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Published: Tuesday, 8/6/2013

Lucy I. McGrady, 1920-2013: Hostess helped soothe hospital patients

McGrady McGrady

FREMONT — Lucy I. McGrady, who offered comfort to hospital patients and later helped her husband run their bed and breakfast, died Friday in Stein Hospice, Sandusky, from complications of diabetes.

She was 92.

For several years into the late 1990s, she and her husband, James, operated the Buckland B&B, which offered three guest rooms in a dwelling across from the onetime home of President Rutherford B. Hayes.

The couple attracted repeat customers — not just tourists, but people who wanted a homey place to stay while on business once or twice a month, said their daughter, Cecilia Brochu.

Earlier, Mrs. McGrady had been a surgical aide, then was a ward clerk in the orthopedic unit at Fremont Memorial Hospital.

“She enjoyed being around people, and she liked being able to visit with patients and bring a little comfort to their life, especially if they didn’t have people who visited,” her daughter said.

Mr. McGrady, who sold real estate, and a business partner bought a Chinese restaurant in Fremont, Bud & Brutus. She volunteered to be hostess.

“She liked being around people and helping out,” her daughter said.

The couple moved to Phoenix in the late 1970s, but after seven years they returned home to four seasons. “They wanted to come back with friends and family — and where there was green again,” their daughter said.

Born Dec. 13, 1920, in Bellevue, Ohio, to Mary and George Nigro, she was a 1941 graduate of Bellevue High School.

Afterward, with five brothers away in the military during World War II, she and her sister, Millie, headed to Pennsylvania and found work at an air base near Harrisburg. Mrs. McGrady took courses in radio technology and made sure airplane radios were installed properly.

She returned to northwest Ohio, and while taking in Rainbow Garden, the renowned open-air dance hall in Fremont, she met James McGrady. The couple married April 12, 1947. For decades after, they liked to go out dancing and often were among the first couples out on the floor at wedding receptions, their daughter said.

A football fan, she had her loyalties — the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers; the University of Notre Dame, and Ohio State University. “Even if her favorite teams weren’t on TV, if any games were on, she’d watch,” her daughter said.

Surviving are her husband James McGrady; son Terry McGrady, and daughter Cecilia Brochu.

Services will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in Sacred Heart Church, Fremont, where she and her husband were charter members.

The family suggests tributes to Society for the Protection of Animals, Fremont.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.

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