Cover photo for James I. McGrath's Obituary
James I. McGrath Profile Photo
1946 James 2023

James I. McGrath

August 6, 1946 — June 18, 2023


James I. McGrath Jr., 76, of Allen, NE passed away unexpectedly June 18, 2023 while working on his farm. Visitation will be Thursday, June 22 from 4-7 p.m. with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m. at Mohr & Becker-Hunt Funeral Home in South Sioux City, NE.   A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 24 at 10:30 a.m. at Allen United Methodist Church in Allen, NE.  Online condolences may be made to

Jim was born on August 6, 1946, in Manhattan, KS to James and Doris (Campbell) McGrath Sr.  Moved to Allen Neb in November 1983. Graduated from Afton, Iowa in 1964 and attended college in Maryville, MO and Southwestern Community College in Creston, Iowa.

Jim married Myrna Bailey February 1966 in Creston, Iowa. They had 3 children together.

He enlisted in The United States Air Force on August 8, 1966. He was stationed in Japan as decoder in the Air Force before being honorably discharged in 1970.  After being discharged they eventually moved to Afton, Iowa. They moved to a small farm outside of Allen, Ne in November 1983, where he made his home until his death.

Jim was then united in marriage to Debra Ahlquist on July 20, 1996, in Dakota City, NE.  Together they lived on the ranch in Allen and raised horses.  Jim took pride in his horses and enjoyed roping, team sorting, trail riding with friends, and enjoyed going to rodeos.  Jim was a proud, caring, honest man who lived life on his own terms.  He loved his family and grandchildren, and enjoyed watching their sporting events, horse shows, and enjoyed showing them life on a farm.   He valued the little things in life and taught his children the importance of hard work.

Those left to honor his memory include his wife, Debra McGrath, Allen, NE; children: Clark (Meg) McGrath of Creston, IA, Alyssa (Mike) Bento of Lone Tree, CO, Brent (Liz) Gunderson of Omaha, NE, Bart (Sara) of Hubbard, NE, Andrea (Ryan) Tex of Gretna, NE.

Grandchildren; Bailey (fiancé Joel) McGrath, Maggie (fiancé Matt) McGrath; Wyatt and Abi Bento; Brayden and Harper Tex; Isabel, RJ, Luke, and Grant Gunderson; Hailey (Trent) Howley, Madison and TJ Gunderson.

Great Grandchildren; Marshall Howley, Caylyx Howley.

Brothers William (Amy) Mcgrath of Cleveland TN, Terry (Jan) Mcgrath of Evergreen CO, and many nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents, in-laws Clarke and Florence Bailey; Maynard and Betty Ahlquist; grandson Benjamin McGrath.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in James’ name to either the Ponca Rodeo Association, or the Allen Nebraska Volunteer Fire Department.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James I. McGrath, please visit our flower store.


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