GRISSOM Article Launched:01/28/2007 12:00:00 AM MST Lt. Col. (Ret. USA) Charles Cole Grissom Chuck, born March 3, 1927, in Newark, New Jersey, died at his home in El Paso, Sunday, January 21st, while being loved and comforted by his three children. Chuck was diagnosed with terminal cancer in late October, 2006. This was his 4th battle, in 50 years, with what Doctors had originally diagnosed as terminal cancer, the 4th bout being his last. Because of the type of man Chuck was, he choose to accept this last diagnosis and return home to share his last days with his family. Chuck was a man among men, self made, leaving home for the first time at the age of 14. Of course that didn’t last long, so he tried again at 16, this time attempting to join the Merchant Marines, but he needed his parents permission and they did not give it. Finally, Chuck convinced his parents of his calling, and was allowed to sign on with the Merchant Marines. One year later, Chuck would join the United States Marine Corps, and the old adage Once a Marine, always a Marine would become his life long motto. As a Marine Veteran, after W.W.II, Chuck went on to graduate from The Citadel (the Military College of South Carolina). He then went on to serve our Country in the United States Army as a Nuclear Physicist, serving during both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He received Military honors including the Commendation Medal and Legend of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster. Chuck had many tours of duty that took him all over the world; Japan, Korea, Europe. . .On June 26th, 1954 he married his soul mate, Elizabeth Marie Rhey (Grissom), and together they would continue on to Germany and then back to the US where they brought three children into the world, Mark Rhey, Denise Marie, and finally Gina Lucile while stationed in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. While there, Chuck taught at The University of Alabama where his favorite student was Joe Namath (he loved that). The family then moved to San Francisco, on to Washington DC, and back to El Paso, where in 1973 Chuck would retire from the Army. He would, for the rest of his life, miss being in the military, it was who he was. However, being a man that believed Always Charge Forward, with his wife and 3 kids in toe, he did just that. He taught High School Science in El Paso, and in 1980, with his wife Elizabeth, formed their own Real Estate Investment Company C & E Properties. In addition to his real estate Chuck loved to travel and continued to do so to the very end. With his wife, they traveled the world, literally, including places like Deli, Budapest, Singapore, Italy, France, London, Mexico, Canada, and probably every state in the United States, their favorite being Hawaii. Chuck’s wife of 50 years, Elizabeth Rhey Grissom precedes him in death, as do his parents Merica Charles Grissom and Lucile Cole Grissom. He is survived by his children Mark Rhey Grissom, Denise Marie Grissom, Gina Lucile Grissom Evans, son-in-law John A. Evans, daughter-in-law Dana Roberts Grissom, and his, beautiful and much loved by Chuck, grandsons Demitri Rhey Grissom, Dante Costas Grissom and Dominic Holt Grissom. He is also survived by his sister Betty Grissom Reeves, her husband John Reeves, and their daughters Sheri and Elisa. Chuck was an active man who worked out and stayed physically fit his entire life. His greatest happiness in his later years was watching his grandsons Demitri, Dante and Dominic play baseball. Chuck adored his wife Elizabeth, and after she passed in 2004, he was never quite the same, he missed her terribly. Now they are together again and we are left to miss them both. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The El Paso Cancer Treatment Center. A Memorial Service will be conducted graveside, at Ft. Bliss National Cemetery, Wednesday, January 31st, 2007, at 10:00 am.
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