Deacon McGrane of Murfreesboro dies at age 89

Deacon McGrane

Deacon Thomas J. McGrane, a retired deacon at St. Rose of Lima Church in Murfreesboro, died of natural causes on Oct. 15, 2020, in Murfreesboro, just 11 days shy of his 90th birthday.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, at St. Rose of Lima Church with burial following in Roselawn Memorial Gardens. A Rosary will be prayed before the funeral Mass, beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Deacon McGrane was born on Oct. 26, 1930, in Carroll, Iowa, the son of Clarence McGrane, Sr. and Catherine Ruddy McGrane. After serving honorably in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, he returned to Iowa, where he met his future wife, Margaret Elizabeth (Beth) Kirkpatrick of Clare, Iowa.

Deacon and Mrs. McGrane married in October 1957 and started a family, while he completed a combined degree in business and engineering at the University of Nebraska.

The family ended up in Tucker, Georgia, in 1970, after several moves around the country due to new jobs or job transfers for Deacon McGrane. Once in Tucker, he decided to start his own business, so he and his wife spent the next 30-plus years in their home in Tucker.

During those years, the McGranes were very active members of their parish, Holy Cross Catholic Church. He volunteered as a cantor at Masses, since he was blessed with a beautiful singing voice and the confidence to share it.

On May 16, 1987, he was ordained as a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. After moving to Murfreesboro in 2002 to be closer to family, Deacon McGrane was assigned to serve at St. Rose of Lima in April 2003. He thoroughly enjoying his time serving as a deacon in Atlanta and then Murfreesboro, his family said.

Deacon McGrane especially enjoyed time with family and friends and was known for never meeting a stranger because of his easy-going manner and his ability to accept everyone on their own terms, recalled his family. He also had a never-ending willingness to lend assistance to family, friends and strangers in any way possible. His life was a true testament to what it means to live a good and faithful Christian life, said his family.

Deacon McGrane’s wife died in May 2017, after he personally cared for her in their home for a number of years.

He is survived by his daughters Mary (Tim) Crenshaw of Monterey, Tennessee, Sharon McGrane of Woodstock, Georgia, Susan (Jim) Coonce of Nolensville, Tennessee, and Jennifer (Rick Morris) Schulte of Murfreesboro, Tennessee; his son, John McGrane, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee; grandchildren Kevin Crenshaw, Paul Schulte, Emily Fitzpatrick (Keith), Ashley Morris, Savannah Morris; and great-grandchildren Jonah and Silas Fitzpatrick, Isaac Moss, and Everly Swander.

Roselawn Funeral Home in Murfreesboro was in charge of arrangements.