Gail E. McGrath

Gail Ellis McGrath was born in Sheridan, WY on April 19th, 1926. His parents were Roy & Edith McGrath. Gail was one of 6 brothers. Two of the brothers passed upon reaching the age of 14. The surviving brothers were Gene, Harry, Bill and Gail.

Gail served in the U.S Navy. He joined in 1944 before reaching 18 by lying about his age. He was stationed on the island of Guam as a cook. After being honorably discharged in 1947, he worked in the Los Angeles area. Eventually, he traveled to the Seattle area and opened a small restaurant on Phinney across from the Woodland Park Zoo. It was there he met his wife to be, Violet Henke(1929-2002). Married for 52yrs., Gail and Violet had two children – Timothy and Pamela. They lived in a small apartment below the restaurant until moving to the Wallingford district.

Gail opened McGrath’s Family Restaurant(formerly the Twin Chestnuts) in the Ballard district. His brother Gene joined him in this endeavor for several years before retiring. McGrath’s was a popular place for those in the Ballard and Wallingford area.
Gail enjoyed hunting and fishing in his younger days and later developed a love of golf. He and Vi would travel and spend many hours on the courses they visited. They relocated to Edmonds, WA. They spent several years traveling back and forth to Phoenix and eventually to Tucson. They purchased a condo, became “snowbirds” and spent many happy winters playing golf in the sun.

Violet passed in 2002 and his daughter Pamela in 2009. Gail continued to travel to Tucson until failing health prevented him from doing so this year. He passed peacefully at his Edmonds condo.
Gail is survived by his son Timothy and Tim’s wife Linda, who reside in Kirkland. His grandchildren are Kimberly, residing in Seattle and Adam, serving in the U.S Navy and stationed in Coronado, CA. and Adam’s wife Nicolette, an elementary teacher.

A celebration of his life will be held at the Edmonds Senior Center on Saturday-January 7th from 1 to 3 pm. The address is 220 Railroad Way and driving directions are available at:

Because Gail received so much enjoyment from listening to recorded books, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in the McGrath name to the Washington Talking Books & Braille Library. Their webpage is:

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