Neighborhood we shared great times and he loved his cocktails with my ex wife and her friend Carlin. He was a great Cop and person and took his job home with him. We had some fun arrests in our hood and I always enjoyed being with him. He was so blessed to find happiness with his soulmate Marilyn. he truly will be missed by many
God Bless and have a Grand Marnier on me
May 21, 2020
I met Brad 41 years ago through his sister, Maureen. He was everything she said he was, kind, caring, charming and a truly genuine person. I will always remember his huge heart and great laugh. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. ❤️
May 21, 2020
I absolutely loved seeing and hearing about the relationship between Brad and Marilyn and my sister Barbara and her husband Bobby. These 4 were BFFs and a great team that appreciated the quality of friendship. They knew how to love life and appreciate their time together. My sister and her husband live in NY and every time they visited me in California they made sure to spend some time with Brad and Marilyn. It was so important for them to reunite as often as they could. Best Friends always find time for one another and I would love to listen to the updates filled with laughter after they would get together. Thank you Brad and Marilyn for being Best Friends with Barbara and Bobby. I know the love they have for you both has always been one of their great life’s blessings. Keeping you in my prayers and in my heart always. I love that I got to know Brad and I am only a call or a drive away from supporting and loving Marilyn.
May 21, 2020
I met Brad when he and Marilyn became inseparable. She has been one of my friends very dear to me for 50 years. I liked him instantly. He was a wonderful person, smart, funny, and I felt like he was family. I admired him and respected him very much , it was very easy to love him. Marilyn, you and he were blessed with love, laughter and friendship. He was an amazing man and you are an amazing woman. God bless him and you. Love you both.
Suzi (Patzold) Totty
May 20, 2020
Spent many happy times at Brads Mothers Home in Granada Hills. His sister Mary & I worked together at Holy Cross Hospital. Brad was a great guy with personality plus! Am sure he will be missed by all that knew him. God Bless him and his family!
Robert Nava , Jr.
May 20, 2020
Brad McGrath was my friend, and a special one at that. I befriended Brad at my father’s funeral four years ago. Brad and my father joined the LAPD in 1968 and were a part of the most prestigious police force in the world. Brad, like my father, contributed to a legacy where authors, television and movie producers all tried to capture the legendary New Centurions. Brad was an LA street cop, member of the SWAT team and retired as a Detective 3. More important than his many law enforcement accomplishments, Brad and his wonderful wife Marilyn, who he loved immensely, were both there for my mother and I. He unselfishly befriended me and my entire family, and helped me learn about my Dad in a way that his engaging storytelling will be with me for the rest of my life. There is sadness in these moments when a great man passes away. Brad left the world a safer place. What I will miss the most is our phone conversations. Brad calling me ‘Lad’ and always making me laugh. He was an eloquent introspective communicator who could capture an audience whether in church or a bar. All of those who loved him should reflect that very few can make an immense difference like Brad accomplished in four decades of service to the citizens of Los Angeles. I’m going to miss Brad. My hope is that he is with my Dad in a place called Heaven, they are on a fishing boat with retired LAPD Officer Matt Cunningham, ‘3A81’ and all talking about their days in University (Southwest) Division when cops could be cops. I will pray for the comfort of Marilyn during this difficult time. I’m happy that I spoke with Brad a few weeks ago and told him what his friendship meant to me and that I loved him for keeping the memory of my Dad alive. When I think of men like Brad, I’m reminded of a George Orwell quote; “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf...”
Brad, you are End Of Watch. KMA-367. Rest In Peace. —Bob Nava Jr.