EDWIN "ED" GRANAI - BURLINGTON - Edwin "Ed" Granai, 83, died on Nov. 17, 2014, from prostate cancer. He was born Aug. 16, 1931, in Barre, the son of Ruth (Carpenter) Granai and Cornelius O. Granai Sr. He graduated from Spaulding High School, Antioch College, and Yale Divinity School. In 1954, he married his wife of 60 years, Joanne Dawson of Rockville, Md. As an ordained minister, Ed served a Methodist parish in Stepney, Conn. In 1958, his ministry became voluntary and part time. In the 1980's, he served as a part-time, voluntary Assistant Pastor at Christ Church Presbyterian, Redstone Campus, UVM. His missions from Christ Church included nursing homes, bereavement counseling, and prison ministry. In 1958, Ed began a successful business career with the Procter and Gamble Company in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1969, he returned to Vermont to establish his own business, The Little Professor Book Centers of Vermont, with stores in Burlington and Essex Junction. In 1979, he opened and managed The University Mall in South Burlington for the owner, the Finard Company of Massachusetts. Ed was a Rotary member, University Trustee, United Way volunteer, and a Ronald McDonald House board member. He was a published writer in several national publications. In 2000, Ed's ancestral city, Carrara, Italy, made him an honorary citizen. His travels always included a visit to Italy. Ed's public service included two terms in the Vermont House of Representatives and two terms in the Vermont Senate; he held leadership positions in both legislative bodies. In 1978, he was the Democratic candidate for governor of Vermont, losing to the incumbent governor, Richard Snelling. Winner or loser, Ed always admired the non-partisan integrity of the Vermont political process. He admired Vermont voters, candidates and elected officials at all levels of government; public service was for him an essential and noble component of our democracy. Ed is survived by his wife, Joanne; his children and their spouses, Janet Granai-Benway and Gary Benway, Judith GranaiMartin and David Martin, and Matthew and Kathryn Granai; seven grandchildren, David Dussault Jr., Loni Branon, Jordan Martin, Benjamin Martin, Hayley Martin, Anthony Granai, and Michael Granai; four great-grandchildren, Lyla Dussault, Eli Dussault, Declan Branon, and Kassidy Branon; brother, Cornelius Granai and wife, Loraine; and sister, Carolyn Vercoe. Ed was predeceased by his parents; and brother-in-law, Norman Vercoe. Ed died with his heart full of pride and gratitude for each and every member of his family. A memorial service will be held at St. Paul's Cathedral, 2 Cherry St., Burlington, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, followed by a reception at the Cathedral. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Ed's memory may be made to Christ Church Presbyterian, c/o St. Paul's Cathedral, 2 Cherry St., Burlington, VT 05401.
Published in The Burlington Free Press from Nov. 18 to Nov. 19, 2014.