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Thursday, July 18, 2024




Lennea Lindgren (Cogshill) McGarr, known as “Mae” by all in Sea Isle, 87, passed away Thursday, June 20, 2024. She leaves behind a legacy of community membership and the love of her family.
Born in Fall River, MA, Mae lived in Newport, Rhode Island until her family relocated to Philadelphia in 1941. Mae was a graduate of Murrell Dobbins Vocational High School (1955). In January 1963, she married John J. McGarr, Jr. The two were married for 49 and a half years until his passing in June 2012. They had one son, John J. McGarr, III, born in March of 1968.
Together, Mae and her family summered in their home in the Townsends Inlet section of Sea Isle City for decades, creating memories and enjoying beach life. They permanently relocated to the shore in 1985. As a family they enjoyed boating and fishing and loved ones recall many laughs on their fishing trips, including one where at age 80, Mae, referred to as Grammy by family, set up everyone's rods for them and caught the first fish.
As a longtime resident of Sea Isle, she was a warm and familiar presence in the community. In 1988, Mae joined the Sea Isle ambulance corps. She became an EMT in 1992 and was named a lifetime member in 2003 after 15 years of service. She rode in the ambulance until 2015 and was a vital fundraiser and advocate for the corps, serving as Assistant Treasurer until her retirement. She was also the consummate considerate neighbor. Every Wednesday, she would pick up a half dozen Herald papers and deliver them to all the neighbors, “the old timers” as they called themselves, on 92nd street. She was also an active member of the AARP Chapter 710.
Most notably, Lennea was the heartbeat of Trinity Community Church in Sea Isle City. She was looking forward to the opening of the 101st season this year. She started out as a Sunday School teacher in the early 1970s, and she took over the reins of the church some years later when it started to falter. For decades, she made sure every bill was paid and that there was a preacher for every summer season as well as musicians to play the piano or organ. She typed and printed the bulletins for Sunday services, and every Sunday greeted church attendees with those bulletins and her signature smile. For over 50 years Lennea did whatever was needed to keep the lights on at the fine little church in the inlet. She had a marvelous, faithful spirit that will be greatly missed.
In the off season, Mae attended Messiah Lutheran Church in Ocean View and never missed a Sunday service.
Family members recall how much she loved to celebrate their accomplishments, never missing a dance recital or a school award ceremony, and said her absence will surely be felt, especially on their birthdays, as they fondly remembered how Grammy made sure to call each year and sing “Happy Birthday” to each of them over the phone. Mae is survived by her grandchildren, Kerrick Johnstonbaugh, John J. McGarr, IV and Kylie McGarr, her niece, Jeanne (O'Reilly) Schiffer, as well as several other nieces and nephews, and a daughter-in-law Debbie (Berrett) McGarr.
She also leaves behind her beloved dog Cricket, whom she still enjoyed taking on his daily walks.
She is preceded in death by her mother and father, Lennea (Lindgren) and Earle Cogshill, her husband John J. McGarr, Jr, her son John J. McGarr, III, her sisters Priscilla (Cogshill) Edwards and Dorothy (Cogshill) O'Reilly and her daughter-in-law Karen (Kelly) McGarr.
Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 27, at Trinity Community Church, 202 85th Street, Sea Isle City, NJ 08243, where visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. Interment will be in Cape May County Veterans Cemetery, Cape May Court House, NJ.
Donations can be made in her name to the little church that she loved so much, Trinity Community Church, 202 85th Street, Sea Isle City, NJ 08243.
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