To read the obituaries lately is overwhelming. :( World....I have plenty of Monday Mournings to paint so you can just slow down, K?
As today is the Fourth of July, I chose this one.
Luta Mae (Cornelius) McGrath, U.S. Army Retired, devoted wife, friend and patriot, 108 years old, died peacefully at her home in Annandale, Virginia, on Thursday, April 14, 2016. Mrs. McGrath is survived by nephew, Eddie Gene Morgan; a step-son, Thomas McGrath, Jr.; numerous great nephews and nieces; as well as her longtime companion, Ms. Clara B. Campagna.
Born in Beattyville, Kentucky on November 21, 1907, Mrs. McGrath was the daughter of Barney Cornelius and Nanny Tincher. She remained in Beattyville for most of her childhood and attended schools in Ohio. In January 1943 she enlisted in the newly organized U.S. Women''s Army Auxiliary Corps. With training and assignments at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, Fort Devens, Massachusetts, and U.S. Army Red River Ordnance Depot, Texarkana, TX.
During one of her early military assignments, her peers conferred on her the nickname of "Cornie" to which she embraced for the rest of her life. Recognized for her unique leadership abilities she attended WAAC Officer Candidate School. Following course completion she was commissioned into the Women's Army Corps in October, 1943. Serving in various stateside assignments including WAAC Company Cadre, Assistant Adjutant and Special Assignments Staff Officer; she was later transferred to post-war occupation duty at the Griesheim Ordnance Depot, West Germany.
When the Berlin Airlift began, Cornie was transferred to West Berlin where she is credited with planning and organizing the storage, handling, and airlift of ammunition into West Berlin, where it was stockpiled. On return to the U.S., she served as staff Secretary, at the Army Ordnance Corps School, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Aberdeen, MD. While at Aberdeen she married Army Ordnance Corps officer, Thomas J. McGrath.
Cornie devoted her life to service of her country and the community that she loved. She cherished and devoted her life to service to others and the ideals for which America stood for. A consummate supporter of our military and their families, she was extremely proud of the military and veteran''s service provided by her late husband, friends and members of the community.
Cornie's active retirement included working at the Women in Community Service (WICS) project, an outreach effort of developing job training and economic opportunities to assist at-risk women. In the Army Ordnance community, Cornie became known as "The First Lady of Ordnance", appreciated most for her dedicated support of the Ordnance Corps Ladies Association. She served on the Executive Board from 1967 to 1968 and again from 1978 to 1979. She and Tom maintained close relationships in the community, at Queen of Apostles Church, and military retiree circles.
Cornie's accolades include being the first woman to be inducted into the Ordnance Corps Hall of Fame in 1985. At time of her death LTC McGrath was the oldest surviving female veteran; and oldest surviving female Army Officer. In her later years, Cornie remained actively engaged and was often a featured speaker and an honored guest at veterans gatherings (Memorial Day and Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery), various times at the National World War II Memorial and at the Women in Military Service For America Memorial, recognized by both President and Mrs. Obama at veterans gatherings.