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Edmund's Story

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Edmund "Ed" Grassa, 99, of Traverse City passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018 at his home in the loving care of his family.
Ed lived a full life. His faith and inner strength helped him to endure his visual impairment and limited mobility in later years.
Ed was a family man who always provided for and cherished the ones he loved. He is now reunited with the love of his life, wife Marie of over 70 years, who passed away in Nov. 2015. Ed will be dearly missed by daughters Marcia Grassa and Merra Lee Grassa, of Traverse City and Nancy (David) Currie; granddaughters, Jennifer Currie and Jillienne (Steph) Currie-Payant; and great-grandsons, Curtis and Marcus Payant of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Ed graduated at the age of 16 from Scottville High School in 1935 and attended Mason County Normal for two years. He was a rural school teacher in Ottawa County, Michigan for five years before serving in the armed forces as a radium and x-ray technician at Los Alamos, New Mexico, an Atomic Bomb Experiment Location. After four years of service, Ed finished his degree requirements at Hope College. It was in June of 1948 that Dr. Loomis, the Traverse City Superintendent, came to Hope College and encouraged his move to Traverse City, which became home for Ed and Marie.
Ed was the happiest when spending time with his family and friends and helping his community and fellow educators.
Ed served as the Oak Park Elementary Principal for 34 years. Many children, parents and educators benefited from his gentle but firm leadership. He did many great things for Oak Park and will be remembered as a gentleman with a big heart, warm smile and sense of humor.
Ed retired in 1982 and enjoyed serving his community as a volunteer with Learning Partners, Probate Court and Munson Medical Center. He was an active member of Central United Methodist Church and formed many special friendships. Ed valued and promoted public education. He held leadership positions as a proud member of Michigan Education Association-Retired.
Ed loved spending winters in Florida but was always anxious to return to his home on Grand Traverse West Bay. It was there that he enjoyed fishing. He was always willing to take family and friends out in his fishing boat. Ed was caring, loving and a good friend to have. A man of quiet strength, when he spoke others listened.
When you think of Ed, remember to find a way to bring a smile to someone's day and show a caring heart to those you know.
The family wishes to say thank you to their wonderful in-home caregivers that assisted with Ed's care. Cremation has taken place.
In remembrance of Ed, memorials may be directed to Central United Methodist Church (music programs) 222 Cass Street, Traverse City, MI 49684 or to the Peninsula Community Library Building Fund (Ed Grassa Memorial) 2699 Island View Road, Traverse City, MI, 49686.
Kindly share your thoughts and memories with Ed's family at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The family is being cared for by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home.
Published on January 14, 2018
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