I knew this day was coming and my brain understands, but my heart can't comprehend the permanence of never being able to see my Dad again. This past week has been one of the most intense of my life between the passing of my Dad and the opening of my Andeana Hats store. For all of you that have supported me this week, you have no idea how much you have helped me.
I spent my flight home yesterday writing his obituary and let me tell you, trying to sum up who my father was to me and my sisters in under 500 words was difficult. But here is what I wrote:
Joseph David Grier, affectionately known as “Abuelo”, passed away on May 9th, 2023 at the age of 83 after a long, courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by his four daughters in Winchester, Virginia. He always handled adversity in life with a sense of humor, which he maintained until the very end.
Born in Miami, Florida on December 15th, 1939, David and his 3 brothers were raised in a Catholic orphanage. Despite the hardships he faced in his childhood, he went on to accomplish a lot in his life and had a strong desire to create a family of his own. Family and having a good education meant everything to him. He was the first person in his family to go to college receiving a degree in Journalism at the University of Miami and paid his own way through working at a printing press where his obsession for spelling and word games began.
After college he enlisted in the Air Force and then went on to have a long 40 year career with the Central Intelligence Agency. David married Isabel and they traveled all over the world together while raising 4 daughters. Through the CIA he lived in Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia, Liberia and finally settled down in Virginia where he would raise his family. He instilled in his daughters a love for other cultures and travel. Many times he said his life began after he became a father.
As a father, he was loving, silly, supportive and loved to bake, play games, and organize birthday parties and lavish Christmases for his daughters. He made up for his lost childhood by celebrating his daughters and grandkids and made sure they were never lacking anything they needed.
One of David's passions was Bridge, something he religiously played every week until he passed away. He had a mathematical and logical mind which helped him to become a Grand Master in Bridge. He instilled in his children the importance of being a person of your word, always being punctual, to always have a firm handshake, and that if you work hard you can accomplish anything in life.
“Abuelo” was sarcastic and had a great sense of humor, fully embracing getting older and his new role as a “grumpy old man”. He had a passionate love affair with ice cream, baking, and chocolate. He loved spending his final years going on “Dadventures” with his daughters, playing Qwirkle and Bridge for hours, spending time with his 8 grandkids, attending Sunday school, and watching Judge Judy and Seinfeld reruns.
He is survived by his 4 daughters; Christy, Elizabeth, Marisa and Laura; his 8 grandchildren (Havana, Javier, Adrien, Olivia, Alejandro, Rigoberto, Gabriel and Eric) and his ex-wife Isabel.