Tribute to Mark Grandy

by Melanie Hall

During a recent interview, when asked: “Who were the greatest influences on your life and why?”, Mark Grandy replied: “My parents, without whom I would not exist, and Japanese imperialism of the 1930s & 1940s, without which my life would have been very different. I’ve come to view my life as an accidental one, responding to circumstances and opportunities that have come my way, and somehow managing to survive. I’ve had some incredible experiences, and some wonderful friends. As with most people, there have been heart-rending difficult experiences, too. If I have a “Superpower”, it is that I most clearly remember those positive and happy experiences of my life.”
Mark’s favorite accomplishments were finding and marrying his wife and having his daughter. When Mark was going to Cal Berkeley, he got a job in a donut shop and that is how he met his wife and best friend.

When I asked Mark what five words he thought described him best he hesitated long enough for my friend Anna and me to describe him. Our words for him are compassionate, giving, loving, kind and unselfish. With tears in his eyes, Mark responded that he turned out to be the person he is because of his parents.

It was Mark Grandy who arranged for a cool ride with the Cloverdale Police Department for 101-year-old Ann Gillis and a ride with the Cloverdale Fire Department for 100-year-old Erma Burden. He was responsible for the happy birthday message to both of these young women on the Citrus Fair marquee and made sure that both Ann and Erma had a special birthday cake. He is the person responsible for spearheading the City Council to issue a proclamation for Ann Gillis on her 100th birthday and presented it to her.

Mark finished my interview with these words; “I HAVE given a lot of thought to my life in recent years. Robert Burns’s poem (“To a Mouse”) comes to mind: “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley [go often astray].” Mark passed peacefully October 19.