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Memories & Candles

“Lenny, Donna, Bob, Carol, and Greg: Our deepest sympathy in the loss of your Mother. Laura was a special lady who had such an infectious smile...Read More »
1 of 9 | Posted by: Kim Haluska - Carroll, IA

“Thinking of you ”
2 of 9 | Posted by: Pam and Stephanie Lord - Ottumwa, IA

“Thoughts and prayers are with you. ”
3 of 9 | Posted by: Kathy Riedel and Family - Ottumwa, IA

“Donna & Mike: So sorry to read about Laura's passing! I am saying prayers for you and your family at this sad time. I am out of town at a niece's...Read More »
4 of 9 | Posted by: Wanda Flahive - Albia, IA

“You were an amazing woman! You help raise your siblings, you raised 5 children, and then you help raise me! I am so grateful for all that you...Read More »
5 of 9 | Posted by: Amanda Toopes - Albia, IA

“I always enjoyed talking with Laura. She was a warm and friendly person. I'm glad she and Uncle Joe found each other. My sincere condolences to all...Read More »
6 of 9 | Posted by: Denny Crall - Iowa City, IA

“I love you and will miss your smiling face! Enjoy your reunion with family & friends in heaven. ”
7 of 9 | Posted by: Lora Bakalar & family - Albia, IA

“Laura was a very special lady and will be missed by her friends and family. I enjoyed working with her at the Leisure Lounge for many years. ”
8 of 9 | Posted by: Kathy Elliott - Albia, IA

“What a wonderful lady! May you hold close in your heart all those precious memories! ”
9 of 9 | Posted by: valerie selby small - Blakesburg, IA


Dove Emblem

An angel got her wings Friday, January 18, 2013 when Laura Mae (Toopes) McGrath, age 81 of Albia, passed away at Monroe County Hospital in Albia.

Laura was born February 17, 1931 to Clarence M. and Elsie A. (Richards) McDowell in Ottumwa. She married Leonard I. Toopes, Sr. on January 29, 1946 in Ottumwa. Laura later married Joseph Edward McGrath on October 3, 1981 in St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Georgetown. He preceded her in death on April 2, 2010.

Laura grew up and attended school in Ottumwa. She began work as a waitress before moving to Albia and working at Chamberlain's. In 1973 she started at Chicago Rivet and retired in 1994.

Laura was a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church and St. Patrick's Altar and Rosary Society in Georgetown. She was a great cook and enjoyed volunteering her time in the kitchen at the Leisure Lounge in Albia. To her family, she was their rock. She was always willing to take care of her family and friends that needed her help. She also enjoyed bowling and was very involved with her children's activities.

Laura is survived by her children, Lennie (Dee) Toopes of Albia, Donna (Mike) Kearney of Newton, Robert Toopes of Albia, Carol Arnold of Knoxville, and Greg (Holly) Shelford of Knoxville; 11 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren. Laura is also survived by two sisters, Connie Surber and Mary Terpstra; and several nieces, nephews, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husbands, Leonard I. Toopes, Sr. and Joseph Edward McGrath; a son, James Lee; a grandson, Michael Kearney; two brothers, Richard and Clarence; two sisters, June and Rosie; a son-in-law, Steve Arnold; and a daughter-in-law, Christina (Visser) Toopes.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, January 22, 2013, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Georgetown, with Fr. Patrick Lumsden officiating. Burial will follow in St. Patrick's Cemetery in Georgetown.

Visitation will be 12-8 p.m., Monday, January 21, 2013 at Tharp Funeral Home in Albia, with Laura's family present from 6-8 p.m. A rosary will be led by St. Patrick's Altar and Rosary Society at 4 p.m., and a Christian Wake Service will be held at 6 p.m. Monday evening at the funeral home.

Memorials may be directed to St. Patrick's Church in Georgetown.