James Allan Grau (November 17, 1935 - December 13, 2012)

2 entries
  • " Mrs. Grau, I received the news of your loss with great..."
    - Mike Cays
  • "What a great loss, Jim always greeting me with a huge smile..."
    - Lee Lawrence
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Captain James Allan Grau of Sequim passed away at Olympic Memorial Medical Center in Port Angeles at the age of 77.

He was born to Walter August and Wanda Margaret (Trocki) Grau on November 17, 1935 in Chicago, Illinois.

A native of Chicago, Jim attended Michigan State University, becoming a member of the service fraternity Beta Sigma Phi, the Spartan Guard Drill Team, and track and field coach under Biggie Munn. He graduated in June of 1956 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications.

Jim married his college sweetheart, a beautiful nursing student, Verona "Lee" Adams of Waterford, Michigan, on October 16, 1956.

Upon completion of Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, he began his commission in the Naval Reserve.

Reporting to the USS Pillsbury, Jim served as Chief Engineer on the North Atlantic Barrier for three years. He then reported to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, New York, as Instructor of Naval Science.

He remained a drilling reservist for two years while working as a State Farm Insurance adjuster in Marshall, Michigan.

He then returned to active duty as Commanding Officer, Naval Reserve Center, Sheffield, Alabama. Moving to Hanover, Massachusetts, from 1966 to 1969, Jim served as Damage Control Assistant on the USS Wasp, operating in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. He then reported to Commandant, Thirteenth Naval District, Washington, D.C., serving as Director of Reserve Programs, where he was promoted to Commander in 1970.

Jim was next assigned to the staff of Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, Washington, D.C. During this tour he was responsible for the initiation of the coastal "Go Navy" cruises, the nationwide "Small Boat" cruises and Sales Management.

This was followed by a tour as Commanding Officer, Navy Recruiting District, New York, which was named the top district in the Northeast in both Officer and Enlisted Recruiting for 1975.

Assigned as Commanding Officer, Naval Reserve Center, Seattle, in June 1976, Jim then reported to the staff of Commander, Naval Reserve Readiness Command Region 22, where he served as Deputy Commander. He achieved the rank of Captain in July of 1978.

Jim's final tour of duty was as Commanding Officer of the Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center in Portland, Oregon. He retired from the Navy in 1981.

Awards: Navy Commendation Medal with two Bronze Stars, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (Second Award), Navy Expert Pistol Medal.

Drawn to the natural beauty and mild climate of the Northwest, Jim and Lee built their retirement home in the foothills south of Sequim.

Initially, Jim worked as an accountant for the Sequim Chevron and as a salesclerk for Pacific Mist Books.

Then, drawing on strong organizational skills, he became director of the unemployment bureau, serving communities throughout the north Peninsula for three years.

Soon after, as Director of the Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the Red Cross, he reorganized and improved the disaster response capabilities for Clallam and Jefferson counties.

An active community member, Jim served on the Clallam County Council for four years. He enjoyed welcoming travelers as a volunteer at the Sequim Visitors Center, and was one of the nine original senior volunteers for the Sequim Valley Police Force. He enjoyed active memberships in both St. Andrew's Episcopal Church of Port Angeles and St. Luke's Episcopal Church of Sequim. He was president of the Military Officers Association, a Lions Club member, and a member of the Sequim Masonic Lodge, No. 213; a Lifetime Master Mason.

Jim was an avid golfer, a cool-handed cribbage competitor, a voracious reader, a smooth square dancer and an occasional color consultant on Lee's quilts. Wherever he lived, he joined local service clubs and attended local colleges, completing two years in seminary, a Master's Degree in Education and an accounting degree.

His hobbies were varied: antique car collecting, camping throughout the U.S., photography, folk guitar, boat restoration, scuba diving, bonsai and theological/spiritual philosophy.

In retirement, he and Lee traveled overseas, meeting and trading stories with new people, learning about new places. They opened their home to the many friends they had made, and to travelers from Japan, the Philippines, Canada, Russia and the Ukraine.

Throughout his life, he devoted his time and talents in service to others.

Jim is survived by his wife, Lee Grau of Sequim; his daughter, Karen Grau Johnson and husband Kris Johnson of Orting, Washington; his son, Stephen A. Grau, SFC, USA (retired) and wife Beth Grau of Wakefield, Kansas; his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Darell and Barbara Adams of Waterford, Michigan; and two grandchildren, Andrew James Chapman Johnson and Sarah Millet.

Jim is preceded in death by his father, Walter Grau, and his mother, Wanda Trocki Grau.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 29, 2012, at 3 p.m. at Saint Luke's Episcopal Church, 525 North Fifth Avenue, Sequim, WA 98382. Father Robert Rhoads will officiate over the service. Interment in the St. Luke's Church Columbarium and a reception will immediately follow.

Memorial contributions may be sent to St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 525 North Fifth Avenue, Sequim, WA 98382, or to Dungeness Valley Lutherans Health and Wellness Clinic, 777 North Fifth Avenue, Sequim, WA 98382.

Sequim Valley Funeral Chapel was in charge of arrangements: www.sequimvalleychapel.com.
Funeral Home
Sequim Valley Funeral Chapel
108 W Alder St PO Box 297
Sequim, WA 98382
(360) 683-5242
Published in The Peninsula Daily News on Dec. 27, 2012
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Sequim, WA   (360) 683-5242