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Celebrating the life of
John Anthony Grieco
November 26, 1932 - December 02, 2023
John Anthony Grieco, 91, of Savannah, Georgia, went home to be with the Lord on December 2, 2023, after a brief illness, surrounded by his loving family.
John was born on November 26, 1932, in Brooklyn, New York, the oldest of 3 children of Rocco & Marian Grieco. Later the family moved to Rego Park (Queens), New York and John attended Forest Hills High School, where he met Pat, who was the love of his life. He was a gifted athlete, playing baseball and lettering in gymnastics.
After graduating high school, John was employed at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, where he played on the hotel’s semi-professional baseball team as a pitcher. He was scouted by the Chicago White Sox but was drafted before being able to try out.
John was inducted into the United States Army in 1953. He did his Basic Military Training at Fort Benning, Georgia, and later achieved the rank of Private First Class (PFC). In the 82nd Airborne Division (Company I, 505th Airborne Infantry Regiment), he was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina during the Korean conflict, where he rose to the rank of Corporal. In April 1954, John was granted a 3-day pass to return to New York to marry his high school sweetheart. John and Pat were married on April 11, 1954, and returned to Fort Bragg, where they lived in an off-base apartment.
After an honorable discharge in 1955, John and Pat returned to Queens, New York. John began his post-military career as a draftsman at Leviton Electric, then subsequently at Republic Aviation. Their first child, Gloria, was born later in 1955. The family moved to Brentwood, Long Island, New York, where from 1961 to 1965, John and Pat welcomed John, James, Paul and Marianne in quick succession. It was also during this time that John began his career as an engineer in the aviation industry with Grumman Aerospace Corporation. While at Grumman, he worked on a variety of military and commercial projects. Some of his most notable projects were working in the Contour Lofting group for the A6 Intruder and the F14 Tomcat of ‘Top Gun’ fame, and the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM), which landed on the moon in 1969.
In the late 60s, Grumman relocated their commercial aircraft business, the G series of executive aircraft, to Savannah, Georgia. John was approached to consider the move to the South, and when he presented the idea to Pat, she said “When do we leave?” They would miss many things about New York, but shoveling snow wasn’t one of them. In the summer of 1968, John and Pat loaded up the Dodge Monaco station wagon with 5 kids and a dog, and headed south of the Mason Dixon line.
In Savannah, they initially attended St. James Catholic Church, which was the closest Catholic church to their home in Windsor Forest. In late 1968, John and Pat, with their children, became one of the founding families of St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church. Originally meeting in the auditorium of Windsor Forest High School, the church eventually purchased the property it is on today. The family was very active in the church: John was the first president of the Parish Council and Pat was active with many of the women’s ministries, choir and other events.
The intervening years were busy with work and raising children. Eventually, the kids grew up and had kids of their own. John loved being a grandfather, and his first grandchild, Casey, had him wrapped around her tiny finger from day one. It gave John and Pat great joy to have large family dinners with all the kids and grandkids. Without the day-to-day responsibility of children, they also found time to travel. John studied for and obtained his private pilot’s license and would jump at any opportunity to take to the skies.
John retired from Gulfstream Aerospace in 1998 after more than 40 years in the aerospace industry. In retirement, he and Pat continued to host large family gatherings and travel to visit family in other states. John took up gardening, trying his hand at composting and growing a “victory garden.” After Pat’s home-going in 2018, John enjoyed getting away to the mountains of Western North Carolina.
John was preceded in death by his beloved wife of nearly 65 years, Patricia (Pat) Joan Grieco, née Haas, his parents Rocco & Marian Grieco, his sister-in-law Mary Grieco, his brother-in-law Leon Plochocki; and his daughter-in-law Sonja Grieco.
John is survived by his 5 children: Gloria (Tom Foster), John Grieco II, James (Carol) Grieco, Paul (Jenn) Grieco and Marianne (Patrick Dabney); his 7 grandchildren: Casey Grieco, Brandy (Frank Stafford), Christina (Michael Atkins), James Grieco II, Bennett Grieco, Matthew (Laura) Grieco, and John (Megan) Grieco III; his 6 great-grandchildren: Bradley Anderson, Braylen Anderson, Dylan Atkins, Bailey Atkins, Savannah Stafford and Theo Grieco; his great-great-grandchild: Raylen Anderson; his brother Joseph Grieco and his sister Julie Plochocki.
The family will receive friends from 9:30 AM until 10:00 AM on Monday, December 11, 2023 at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, immediately followed by a funeral mass at 10:00 AM.
Interment will follow at Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 8819 U.S, Highway 301, Glennville, Georgia 30427 at 1:00 PM on Monday, December 11, 2023.
As an expression of sympathy, the family suggests sending memorial contributions to St Frances Cabrini Catholic Church (https://cabrini-sav.org), or the charity or church of your choosing.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds,—and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of—wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air ....
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark nor ever eagle flew—
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
-- High Flight BY JOHN GILLESPIE MAGEE JR.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to you Gloria, Tom and your entire family during this difficult time. We are with you in spirit. What a beautiful tribute to your Dad. His life was quite impressive and I loved learning about him.
- Connie and Tommy Smith, Canton, Ga
Flying the Tiger with you was always a treat for me. Fly high, my friend.
- Joe F. Harrelson , Rincon, Georgia
We were sorry to hear this. John was always willing to help out when I was a young engineer.
- James & Tina Whittle, Savannah, GA
Good morning Gloria and family. Sending my condolences to you and your family. I read the obituary of your dad. From what I read, your dad was a loving, strong family man. He did what he had to do for his family and for his COUNTRY . I would like to THANK him for his SERVICES.
- Geraldine Dekind, Sav, GA
I had the privilege of working with John at Gulfstream. As an entry level engineer, I met John and always had a good rapport with him and many fond memories of conversations and my time knowing John. Am also colleague of James and want you offer my condolences and prayers for comfort and peace as your family goes through this time.
- Jeffrey Gibbs, Savannah, GA - Georgia
My thoughts and prayers go out to John's family. I had the privilege of working closely with John for 20 years at Gulfstream. I really enjoyed working with him doing those years. I also had the opportunity to work with James for as many years as I did with his father and had the same enjoyable experience. My condolences to James and family.
- Isaac Anderson, Darien, GA
You raised an awesome daughter Mariana! God’s blessings to all the family
- Francis and Trena Lieuwen, Peachtree Corners, GA
I am so sorry to hear of Mr. John’s passing. He was always so sweet and I enjoyed talking to him. I will miss him saying “Hey kid, where you taking my dogs?” as we walk by on our daily walks. I’ll never forget you Mr. John. It is a blessing to have known you.
- Adrienne Buck, Savannah, GA
What a terrific picture of John! I wonder how many of his coworkers remember that same stance and smile in the CADAM room at Gulfstream. I had the privilege of working with John as a young engineer entering Gulfstream, and he was always so helpful and encouraging. He made a positive impact on countless people and their careers. I’ll always be grateful. Praying God will grant peace and long lasting memories of John and his legacy.
- Kevin Owens, Rincon, GA
Services under the direction of:
Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
- 9:30 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. on Mon, December 11, 2023
- St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church
- Mass of Christian Burial
- 10:00 a.m. on Mon, December 11, 2023
- St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church
- 1:00 p.m. on Mon, December 11, 2023
- Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery
8819 US Highway 301 (map)
GLENNVILLE GA 30427