Margaret Joan (McGrath) McClay, Peg to her friends, at the age of 92, died December 1, 2018. She was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, September 16, 1926 to Harold and Zena (Horner) McGrath as one of 3 children.
In 1927, the family moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where they enjoyed Kansas City and the city life. In 1939, they moved to Ottawa, Kansas. Peg was in eighth grade and she and Rod were fast friends, which started with him winking at her in the reflection of their 8th grade social studies class.
After graduating from Ottawa High School, war supplies were still needed so she went to work for the Sunflower Ammunition Plant. Everyone shared rides, Peg did not have a driver’s license, but she obtained her pilot’s license at the age of 18. When the war was over, she married her childhood sweetheart, Rodney L McClay. They both attended Kansas State University, and then moved to Chicago, where Rod attended the College of Optometry. During this time, they had Michael Christi and Timothy Scott while living in a small trailer with outdoor pluming. They then returned to Ottawa and Martha Kay and Mary Margaret were born.
In the 1970s, she volunteered at the Lake Region Resource Conservation and Development office to create a recycle model for a six-county area. She had a love for the earth and a very green thumb. Peg was an avid genealogist and very proud of the McClay/McGrath heritage. She loved her family, sewing, ecology and serving God. Many of her acts of service included her volunteer work at church, working with Pro-Life and her prayer life including dedication to adoration and the rosary.
She was a long-time member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. A very active member of the altar society, two of her favorite activities were helping with the annual rummage sale and landscaping activities at Mt. Calvary Cemetery. She is an original member of Sacred Heart Legion of Mary until it disbanded and a member of the third order of Mt. Carmelite in Scipio, Kansas, and an active member of the prolife movement, going to jail for protesting in Atlanta. She and Rod were married 50 years and loved living in Ottawa. She moved to Saint Ann Retirement Center in Oklahoma City, December 2014 and made many lovely friends who lovingly remember her acts of service. Her surviving sibling is Lawrence McGrath. She was preceded in death by her parents, Zena and Harold McGrath; husband, Rodney Luce McClay; sister, Suzanne Wassmer; grandson, Gregory James Brenner; and daughter-in-law, Laura McClay. Peg leaves behind a loving family including her four children and their spouses; ten grandchildren; ten great grandchildren; and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.
A rosary will be said at 5:30 P.M., Friday, December 28, 2018, at Dengel & Son Mortuary followed by family meeting with friends from 6:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.
Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:30 A.M., Saturday, December 29th at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Miraculous Medal Society c/o Dengel & Son Mortuary, 235 S. Hickory, Ottawa, Kansas 66067. Family and friends are encouraged to post condolences and memories on Peg’s Tribute Wall at www.dengelmortuary.com