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1917 - 2013 PITTSFIELD Alan Grieve died Tuesday morning, June 18, 2013, at Hillcrest Commons, where he spent the last two weeks of his 95 years.
He was born on Sept. 22, 1917, in Ashaway, R.I., and came to Pittsfield as a school-age boy. He attended Dawes School, Pittsfield High, and The Taft School in Watertown, Conn.
Alan was a bandsman trumpet player when he joined the Army in 1941. He married Polly Hopkins in 1942, finished his stint as a rifle instructor at Fort Slocum, N.Y., in 1945, then returned to Pittsfield.
He worked at the Wyandotte Worsted Company through the early 1950s, then became an automobile salesman for Shapiro Motors and, later, the truck and fleet manager at Seyffer Ford.
All this time, and above all, Alan was a musician. He played trumpet with several local bands, starting with the Shire City Orchestra, gradually becoming a bandleader himself. The Alan Grieve Orchette was a well-known dance band that played a standing engagement at the Stanley Club for years. He put together many fine musicians to play weddings and other gigs.
Never really retiring from music, he was often asked to play with the Berkshire All-Stars, and he was always ready to play Taps and the Echo when the American Legion called.
Alan liked to compile historic data, and this he did with pictures and articles of family and friends, of Pittsfield and Berkshire County events, and probably most notably, of bands. His two books, BERKSHIRE BANDS and BERKSHIRE BANDS ENCORE, were published in 1992 and 1996.
Toward the end of his life, it became apparent that Alan was looking forward to going "home" to join his father, Thomas A. Grieve; his mother, Jennie Blake Grieve; his two little brothers, Eliot and Thomas, Jr., and his sister, Claire Grieve Wilder.
Alan was a hard-working, diligent gentleman who took good care of his family and supported their endeavors. In his limited time off, he loved to go back to the place he enjoyed most as a boy, the Beriah Lewis Farm of his cousins in North Stonington, Conn.
Left to grieve his absence are his wife of 71 years, Polly; his son and daughter-in-law, Tom and Kathy of Arlington, Texas; daughters, Laurie Norris of Southern Pines, N.C., and Cande of Pittsfield; his three grandchildren and their spouses, Tim and Hollie Grieve, Ben and Kathy Grieve, and Katie and Jay Danzi; his eight great-grandchildren, Abbie, Emilie, Elise, Bode, Kaia, Barrett, Thomas, and Sam; and his nephews and their spouses, Craig and Pat Hurry Wilder, and Richard and Elizabeth Banks Wilder.
FUNERAL NOTICE: A memorial service and a celebration of life for Alan Grieve will be held at South Congregational Church, South Street, on Tuesday, July 16, 2013, at 11 a.m. A reception will follow in the Church Parlor following services.
The WELLINGTON FUNERAL HOME 220 EAST STREET PITTSFIELD MA 01201 is in charge of arrangements.
Wellington Funeral Service
220 East Street Pittsfield, MA 01201
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on June 22, 2013