El Camino Memorial - Encinitas

340 Melrose Ave, Encinitas, CA



August 10, 1945May 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.



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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!

andrew musaelian

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.

Andrew Musaelian

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.


Bob Mahon

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.

Patti Peterman

May 24, 2020

Dearest Brad.....

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......

Patti Peterman

Sarah Hernandez

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,

Teri Barclay

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.

George Peterman

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


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