Mary Katherine McGrady departed this world for her heavenly home on April 6th, 2023, after a three-year battle with colorectal cancer. She was surrounded by her husband, parents, and siblings in her final hours on earth. Mary was 38 years old and lived in the Bellevue area of Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, John Thomas, and son, Garner.
Mary was born in Knoxville, TN, where she attended the Christian Academy of Knoxville from kindergarten through graduation from high school. Teachers described her as “bright, enthusiastic, sweet, spirited, fun, encouraging, a joy to teach, a perfect student, a gift, and graceful.” She was known to have “a smile that warmed hearts.” Mary was a natural athlete who loved the camaraderie of being on the varsity volleyball team and varsity cheerleading squad.
Mary met John Thomas McGrady, while attending MTSU and he fell in love “the moment that he saw her.” Mary and John Thomas were married on a beautiful spring day at a picturesque farm in 2011 with a crowd of family and friends to celebrate their new life together. Garner, their son, was born in 2012 with a condition known as Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome. Mary’s gifts and childhood education background became laser-focused and her time totally devoted to Garner’s care. She was his strongest advocate and greatest cheerleader and Garner has flourished in her love.
Mary was a beautiful person and artisan who had the ability to impart beauty to every home she lived in and piece of art that she created. Mary impacted thousands of lives as she openly shared her story on social media. Mary’s gift for lighting up every room that she entered remained constant throughout her journey with cancer. She was kind, compassionate, and gracious to all who cared for her.
Mary’s faith in her Lord Jesus Christ was vibrant and she remained quick to share her belief in Christ even while suffering. Mary’s family and friends witnessed her inward renewal day by day even as her body weakened (II Corinthians 4:16). Mary is now reunited with her Pop and rejoicing in heaven, free from pain and sorrow.
Mary is survived by her husband, John Thomas, son, Garner, mother, LeeAnne, stepfather, Kevin, father, Dave, stepmother, Ruby, siblings, Richard (Rachel), Jenny (Drew), Zac, Sean, grandmothers, Barbara (Owens), Joella (Mischler). Mary is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and countless friends who absolutely adored her.
Mary will be forever missed and always remembered.
The family would like to invite everyone to join them in celebrating Mary’s life at Christ Presbyterian Church on Saturday April 15, 2023, at 1:00pm CST. The family will receive friends immediately following the service. Location: 2323 Old Hickory Blvd, Nashville, TN 37215. A graveside service will be held in Knoxville, TN, on Monday, April 17, 2023, at 2:00pm EDT. Location: Edgewood Cemetery 229 S. Gallaher View Rd. Knoxville, TN 37919.
In lieu of flowers, Mary and John Thomas have requested that donations be made to the following organizations in Mary’s honor:
Fight Colorectal Cancer: https://fightcolorectalcancer.org/
Mary’s family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Kristen Ciombor and the staff at Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center who cared for Mary with skill and compassion throughout her journey. We would also like to give a special thanks to Alive Hospice staff who lovingly and with great kindness helped us “walk her home.”