Michael John McGroarty, 88, of Pinehurst, North Carolina, passed away Friday, January 3, 2020, surrounded by family in the comfort of his daughter’s home in Phoenix, Arizona.
Mike was born in Chicago, IL July 31, 1931, son of Michael and Elizabeth McGroarty; preceded in death by his parents, wife (Greta), brother (Patrick), sister (Elizabeth Laurence) and great granddaughter (Greta Grace). He was a proud member of the class of 1949, Leo High School, going on to earn a BS in Economics from St. Mary’s College in Winona, MN. Mike served in the United States Army from 1953-1955, where he was assigned to Army Intelligence, stationed in Japan. He worked for and retired from Kaiser Aluminum, where he achieved great success, beginning in Sales and ending his career as Executive Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing. Mike met the love of his life, Greta (Jelen) in college where she attended the nearby St. Teresa’s College. The schools were 2 miles apart and he said he was the best 2-miler in the area! The cherished love letters between them while Mike was in the army are a testament to their enchantment with each other; they married just as soon as he received his discharge, in May 1955. Mike and Greta were married for 59 years, with Mike taking devoted care of Greta through the difficult years of her Alzheimers diagnosis. No one who spent time with them could ever doubt
their complete love for each other.
Mike was a loving and proud father to his six daughters, Mary (Jim) McNamara, Teri (Ralph) Fleming, Cathy (Tom) Marck, Maureen (Tim) Gruss, Meg (Bill) Headley and Kelly Mitchell. He affectionately nicknamed the household McGroarty Sorority, and called himself the Janitor! He was an amazing and supportive grandfather to Sarah (Chris), Emily (Eric), Caitlin (Ben), Michael, Krista (Brendan), Brittney, Kelsey, Brendan, Kyle, Kevin, Shannon, Michael, Ryan, and Kaileen. Mike’s great-grandchildren (Ian, Cheyenne, Jaxson, Cortland, Maverick, Anne, Mary Kate, Elizabeth, Thomas) were a source of great joy as well, always adding a smile to his face.
Involvement with friends and sports also brought him joy. No one could forget what a great friend Mike was to so many, always sharing a positive word and a smile. He was loyal and true, with a twinkle in his Irish eyes and a zest for life surrounding his every move. And move he did! From being a point guard, track standout, workout fanatic and avid tennis player, to following his beloved Chicago, North Carolina and Notre Dame teams, Mike’s passion for sports was legendary! Above all, Mike was a man of faith. He was an active member of Sacred Heart Parish, cherishing his Eucharistic Minister duties and eight o’clock daily Mass. His strong faith was the underlying current of his entire life. Mike’s love of life, his family and his God are a living, breathing testament to the man he was. When he first received his cancer diagnosis, he said when considering treatment, “Either way I win.” He knew that his final destination was in heaven with his dear Greta and his Lord, and the thought of them together in heaven will give his family peace.
Family and friends are welcome at Boles Funeral Home in Pinehurst, 35 Parker Lane, from 5-7 pm on Friday, February 28, 2020. A Funeral Mass and Celebration of Life will be celebrated 10 AM Saturday, February 29, 2020, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 300 Dundee Road, Pinehurst, NC, followed by the Rite of Committal at St. Anthony’s of Padua Catholic Cemetery, Camp Easter Road Southern Pines, NC.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014 https://www.hov.org/donate/
Online condolences may be left at www.bolesfuneralhome.com.
Services are entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Pinehurst.