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Henry C. Grant

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Henry C. Grant Obituary
March 10, 1920 - August 27, 2015 LOS ANGELES. Starting life in a rural Scottish town near Aberdeen, Harry found himself growing up amidst 2 sisters and a brother, and parents who promoted lively political discourse in the community. During WWII, his profession as blacksmith meant he served locally in the Home Guard, where he met a Land Girl at a dance. He sparked her curiosity by sitting on the floor throughout their first dance. As if this were not enough to ensure a future engagement, he importuned the lovely Diana Dawson with a barrage of typewritten letters from a fictitious law firm pleading his case. By the time they married in 1948, Harry had already earned distinction as Student of the Year for Scotland, had built a windmill that gave his family's house the first in the area to have electricity, and had blown up a tree that fell through its roof. While attending night school to become an electronics engineer, Harry and Diana's first child was born, and shortly thereafter they took him to Egypt where Harry got a job fixing radars on ships transiting the Suez Canal. This marked the first of their 3 year plans: experience the world by living in new places, rather than have just a brief holiday. Harry also perfected speaking without a Scottish accent. Toronto marked the next of the 3 year plans, where he worked on the Canadian DEW Line radar defense network. He built a Heathkit radio where, along with colossal homebuilt speakers, the growing family gathered to listen to radio shows. He had at one time considered a career as a professional musician, and the Grant household was treated with lively Sunday nights, Harry playing guitar with a jazz combo in the living room. Harry joined a semi-conductor business in Los Angeles. He'd bring home pioneering electronics, comparing a pea-sized transistor with its Heathkit vacuum tube counterpart, holding up a postage stamp sized object, "This is a radio." The 3 year plan extended to 5, then it was time to return home. But three years of English weather drove him back to sunny Los Angeles where he and Diana made a permanent home and shored up the family with additional offspring. A tennis friend mentioned he owned an apartment. Briefly unemployed, Harry saw a future of income beyond retirement and bought his first apartment building. Harry and Diana accumulated lifelong friendships, including fondness towards friends of their children. The Grants melded with Special Friends the Contreras family, held wild parties leading their East Blvd friends crawling over sofas and under tables in exhilarated maraca-shaking, clave-clacking samba lines, became lifelong members of the homespun art group, the Mudslingers. The call of England returned, but instead of giving up Los Angeles they bought a cottage in Tewkesbury, and spent summer months gaining a new group of affectionate fans of Harry's guitar-playing parties. Harry and Diana also took advantage of summer college classes, relishing Scottish and English history and literature. Around this time Harry decided to learn Italian, so off he and Diana went for three months in Italy. Diana died in 2002. Although Harry never quite got his footing afterwards he fortunately never lost his cheerful spirit and people-charming demeanor. There were more summers in Tewkesbury, Mudslinger gatherings, Contreras Christmases, and a continued interest in his health with daily exercise, carrot juicing and vitamin supplements, as well as family trips to Guadalajara, Greece, New Orleans, San Miguel de Allende and Belize. Children, in order of appearance: Nik (Jackie) Grant, Roger (Mary Lou) Grant, The Baroness (Mark) McQueen, Elektra Grant. Grandchild: Andrew (Vanessa) Grant. Great Grandchild: Everett Grant Harry's Memorial will be at the Culver City Gates, Kingsley & Gates on September 26th at 2pm. Share memories here: http://bit.ly/1gi4gH0
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Sept. 19 to Sept. 20, 2015
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