Erna McGrath

Obituary of Erna Elizabeth McGrath


December 14, 1937 – May 25, 2022.

After a short battle with liver cancer, Erna passed peacefully with her family by her side at the age of 84. Erna was a loving wife and soul mate of Joe McGrath, beloved mother of Marie McGrath and Adrian Cowell, and Nanny to Megan, Matthew and Samantha and fur babies Jack and Bodie.  Erna is the daughter of the late Jan and Rachel Opitz, loving sister of Lucie Bridgstock, Monique Haynes (Barrie Haynes), and Janet Stein. She leaves behind many friends and relatives who will truly miss her. 

Erna was an extraordinary woman with so many talents. She was a very talented seamstress, knitter and crocheter. In her younger years, she attended the school of Art, Fashion and Design in New York City, where she found her passion for drawing and painting. Throughout her years, Erna was known for her creative side and her beautiful paintings and drawings.  She held the title of President of the Markham Group of Artists and loved being a part of that social group. Another unique talent that Erna had was to design and make the most beautiful stained glass windows and lamps. She loved working at the Glass Menagerie for many years. Cottage life was where she loved to be during the summer months. Erna enjoyed the peacefulness and beauty of the natural surroundings up on Jack's Lake, where she would paint, fish, pick strawberries, and study all the wildlife.

Most of all Erna loved being married to the love of her life,  Joe McGrath on May 22, 1971, celebrating 51 years of marriage. She adored her grandkids and taught them everything she knew.  All three kids have her patience, creativity, strength, and drive to never give up. She was an amazing mother who taught her daughter all the qualities and strength needed to raise her three beautiful kids. Erna was a selfless woman who would help anyone in need and give the shirt off her back to help them. She was considered a mom to many as she always showed her compassion and love towards everyone. Erna was sassy, a tomboy of sorts and boy was she ever stubborn.

Throughout the past year she remained a brave, positive and strong woman, even throughout her final days. Erna knew that May was a very big month in terms of celebrations and she stayed to see everything through.  She surpassed everything doctors told us and left on her terms and when she was ready.  Another selfless act showing her strength and compassion for everyone. We know that although she is no longer here with us on Earth, that we have gained a guardian angel that is watching over and protecting us. We will love you forever, we will love you for always, as long as we're living our angel you'll be.

Visitation at DIXON GARLAND FUNERAL HOME, 166 Main Street North, Markham, (905-294-2030), on Thursday, June 16, from 4-7 p.m.  In lieu of flowers, please send all donations to The Canadian Cancer Society or The Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Loved forever, never forgotten.



Celebration of Life for Mrs. Erna McGrath

4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Thursday, June 16, 2022
Dixon - Garland Funeral Home
166 Main St. N.
Markham , Ontario, Canada
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