Tamara Grippi

John Grippi ’62, devoted husband and father, commercial developer and businessman, and retired U.S. Coast Guard Captain, died July 26, 2020. He was 80 years old. Born in Napa, John grew up exploring the vast outdoors around Mt. George and the Napa River alongside his younger sister, Janice. The Grippis owned a service station on Silverado Trail—now a historic landmark—where John spent many hours helping out pumping gas as a teenager. John majored in economics at Santa Clara, where he was elected Student Body Vice President during his senior year. He campaigned by handing out packets of gum labeled: “Stick with Grippi.” His assets “were his compassion and kindness,” says classmate Bill Kruse ’62, MBA ’73. “He was a perfect example of unconditional friendship.”

In addition to a successful business career, John served 26 years in the Coast Guard Reserves, attaining the rank of Captain and retiring in 1989. A lifelong Californian, John approached everything with boundless energy and optimism, and never liked to sit still. If he wasn’t occupied with his office and commercial warehouses, he could be found in his vegetable garden, cultivating an abundance of tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash, or spending time with his family, including his wife, of 54 years, Joyce, their four children, and grandchildren at fun-filled events centered around the swimming pool of their Alamo home and on the beaches of Maui. Donations in John’s honor can be made to the American Brain Foundation.

14 Jan 2021