Gary Thomas Grissom I passed from his earthly home onto his heavenly home on November 29, 2019. Gary was born on August 2nd, 1940 to Elwood and Evelyn (Volk) Grissom. His mother survives. Also surviving are his sisters, Brenda (Carrell) Hampsten and Susie (Raymond) Brown.
Gary married his high school sweetheart, Pat Easton on June 24, 1961. They worked side by side for 58 years. To this marriage was born Tom, Tina, Trev and Tracy. Surviving him are his loving wife , his children Tom(Gail), Tina (Pat) and daughter Kaylee, Trev (Tracylynn) and Tracy Michelle. Also surviving are his grandkids, TC (Kristy) Grissom, Niki (Drew) Haumesser, Christopher Eggers, Amanda (Frank) Nysewander, Megan (Houston) Napier, and Dalton Grissom. Great grand kids are: Abby and Collin Grissom, and Drake, Luke and Adley Hausmesser.
Gary was a jack of all trades. He attended Eastern Illinois University, and started his teaching career in 1961 at Georgetown. He later taught at Mahomet, Dieterich, and Martinsville. He was an awesome science teacher and touched many lives. Gary also worked as a chemist at Pabst Blue Ribbon in Peoria, before moving to Greenup and starting Grissom’s Orchard in 1963. (That might explain his great sense of taste to make national award winning cider).
Gary and Pat also farmed and raised livestock. He was a 4-H leader and lifelong supporter of 4-H. He was on various boards, including the Cumberland County Board.
Gary was very knowledgeable about farming, fruit production in particular. He shared his wisdom with many people. He was known as a great story teller by people far and wide. People loved to stop in at the market and visit with him. He had a great sense of humor. An example of this is once when being interviewed about the orchard, the reporter asked how many people he had working for him. Gary replied, “about half”. He had an extraordinary work ethic, never knew a stranger, and had a giving spirit. He was a pillar of the community and will be greatly missed.
A celebration of life is being planned for December 14th 2019 at the Jewett Community Church. A time to pay respects will be from 2:00-4:00 p.m., and a short program honoring him will begin at 4:00 p.m. Please come in casual attire with your favorite memories of Gary to share. Coffee and apple desserts will follow the program. The Barkley Funeral Chapel in Greenup, IL is assisting the family.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Jewett Community Church or the Cumberland County Veteran’s Memorial.
To send flowers to Gary's family, please visit our floral section.