Mr James Gerard McGrady

MR Gerry McGrady, who has died aged 91, was born in Downpatrick, the third of five children and the son of Guardsman Charles McGrady of the Irish Guards and his wife, Mary.

He gained a degree in Mathematics at Queen’s University, Belfast, qualified as a teacher and emigrated to Central Africa in 1954 to assist in a UK-led education programme.  It was there that he met his beloved wife and lifelong companion, Sheila, whom he married in 1962.

Returning to the UK in 1963, Gerry started his family and taught in London and Somerset before returning to Africa for a further four years at Nakuru Secondary School in Kenya. 

A keen golfer, he was one of the first winners of the Captain’s Prize at Njoro Golf Club, an achievement that he treasured.  Back in England with a full complement of four children, he taught in Leeds before finishing his teaching career on the Isle of Wight, with deputy head and headmaster positions at Nodehill Middle School and Lake Middle School. 

Never one to slow down, he complemented his retirement with a Master’s degree in Education and advisory work as an OFSTED inspector.

Gerry travelled extensively in retirement, taking trips to the USA, Europe and Australia where he climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge to mark his 70th birthday. He also enjoyed a number of cruises to several exotic locations.

He was fortunate to be able to pursue his sporting interests in swimming and golf well into his advanced years, including driving well over 200 yards in his 80s.  Following the tragic loss of his eldest son, Sean, in 2017, Gerry’s energy declined, although his love of life, singing 

and celebration remained strong.  

Gerry was a deeply intellectual man with interests in Mathematics, Science, History and Philosophy.  He was, however, primarily a family man and took great joy in his wife, children and extended family by whom he will be forever missed.

He leaves behind his beloved wife Sheila, sister Helen, brother Vincent, children Chris, Roisin and Siobhan and grandchildren Sinead, Oliver, Jenni, Laura, Gerard and Enid.

Requiescat in pace.