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Kenneth A. McGrath

January 26, 1931 ~ February 27, 2022 (age 91)

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Kenneth Austin McGrath, 91, of Monticello, passed away on February 27th at 7:15am in Paris, IL.

There will be a memorial service at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 12 at Owens Funeral Home, 101 N. Elm St. in Champaign, with the visitation one hour prior to the service.

In accordance with family wishes, Kenneth will be cremated and laid to rest at a private service in the future.

Ken was born on Jan 26, 1931 in Champaign, IL to Homer and Nora Marie McGrath. He lived in Urbana until his senior year in high school, when the family moved to Champaign. In high school, Ken was a letterman on the track team, and competed in high hurdles, long jump and high jump, which suited his 6’6” frame well.

He attended the University of Illinois as a chemistry major where he was a member of the ROTC. When the Korean War started in 1950, Ken’s National Guard Division was federalized and he became a Tank Commander with the US Army for two years, based in Germany.

A very successful self-employed home builder, designer and contractor, Ken designed and built countless single family homes, apartments, condominiums and subdivisions in Illinois and owned several thriving entrepreneurial ventures.

Ken, however, would say his greatest achievement was marrying the love of his life, Barbara Louise Hull, whom he met in the 1st grade. Married on June 12th, 1954, the happy union would last for 57 years until Barb’s passing.

Ken had a passion for boating, building his own boat in his 20s before purchasing a car. He was Commodore of the Grand Lakes Yacht Club on Kentucky Lake for many years, where he and Barb owned a home. The pair organized boating trips to see fireworks at Thunder over Louisville and travelled extensively in the US. A man of many interests, Ken loved the Blue Angels, trains, biking and roller coasters, and enjoyed live country music on a weekly basis well into his 80s.

A generous supporter of the University of Illinois, Ken was a life member of the University of Illinois Foundation and the U of I President’s Council.

Kenneth is survived by his son Dan McGrath (Lisa) of Monticello, IL, daughter Diane McGrath (Vincent Toolan) of London, England, 8 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren and brother Larry McGrath (Melody) of Charleston.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Barbara; an infant brother, Charles; his daughter, Cindy and grandson, Casey.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Alzheimer's Association.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kenneth, please visit our floral store.


March 12, 2022

2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Owens Funeral Home
101 North Elm Street
Champaign, IL 61820

Memorial Service
March 12, 2022

3:00 PM
Owens Funeral Home
101 North Elm Street
Champaign, IL 61820


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