In Memory of




Obituary for Mary Nolen McGrath

Mary Theresa Nolen McGrath of West Simsbury died on July 9, 2022. Mary was born in South Hadley, MA on September 12, 1929. She was the third of six children born to James and Katherine (Dillon) Nolen. Mary graduated from the Newton Country Day School of The Sacred Heart, Albertus Magnus College and received a Masters degree in Pastoral Counseling at St. Joseph's College. Mary married John "Jack" J. McGrath in 1951. They met while Mary was a student at Albertus Magnus and Jack was attending Yale University. Mary and Jack had five children in quick succession. They moved to Simsbury, CT in 1960 where they raised their family. Mary continued to live there for the next sixty-two years. After raising her family, Mary began working at the Office for People with Disabilities for the Archdiocese of Hartford. There, she facilitated access to religious and social opportunities for marginalized parishioners. Mary continued to work tirelessly for twenty five years to create innovative programs for the disabled and met many friends and colleagues who she remained close to over the years.

Mary's husband Jack passed away in 1982 leaving her a widow at the age of 52. After Jack's death, Mary exhibited her characteristic strength; continuing to live a life of purpose, intention, adventure and (non-stop) activity. She traveled to Asia, Africa, bicycled through Europe and remained an integral part of her children and grandchildren's lives. She rarely said "no" to anything, participating enthusiastically in every aspect of life, playing and competing in tennis, paddle tennis and golf well into her 80's and enjoying bridge and yoga into her 90's.

In 2001, Mary married Corydon "Cory" Johnson, an old friend from Simsbury, who along with his four children and their families added another layer of love and support in her life. Mary loved living in Simsbury and leaves many dear friends, neighbors and community members, whose loyalty, kindness and camaraderie were a vital part of her life and sustained her strength and positive outlook. Mary's large extended family will miss her dearly but will always be grateful for the exemplary way she lived her life.

Mary leaves her children, Kathy, Bryan, John (Barbara) and Liz (Tim) Durkin, her sister Judy Crimmins, seven grandchildren, Michael, Mary Adair, and Frances McGrath, Ted, Clare, Ginny and Trevor Durkin, and three great grandchildren. She also leaves her Nolen and Crimmins nieces and nephews, and the Johnson family. Mary was predeceased by her husbands Jack McGrath and Cory Johnson, her son Michael Sean and her grandson John Durkin.

A service in Mary's honor will be held at St. Catherine of Siena Church, 265 Stratton Brook Road in West Simsbury on Saturday, July 16th at 11am. The McGrath family would like to invite Mary's friends to a reception at Hopmeadow Country Club, 85 Firetown Road in Simsbury at 12:30pm.

Donations in Mary's memory can be made to Horizons Inc., an organization that creates opportunities for people with developmental disabilities at Horizons, Inc., Attention: Chris McNaboe, PO Box 323, South Windham, CT 06266.

The Vincent Funeral Home of Simsbury is caring for the arrangements. Please visit Mary's Book of Memories at for online tributes.