LOUDONVILLE -- Charles Andrew "Andy" "Cook" Grassman, 79, of Loudonville, passed away peacefully at Colonial Manor Health Care Center on Monday, July 3, 2017, with his loving wife, Julia, and his family by his side.
Andy contracted polio at the age of 15 and developed cancer at the age of 57, yet never lost a step to anything he attempted to do in life. Andy graduated from Millersburg High School in 1955. He was a 34-year employee of Mansfield Plumbing Products, working as a supervisor of the "Old Bowl Line," where he gained the respect of most of the men who worked under and around him.
Along with working at Mansfield Plumbing, Andy also drove a school bus for 40 years for the Loudonville-Perrysville School District. He loved the students who he transported, with families showing up at his house with items of gratitude for his going above and beyond the call of duty. Much to the dismay of one of Andy's granddaughters, he reportedly was called to substitute teach one day when the district was extremely short staffed. Boy was she surprised when she walked into class and there he sat at the front of the classroom with that Grassman scowl on his face.
Andy was the driving force behind the best vacations that kids could have growing up, traveling to Pelee Island every summer for 14 days of fun in the sun with cousins, aunts, uncles and family friends. The memories of those vacations will last forever.
A special bond was formed between Andy and his friend, Gene Gregory, that lasted to the hour of his passing. They made many trips together to tractor shows, even when his legs were giving out. He collected pocket knives from every show attended. He also made many trips to Pelee with his fishing buddies, headed by Jim "Gribb" Gribble, and his "Brutter Cho." These memories lasted a lifetime and he frequently shared stories with his visitors.
Andy spent his childhood working on the family farm in Millersburg along with his siblings, and always had a fondness for gardening, which eventually turned into a fondness for cooking. For those who did not know, that is where the nickname "Cook" originated. For many years, he had multiple gardens and when it was time to harvest, it was always an all-day event with many of the cousins, aunts and uncles coming to help. Andy and Julie were highly active in the Loudonville Athletic Boosters Club for many years, along with old friend Kenny Long, and spent many hours helping turn it into the tremendous support group it is today.
Andy was born in 1937, to Andreas Johann and Lillian Martin. Andreas traveled by boat from Kitzbuhel, Austria, at age 3, and landed at Ellis Island, where the family name is now etched on The American Immigrant Wall. Andy was one of 12 siblings. He had nine sisters, Marie Pittaway, Mable Grassman, Louise Miller, Velma Uhl, Edna Hardin, Georgia Grassman, Marcella Hercules and Glenna Baker, all deceased, and one living sister, Lucille Gaumer. He also had two brothers, Herman, and his lifelong companion and friend, brother Joe. (Brutter Cho), both deceased.
Andy is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Julia (ne Riynock), who was by his side through his illnesses and was devoted to him to the end; his sons, Andy Grassman of Loudonville and Ron (Kathy) Grassman of Alexandria; his daughters, Jackie Grassman of Willowick and Terri (Shawn) Gamble of Massillon; and his adopted son, Jim (Beth) Grassman of Gahanna, who became part of the family in 1978. Andy also is survived by 10 grandchildren, Josh, Jamie, Jessica, Megan, Kevin, Tyler, David, Missy, Kelsey, Corbin (he has one deceased grandchild, Andrew James) and special granddaughter, Sydney; seven great-grandchildren, Caden, Jocelyn, Isabella-Julianne, Skylar, Grahm, Alex and Alan; as well as two grand-dogs, Dino and Gino.
A Mass of Christian Burial was 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 8, 2017, at St. Peter Catholic Church, Loudonville, with the Rev. Vincent Hawk officiating. Burial followed in St. Peter Cemetery, Loudonville. Friends visited with the family on 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 7, 2017 at Lindsey Funeral Home, Loudonville, where a Christian wake service began at 3:45 p.m.
The family wishes to thank the entire staff of Colonial Manor as well as the third-floor nursing staff at University Hospitals Samaritan Medical Center.
The family asks that donations be made to Pathway Hospice, the activity fund of Colonial Manor; or the Loudonville-Perrysville Athletic Boosters.
Online condolences may be left for the family by visiting www.Byerly-Lindsey.com.