Christopher McGrath Jr., a well-respected member of the self-storage industry community, passed away on Feb. 18 at the age of 74.
As founder of New York Capitol Consultants, Chris served as the executive director for the New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont Self Storage Associations. He was also a regular contributor to self-storage publications and tradeshows.
Chris was a triple Ram, having graduated from Fordham Prep, received his bachelor’s degree from Fordham University, and then acquired his Juris Doctor degree from Fordham School of Law. Upon finishing his studies, he served as associate council to the Cuban Families Relief Committee, instrumental in the negotiated release of more than 300 prisoners held by the Cuban Government. Chris was then campaign assistant to Senator Robert F. Kennedy, campaign scheduler for Governor Hugh L. Carey, and Deputy Borough President of Manhattan. He worked as executive director of the New York State Petroleum Council before starting his own business.
Chris was a loving and dedicated husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle. He is survived by his wife, Jayne; his five children and their spouses, Christopher Columbus III (Beth), Patrick (Christine), Siobhan, Matthew (Michael), and Luke (Viviana); his grandchildren, Christopher James, Aidan, Grace, Bridget, Rory, Leah and Coco; his siblings, Michael, Terence, Kevin, and Kathleen "Muffin"; and a large loving extended family. Christopher is pre-deceased by his parents, the Honorable Christopher Columbus McGrath Sr. and Helen Gaffney McGrath, and his sister Mary Ann.
“The self-storage industry has lost a true leader,” said Jim Chiswell, president of Chiswell & Associates LLC and a self-storage industry comrade. “Chris was a professional in every sense of the word in the management of the associations he directed. I watched him over the years give tirelessly of his talents and insights to all those around him. On the personal side, you could not ask for a better friend. It was great watching him smile when we had a chance to talk about his children’s accomplishments and about his grandchildren, as well as witnessing the relationship with his loving wife, Jayne. I will miss my friend, and our industry will miss his guidance and vision.”
“Chris is one of the most respected men I know,” said Troy Bix, publisher of Inside Self-Storage magazine. “He will be sorely missed by everyone, including me. I am going to miss his genuine smile the most.”
The family will receive friends at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel on Feb. 23, from 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. A mass will be held at the Fordham University Chapel in Bronx, N.Y., on Feb. 24 at 10:15 a.m. The burial will be held at Greenwood Union Cemetery in Rye, N.Y., followed by a reception at Manursing Island Club.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Chri's memory to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Pediatric Cancer Research, Hagerstown, MD 21741.