Chester T. McGrath

Chester (Chet) Thomas McGrath of Cedar Rapids, IA, formerly of Dubuque, IA, passed away at the age of 95 on Monday evening, March 18, 2024, at Harmony Cedar Rapids.

Behr’s Funeral Home in Dubuque, IA, is assisting the family with arrangements. Chet’s daughters will greet friends and family at Behr’s (1491 Main St., Dubuque, IA) on Friday, March 22, between 9:30 and 11:00 am. A private graveside service and burial will follow at St. Clement Cemetery.

Chester was born on June 25, 1928, in Latnerville, IA, to Peter and Anna (Lucas) McGrath. He was raised in Graf, IA, and helped support his family after his father passed away by working a paper route as a young boy, and then going to work on the railroads at age 14. At age 16, Chester enlisted in the U.S. Navy ‘as a 17-year old’ to join the war effort towards the end of WWII. He proudly served his country for 4 years. Chester married Eunice Manemann on July 30, 1955. They had five children together and shared 7 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. They later divorced, but remained friends throughout their lives.

Chester had a 30-year career at the Dubuque Packing Company. After retiring, he enjoyed simple pleasures like lunches at Eagle Point Park with his daughters and grandchildren, solving world problems with other retirees during their morning coffees at the downtown Dubuque McDonalds, and watching the bald eagles soar over the Dubuque Lock & Dam.  He especially enjoyed flashy cars and listening to the Cubs baseball games on the radio.

Chester eventually made his way to Cedar Rapids, IA, to be closer to his daughters. He found an

extended family at Evergreen Estates in Cedar Rapids, who provided compassionate care and assistance

during the last 16 years of his independent life. Harmony of Cedar Rapids, Mercy Medical Center, and

the VA Clinic and Hospital provided much appreciated end-of-life care for Chester.

Surviving are three daughters Tami (Allan) Pierson of Cedar Rapids, IA, Tania (George) Aboud of Cedar Rapids, IA, and Marymichael McGrath of Austin, TX. Also surviving is Chester’s sister, Coletta Schultz, of Dubuque, IA. Grandchildren include Christopher McGrath, Ashley Pierson-Patten, Jordan Hobbs, Jenna Spence, Lauren Aboud, Zackary Aboud, and Madison McGrath, plus great-grandchildren Carter, Kylie, Lincoln, Alia, Alaina, Violet, Jasper, Regan, and Charly.

Chester was preceded in death by his two sons, Troy McGrath and Paris McGrath (Capulet), both of Cedar Rapids, and his former wife Eunice McGrath of Cedar Rapids. Siblings (and spouses) Vernon (Eleanor) McGrath, Anna Mae (Albert) Hoist, Ralph (Bernadine) McGrath, and Merlin ‘Bud’ Schultz, all of Dubuque, also passed before Chester.

Thank you to all who knew, loved, and cared for Chester. Memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

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