Tuesday, August 7, 2018
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Sacred Heart Church
156 Valley Ave. SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Sacred Heart of Jesus Building Fund
156 Valley Ave. SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Life Story / Obituary
Ambitious and remarkably successful, Eugene R. "Gus" Grasiewicz modeled a lifetime of hard work and commitment to the family he loved. A generous and loving husband, father, and grandfather, he treasured each and every time his family gathered together to build memories with one another. Nothing brought him greater joy than being around people. His warm spirit and soft-hearted ways will be dearly missed and fondly remembered by his many special friends and family.
The 1920s saw the large-scale boom of automobiles, telephones, and motion pictures, as well as unprecedented industrial growth and significant changes in our nation’s culture. At a time when Lou Gehrig and Amelia Earhart were household names, Constantine and Mary (Bierdon) Grasiewicz welcomed home their newborn son, Eugene R., on August 28, 1928, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Sandwiched between his older siblings, Edward and Florence and his younger siblings, Louise and Patty, his birth brought great hope and promise to his parents during an exciting time in our nation’s history.
Growing up as a lifelong resident of the west side, his parents brought him up with a strong Christian foundation and a tremendous sense of pride in his Polish heritage. Gus lived a typical childhood of the times and attended Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish where he was baptized, confirmed, received his First Holy Communion as well as married at the tender age of nineteen. Gus quit school at the age of sixteen landing himself a job in the booming furniture business as an upholsterer. A natural to a degree, he had the ability to use his craft as an art throughout his entire adult years! During these early adult years, he also learned the art of fishing and enjoyed countless summer evenings and weekends casting from the Fulton Street Bridge or netting a wide variety of carp, steelhead, and suckers along Veterans Drive or fishing from a boat along with his buddies, Bob Knieble and Dave Overholt. His easy-going personality and his ability to look on the bright side of life made him an easy person to call friend.
Not to be forgotten was the meeting of the woman of his dreams, Alberta “Bert” Swartz! While shopping at a local five and dime store of their era, she was instantly turned on to his charm and sense of humor! They began dating and fell in love. Eager to spend their lives together, the happy couple married in the rectory of Sacred Heart Church on July 24, 1948. They moved into an apartment above her mother’s home on Mt. Vernon until 1956 when they afforded their own home on Krakow just down the street from his parents. Sharing this space for their entire marriage, they welcomed three beautiful daughters into their hearts and home. As a family, they lived within their means and never took a family vacation. Instead, they enjoyed long Sunday drives together or visiting cottages nearby. They raised their children with the same steadfast Christian values and saw to it that they had everything they needed to be successful.
Gus held many special interests over the years. An avid fan of both the Detroit Tigers and the Lions, he focused on each and every season with the same zest as the one before. He also had quite a skill with gardening. He mostly grew cucumbers, tomatoes, and grapes, yet was also known for his prize-winning variety of roses that were the envy of the neighborhood! His favorites were the tea roses named Chicago Peace, JFK, and Chrysler Imperial known for their stunning colors and strong fragrances. Gus was also a fan of all Polish cuisine. He savored many of the traditional dishes including kielbasa, golumpki, pierogi, and kapusta! Not only did he like to enjoy eating food, he was also no stranger to cooking it himself! He was widely known for the special recipe of his “3 beer chicken” ...he knew the chicken was done when the 3rd beer was finished. Never one to remain idle, even in his retirement, he was known to complete upholstery work in his garage for many special friends and family!
As much as he cherished his years being a father, he was over the moon when he was blessed with grandchildren. Proud of each and every one of them, he was always happiest when they were around! He enjoyed playing with them and watching them grow and as they matured he loved to visit with them often sharing his wisdom as well.
Sadly, his loving wife Bert passed away suddenly of a heart attack just a week before Christmas of 1997. She was the apple of his eye and he learned on his strong faith as well as his family to sustain him. He enjoyed completing1,000 piece jigsaw puzzles and was content being at home. Luckily, he had his close friend, Jim Piechocki who was known to come over and check in often sharing Vitamin B’s together on the porch! There was no truer friend than Jim who was always loyal and willing to do what he could to support Gus over the years. When Gus took a recent fall, tests revealed he had stage 4 lung cancer. Just shy of turning ninety, Gus chose rehabilitation for a short time at the S.K.L.D. until his health inevitably declined. Gus leaves behind a legacy of never taking life too seriously. His affectionate ways of showing he cared, as well as his countless one-liners will remain on the hearts of his special loved ones. May they find comfort in knowing that Gus’ memories will live on each time they gather together surrounded by the abundance of rich memories he leaves behind.
Eugene R. “Gus” Grasiewicz, aged 89, of Grand Rapids, passed away on Sunday, August 5, 2018, at Mercy Health St. Mary’s. He was preceded in death by his wife, Alberta “Bert” Grasiewicz (Swartz), his brother, Ed Grasiewicz, and his son-in-law, Tom Dulude. He is survived by his children, Mary Dulude, Nancy Petrovich, Dee (Dan) Baranowski; his grandchildren, Michael Dulude, Kellie (Nick) Blainey, Tim Petrovich, Danielle (Jason) Underhill, Lindsay Baranowski; great-grandchildren, Jacob and Olivia Underhill and Carter Blainey; his sisters, Florence Antor, Louise Lipski, and Patty Regan; many nieces, nephews and friends. The family would like to thank Jim Piechocki for being a great neighbor and friend to Gus. Also, thank you to the staff at S.K.L.D. and Mercy Health St. Mary’s for the loving care given to Gus. Gus loved fishing, grilling, and his “Vitamin B” (Busch or a Bud) The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday morning at 11:00 am at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, 156 Valley Ave. SW. Burial in Holy Cross Cemetery. Relatives and friends may meet his family at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW on Monday from 6-8 pm and again at the church on Tuesday from 10:00 am until the Mass begins at 11:00 am. Contributions in his memory may be made to Sacred Heart of Jesus Church Building Fund. To leave your own memory of Gus’s life and to sign his guest book visit his web page at www.lifestorynet.com