Denise “Denni” Eileen McGrath

Denise “Denni” Eileen McGrath, of Scranton passed away peacefully on April 5, 2023, at Hospice of the Sacred Heart. Widow of the late Timothy B. McGrath, she was beloved by so many, especially her grandchildren.

Born in Chicago, IL, daughter of the late Thomas and Eileen Cummings, Denni, her parents and siblings moved to Ogden, UT. It was there she discovered her love of horses which led to a brief rodeo career where she excelled at barrel racing. Upon graduation from St. Joseph High School, Denni went to work as a stewardess for United Airlines in San Francisco, CA where she met the love of her life, Tim. They married at the Presidio and returned to Scranton to begin raising their family. Soon thereafter, Tim began his career as a pilot with United Airlines. The family relocated to Sparta, NJ but would return to Lake Ariel every summer to spend time with extended family.

In 1978, Tim, Denni and their children moved to Pompano Beach, FL. After Tim’s death in 1981, Denni moved to Arizona to be closer to her immediate family. Demonstrating her resilience, she opened a restaurant where she treated all her staff and customers like family. Upon her return to Scranton, she was employed by the late Harry McGrath, Esq. Once she retired, she would spend the rest of her days enjoying her children and grandchildren, but always maintained her friendships from her many travels over the years.

Throughout her life, Denni had a gift of making everyone she met feel special. This was something she instilled in her children – “always treat others as you would want to be treated” which she lived daily. Denni will be remembered for her love of sports, especially if one of her grandkids was participating. She cherished her weekends in the fall watching football with her kids and grandkids. One of the highlights of her life was being treated to a trip to the Super Bowl in 2009. She was an avid reader and was happiest listening to a Neil Diamond song.

Denni was also preceded in death by her sister, Mary Wittmann.

Surviving are daughters, Christine Bailer (Mark) of Scranton, Patricia Bowa (Lawrence) of Conshohocken; sons, Timothy (Heather) of Dunmore, Michael (Catherine) of Scranton; grandchildren, whom she fondly referred to as her “Sweet Peas,” Caitlin, Johnathan and Quinn Bailer, Timothy Burke, Mary Grace, Robert Maxwell McGrath, Maren, Michael, William, Claire McGrath, Amy Barmby (Trent); brother, Thomas Cummings (Letty); sister, Norrine Perkins (Frank); brother-in-law, Joseph Wittmann; several nieces and nephews.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday at 11 a.m., St Paul’s Church, 1510 Penn Ave., Scranton, by Msgr. Neil Van Loon, pastor.

Friends may call Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Vanston and James Funeral Home 1401 Ash St. Scranton and Friday morning at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of Mass. Interment, private for the family.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Hospice of the Sacred Heart 53 Glenmaura National Boulevard, Suite 120, Moosic, PA 18507.

To share a memory or to express your condolences to the family, please visit



  1. Rosemary Wolf

    Denni was such a special person and all who knew her loved here. My sincere condolences to her children and grandchildren. I met Denni in Sparta, NJ, and our friendship continued for over 50 years. The last time we spoke, about a week before she became ill, she was in great form, full of life and enjoying her children and grandchildren. She spoke of them all with such pride and joy. Rest in peace sweet Denni. You will always be in the hearts of those who knew you and loved you.

  2. April Darrow

    Oh what a beautiful soul Denise was! I shared a room with her while in the hospital about 4 years ago. She was so supportive, encouraging, loving to me while going through her own health battle at the time. We had the best conversations and i immediately felt like i had known her my whole life. She was so beautiful inside and out and i never believed her when she would share her real age with me. My deepest condolences to her beloved family and may she rest in peace.

  3. Merrell Bailey

    I remember your Mom as the most glamorous and beautiful woman in Lake Mohawk. She was so graceful and polite. I am so sorry to hear that her spark has left this world.

  4. PJ McDonough

    To All the McGrath children,

    I am so sorry to hear of your Mother’s passing. I remember those days in Park Gardens when you all were so young. Your Mom was a great and gracious lady with a great smile. She was always so kind and friendly to everyone. May she rest in peace

  5. David and Lisa Gard

    Tim, Heather and McGrath family, so sorry for your great loss. Thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  6. Francis Flaherty

    My deepest condolences to Tim and the whole McGrath family for the tremendous loss. May the joy and kindness she shared with all she knew live on in your hearts, and the light of her life will be with you always.

  7. Mary Nicolini

    She was wonderful mother and friend. Neil Diamond reminded me of her. A loss in this world.

Leave Your Condolences

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.