Beavercreek City Planning Director Jeff McGrath died Sunday, according to information released by city officials on Tuesday.
McGrath, 42, had served the city in various capacities since 2000, when he started as an intern, subsequently moving into the planning director’s position in 2007. He leaves behind his wife, Cecilia, and two children, Sean and Sophia.
City officials and the Greene County Coroner’s office did not release the cause of death Tuesday.
“Jeff knew just about everyone, and anyone that knew Jeff knew that he loved his kids and family. Everyone also knows how much Jeff loved Beavercreek,” city leaders said in a statement. “I know your family will miss you greatly, but also know that your city family will also miss you. Much love and prayers to the McGrath family for strength, comfort and peace. We honor Jeff McGrath! We will miss you Jeff! From your City family.”
Tributes also poured in from Beavercreek residents and local officials who knew McGrath, and respected his dedication to his family and community.
One of his successes on the job included helping the city bring a stunning 911 memorial that serves as a place of remembrance and tribute to the lives lost during the Sept. 11 tragedy.
McGrath had a big role in helping bring the three-ton piece of steel, which came from one of the iconic Twin Towers that terrorists struck, to Beavercreek, commemorating the deaths of thousands of lives.
The city’s memorial is located at Beavercreek Station, a bike path hub, on North Fairfield Road, just south of Dayton-Xenia Road.
“McGrath knew local philanthropist, including the Beavercreek Forward Foundation, as a component to the Greene County Community Foundation, a ‘giving circle,’ offering an opportunity to engage in the needs of a city and township plus solutions,” said Edward Marrinan, president of the Greene County Foundation. “I’m not sure folks know the role of private contributions in the city of Beavercreek’s memorial to Sept. 11, and that partially is because Jeff McGrath made such giving into a meaningful experience.”
He added: “McGrath as the city of Beavercreek’s planning and development director had the right personality at the right time, in my estimation.”
Riverside Mayor Pete Williams posted that McGrath “was well respected, hard working, and held high standards of himself and those around him. Jeff was the guy everyone wanted to weigh-in on projects and issues.”
A Gofundme page has been set up for the family, and as of Tuesday afternoon had collected $21,270 of its $100,000 goal, as many tributes poured in for the well-respected city official.
“Jeff McGrath was a loving and devoted father and husband. He was a one-of-a-kind friend and family member that left a lasting impression on literally everyone he met. He positively influenced so many lives and this is our chance to do the same for his heart-broken family,” was penned in his honor on the page.
Another tribute came from a family, who wrote, “he was an amazing man who positively influenced and mentored so many people. The world has lost a bright shining light. Prayers for peace and comfort to Cecilia, Sean, and Sophia.”
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