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In Memory

Joseph Magrath (Magrath) - Class Of 1947

Dr. Joseph M. Magrath

Friday, April 4, 2014


Dr. Joseph M. Magrath


Nov. 24, 1928 - April 1, 2014

SANTA FE, New Mexico -- Dr. Joseph M. Magrath, 85, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by family on Tuesday, April 1, 2014.


He was born on Nov. 24, 1928, in McCook, Nebraska, to Catherine (Fox) and Dr. L.A. Magrath.


He graduated with a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1952 from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, 42 years after his father, Dr. Leo Magrath, graduated. He married Kathleen Koeller of Arkansas City, Kansas, in 1953. Following his graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After his discharge, he settled in McCook, where they owned and operated the Great Plains Animal Hospital.

He followed his father's profession and served as the local veterinarian for a large and small animal practice. His large-animal practice led him into innovations in the field and in the 1970s he founded The Magrath Co. The company developed, patented, and manufactured livestock related innovations.

Hallmarks of his life included personal revelations that hinged on sobriety, spirituality, family, and a concern for others. He was a student of, and worked to embody the values put forth by the Missionaries of Charity founded by Mother Teresa. As a student of the organization, he visited the sisters in Calcutta as well as various locations around the world. He also applied his mind and resources to assist a variety of charitable efforts and he was always willing to listen to a variety of ideas and lend support.

The lessons helped him create many highly personal and deep, long-lasting friendships. Dad had a unique ability to personally connect to a variety of individuals he met on his journey that at times, was the source of both amusement and puzzlement to his family.

He was historically minded and had an affinity for the larger historical events of the world including World War II that claimed the life of his older brother, Barney, the Holocaust, the U.S. Space Program, the Catholic Church and the settlement of the United States, particularly, The West.

In the early 1990s, he relocated to Santa Fe. He lived out his final days at that special, sanctuary-like home, as he had always wanted to do.

Survivors include his six children, Michael (Tammy) Magrath of Maumelle, Arkansas, Barney (Sarah) Magrath of Santa Fe, S. Matt (Karla) Magrath of Lynden, Washington, Sheila (Gerald) Bivens of Albuquerque, Larry (Lori) Magrath of Marshall, Minnesota, Monica (Raviv) Moore of Alameda, California, the mother of his children, Kathleen Boyce of Albuquerque, 17 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren and numerous nephews and nieces. Also surviving is Lois Magrath of Santa Fe.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Barney of McCook, Larry of Palo Alto, California, Francis of Miami, and one sister, Mary Magrath Curtis, of Boulder, Colorado.

He was a devout Catholic and attended the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Sante Fe. Special thanks to Nancy Helle, close personal friend and caregiver and angels sent to us by Gentiva Hospice, Christopher, and Val.

Please join us in a celebration of his life on Saturday, April 12, 2014, 5 p.m. at Rosario Chapel, 540 Rosario Blvd, Santa Fe.

A private family memorial will take place at a later date in McCook, Nebraska.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Missionary of Charities of Gallup, New Mexico.