Stuart Alan Grinnell
1943 - 2020
Bangs Funeral Home, Inc. - Ithaca
209 W Green St.
Ithaca, NY
Celebration of Life
Oct, 3 2021
Moakley House on the Cornell Golf Course
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Stuart Alan Grinnell

Rochester - ( May 21, 1943 - October 29, 2020 )

Stuart Alan Grinnell, 77, retired Director of Tompkins County Mental Health Services, died Thursday, October 29, 2020 at Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, NY.

Stu grew up in Fall Creek. He hunted the farms and fields around Ithaca and fished the lake and streams with his father, his brother and his friends. He rode his bike to the golf course, carrying his golf clubs in a wagon behind him. He went to the neighborhood bar, much before he was old enough to drink, where, among others, he got to know the Cornell hockey players and begin his love of Cornell hockey.

From a family that favored work over education, Stu followed his father to work at NCR when he graduated high school. A summer of type setting there propelled him to Ithaca College in the fall where he earned a warning letter his first semester. Over the years he developed into a dean's list student, but he never forgot that incomplete he got in music because the professor wouldn't let him drop the course before the cut off.

Awaiting the draft, he took a job as a Probation Officer and was assigned the task of working with the draft board in preparing presentence investigations. Appreciative of his work, the local draft board petitioned to have probation officers exempt, a benefit Stu forever felt conflicted about as he heard daily of his friends dying in Vietnam.

At a time when the Tompkins County Probation Department lead the state in innovative programs, Stu became director and served until he felt it was time for him to learn more and enrolled in Syracuse University School of Social Work. From his graduation until his retirement in his 70's, Stu worked with disadvantaged, disenfranchised youth, some of whom surprised his high school aged daughter by telling her they wished they had Stu as their dad. He was comfortable and playful with children; he could absorb their very painful circumstances and give back to them a sense of hope and meaning. For some years he was director of the Tompkins County Mental Health Clinic, and after officially retiring, he continued to provide therapy to children in outlying schools - Groton, Dryden, Newfield.

Stu was not an intellectual. He was intelligent, worldly smart. As one of his grad school supervisors said, "if the world is coming to an end, I want to be with Stu. He'll know what to do." He was a private man, often silent, and completely capable of being a curmudgeon. He loved watching Cornell hockey and wrestling, Ithaca football, and proudly sat through hours of swim meets and Ithaca High tennis matches to watch his daughter compete. He also enjoyed laughing and had that comedian's way of twisting reality to see something surprising and funny. Bryn proudly says that if everyone had a dad like Stu, the world would be a very different place. To be loved by Stu was to be seen for who you are, and at the same time to be loved completely and unconditionally. He had your back, like the warm and all encompassing way he hugged you. And Stu was a caretaker, not only in the manly ways of painting the house, refinishing furniture and fixing whatever needed to be fixed, but by cooking, cleaning and doing the laundry.

Stu is survived by his wife, Joan Lovejoy, his daughter Bryn Lovejoy-Grinnell (Jeff Leibo), and his beloved grandsons Theo, Beckett and Reed. Also surviving are four nieces Stu treasured;Brenda Crosby (Joe);Diane Burch (Peter); Barbie Rhodes; and Debbie Miller (Tom) and their children. We will have a celebration of Stu's life next summer. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the YMCA of Ithaca, or Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel, Florida.

Published by Ithaca Journal from Nov. 5 to Nov. 7, 2020.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
Celebration of Life
Moakley House on the Cornell Golf Course
213 Warren Road, Ithaca, NY
Funeral services provided by:
Bangs Funeral Home, Inc. - Ithaca
Sponsored by The Ithaca Journal.
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14 Entries
Just learned that Stu has passed, and I am diminished because of it. Stu used to stop in to the bookstore where I worked for 14 years, and he'd always offer me a firm handshake, followed by a good five or ten-minute chat. The one trait that I saw in him which I'd connected with most, is that we are each very plainspoken. And that seemed to always give us permission to speak candidly about anything without the fear of having to be delicate with a topic. Ithaca needs more people like Stu. Otherwise, not much gets said within the course of a lifetime. I will miss that connection.
Frank Heesh
January 28, 2021
Love, Candace
January 24, 2021
Joan and family - sending love and prayers to all of you as you morn the earthly loss of Stu. We only knew him for a few years, but got a good taste of his loving spirit and great sense of humor! He was loved and will be missed always. much love, Reeny and Jeff Linstrom
Reeny Linstrom
December 1, 2020
Joan and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Grief can be so hard. Time will heal. For now I wish you all peace.
Mia Pancaldo
November 12, 2020
My deepest sympathy to Joan and Bryn about your loss of husband and father. With fondness I will always treasure the guidance and support I received from Stu during our 20 plus years of close working relationship
Margrethe Bang Termansen
November 9, 2020
Joan and Bryn
Paula and I are thinking of you in your time of sorrow and even though our lives have gone in separate directions, you are still family and we love you.
Roger Lovejoy
November 8, 2020
Joan, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. After I left Family & Children's Service, I often thought of you and Stu. You two were very special couple.

Shirley Kelly
November 7, 2020
I grew up with Stu and Dave as we lived back door to back door in Fall Creek. Stu was a little younger than both Dave and I, but we played together for our pre teen years daily. Loved the Grinnell's as they were good folks. My sadness for losing both childhood friends and am sending my condolances to his family and friends back there in Ithaca NY my home town also. RIP my old friend, you were one of the best for sure.
Frank Scaglione
November 7, 2020
So sorry for your loss.
May you find comfort In the memories of your father ❤
Katrina, Israel and Chase Reed
November 6, 2020
Thinking of you and Stu. And good times on tennis court too! My sympathies on your loss.
George Patte
November 2, 2020
Kristy Shenandoah
November 2, 2020
Sincere Sympathy to the Grinnell Family. Stuart will be remembered as kind wonderful person. God Bless. Al and Margie Perna.
Margie James Perna
October 31, 2020
Joan, Tom and I are so sad and sorry to hear of the loss of Stu. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Tom and Therese Hughes
Therese Hughes
October 30, 2020
Dear Joan and family
We are so very sorry to hear about Stu. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Rich and I send our deepest sympathies. ❤ Kathleen and Rich
Kathleen Paton
October 30, 2020
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