Michael Gratz

MICHAEL GRATZ VALPARAISO, IN Michael Gratz, age 70, passed away on February 14 after a hard-fought illness. Born February 3, 1944 in New York, NY, Michael lived in Manhattan and Queens with his father, Isaac, mother, Esther, and brother, Eugene until heading to California at age 19. There he attended UCLA and UC Berkeley where he studied archeology. In 1971, Michael attended North Bennet Street School in Boston to learn his craft as a piano tuner/technician. From there, he settled in Berkeley, CA where he set up a piano business and met his wife, Cheryl Aylesworth, when she purchased a piano from his shop. They lived in Berkeley for over a decade, and there they had four of their five children: Anna, 37 (married to James Cockerille), Joseph, 35 (engaged to Brianne Lute), Adam, 31, and Daniel, 29. The family moved to Valparaiso in 1985, where Abby, 22, was born. In addition to his children, wife, and brother, Michael is survived by one grandchild, Thomas Hudson, four months, the son of Anna and James. Michael adored his many nieces and nephews.   Michael was a well-known figure in the Northwest Indiana community. His store, Gratz Piano, has brought the gift of music to many for almost 30 years. The store donated pianos and services to many organizations and events, such as Keys 4/4 Kids, Kiwanis Club's Keys to the City, The Memorial Opera House, Valparaiso Community Schools, and 4-H. Michael's sense of humor was unmatched, as were the love and care he gave his family.  Visitation will be Sunday, February 16, 2014 from 2:00-5:00 PM, directly followed by a service at Moeller Funeral Home, 104 Roosevelt Rd., Valparaiso. A family burial will take place on Monday at 11:00 AM at Cornell Cemetery in Hebron. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the or VNA Hospice of Porter County in Michael's honor. moellerfuneralhome.com

Funeral Home

Moeller Funeral Home
104 Roosevelt Road Valparaiso, IN 46383
(219) 462-0535

Published in The Times on Feb. 15, 2014