Cover photo for Bradley McGarry's Obituary
1974 Bradley "Brad" McGarry 2023

Bradley McGarry

December 20, 1974 — December 10, 2023

Bradley Lawrence “Brad” McGarry, age 48, of Erie, passed away on December 10, 2023 after a heroic battle with ALS.

He was born in Erie, PA on December 20, 1974, son of the late Myron and Rose Hildum McGarry.

Brad earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Master’s degree in Community Counseling from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Brad worked at Stairways Behavioral Health and Family Services of NWPA before launching a momentous career at Mercyhurst University.

There he began working as a treatment coordinator at the Achievement Center and as an adjunct instructor in Psychology before assuming leadership of the Autism Initiative at Mercyhurst (AIM) in 2014. Through AIM, Brad established himself as a subject-matter expert and a resource for national and international organizations. He testified before the U.S. Congress and was featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education, National Catholic Reporter, C-SPAN, and Forbes, among others.

Brad possessed a profound gift to make whoever was in his presence feel valued and dignified. He will be remembered as a pioneer, an inspiring mentor, a stalwart advocate, and a man who made space for everyone. He was especially proud of the memorable off-campus experiences he shared with students, such as meeting with the United Nations, and hiking, sailing, and mountain-climbing excursions.

This news release further details his accomplishments and the profound impact he made on students and their families. Last year, Mercyhurst University christened the Brad McGarry Center for Neurodiversity to ensure a growing legacy for the work he initiated.

Brad is survived by his loving wife of 10 years, Aimee McGarry, and five children, Connor, Braydan, Nicholas, Nathan, and Mason. He is additionally survived by 2 brothers, Todd and his children: Connor Patrick, Liam, Alistar, and Jillian, as well as his brother, Ryan (Heather) and their children: Kaitlyn and Little Noah.

Friends may call at Burton Quinn Scott Wintergreen, 2532 Norcross Road on Thursday December 14, 2023 from 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm and on Friday December 15, 2023 from 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm, at which time a private service will be held for the family with Fr. Mike DeMartinis officiating. Family and friends are also invited to a memorial service to celebrate Brad’s life this Saturday, December 16 at 11:00 am in Christ the King Chapel on the Mercyhurst University campus with Fr. John Malthaner officiating. For those who cannot attend in person, this service will be livestreamed at

Inurnment will be private and held at the convenience of the family.

Memorials may be made to the family in care of the funeral home.

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To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bradley McGarry, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Calling Hours

Friday, December 15, 2023

2:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

Burton Quinn Scott Cremation & Funeral Services Wintergreen

2532 Norcross Road, Erie, PA 16510

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