Published October 29, 2020
MURFREESBORO, Tenn.—Deacon Thomas J. McGrane, a retired deacon at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee died Oct. 15. He was 89 years old. Deacon McGrane had previously served at Holy Cross Church, Atlanta.
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.
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 Georgia in 1970, after several moves around the country due to new jobs or job transfers for Deacon McGrane. He decided to start his own business, and 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 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.
Deacon McGrane especially enjoyed time with family and friends and was known for never meeting a stranger because of his easy-going manner.
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; 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.
A funeral Mass was celebrated Oct. 20, at St. Rose of Lima Church with burial following in Roselawn Memorial Gardens.