RoseAnn McGrady-LeahyRoseAnn McGrady-Leahy, a longtime resident of Proskine Place in Trumansburg, NY passed away this November, 21st 2016. Living with Multiple Sclerosis since her teenage years she finally succumbed to its myriad side effects and died peacefully in her home, attended to by her loving husband Frank Leahy, under the guise of the VNA Options Program and the loving guidance and assistance of Hospicare.

Rose’s parents Magdalen Potochny and Patrick Jude McGrady fell in love in the Pennsylvania Town of McAdoo. They married and settled in the Village of McGraw, NY. MR. & Mrs. Patrick McGrady had many wonderful children together and lived across from the McGraw Elementary School where Rose’s Father having attended the Ithaca Conservatory of Music, taught music for many years.  He died at an early age when Rose was a young child. Rose was then raised by her loving and nurturing Mother Magdalen and surrounded by her many siblings. David McGrady who recently passed on was the youngest, followed by Timothy (Penny) McGrady. Rose was the ninth child followed by her older siblings Michael McGrady, Mary (Kevin) Thrasher, Donald McGrady, Marcella (David) Kelly, Patrick McGrady and his lovely wife Carolyn Lucarelli, Kathleen (Billy) Schaefer, Sharon (Dick) Renfro, and John (Patricia) McGrady.

Rose met the love of her life and caring partner Frank Joseph Leahy of Travis, Staten Island, NY while attending a photography class together at Potsdam College of Arts and Sciences in NYS,  and eloped on March 17th 1984, in a ceremony at their home in Jamaica Plain, MA, where they lived for many years. Together they celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary and 36th year living together as a loving couple.

Rose enjoyed the many art classes she participated in at SUNY Potsdam and continued working in the mediums of photography, drawing and pastel and was most recently putting the finishing touches on her “Iris Pastel,” whose photographic image was illuminated in the largest historic 25 story art display at Times Square in 2014 which was her “Make a Wish,” moment and provided her with many fond memories.

Her lifelong work with children began in Waban, MA where she cared for Eric and Mark Weinberger during their formative years and whom she considered her extended family. Upon moving to Central NY she worked with folks with developmental disabilities at the Groton Community Health Care Center, children with autism and cancer at the Franziska Racker Centers, and culminated her career working with the homeless, helping them to find fulfillment and permanent housing at the American Red Cross of Tompkins County. She was considered a community hero by the many folks she helped and mentored and by the various professionals she partnered with in helping folks find meaning and stability in their lives. Guided by the philosophy of neutrality Rose provided a caring ear and inspiring example to the many people whose lives she touched.

Her many friends and close kindred spirits will remember her sage advice, keen wit, charming smile and her boundless and loving heart. In her later years, she was cared for by her devoted husband who grieved alongside her as each of her abilities were diminished by the complexities of Multiple Sclerosis. Her caring team of physicians, notably Doctors Suzanne Anderson, Susan Cowdery, Sami Husseini and Melissa Thibault along with Shawnti Storm FNP-C, PT’s Pamela Carey and Ann Carter as well as the various professionals at the VNS of Tompkins County, who provided the expertise and caring abilities that ensured her comfort in adjusting to its progression, and especially her therapist Jeff Collins who provided a kind ear and understanding when Rose needed it most to transition onward. Rose was most thankful to her personal assistant Afriquia Lawton, friend and confidant.

 Rose will be cremated and inurned this spring in a lovely spot on the East hill of the Grove Cemetery in Trumansburg, with a Memorial Mass at Saint James Catholic Church and gathering at the Ness-Sibley Funeral Home, 23 South St., who will be coordinating the final arrangements. The dates of the Memorial Services will be published later for all to attend. 

 Memorial donations may be made to the Finger Lakes Independence Center located at 215 5th St., Ithaca, NY, 14850 for their Ramps Program, which provides modular ramps providing access to individuals in need, which Rose benefited from when she could no longer navigate the stairs into her home. This important program allows folks to remain in their homes and has a waiting list which would be shortened by your generous donations.

In conclusion Rose believed that God, neither a man nor a woman took all those with good souls who were broken either spiritually or physically and fixed them for eternity. She wished forgiveness and healing to all those whose paths she crossed in her journey of life on this earth.