Obituary of Judith Grize
Judy Grize was born in Champaign, Illinois, the eldest of the four children of Henry and Ione Pieh. She graduated from Blissfield High School, where she was an accomplished clarinetist, in 1961. She went on to train as a nurse at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, where she worked in the emergency room, ducking bullets during the 1967 riots. Her commitment to public service continued in the US Air Force, and it was while stationed near Sacramento, California, that she met and married combat navigator Douglas Grize.
The USAF took them across the country, from Eielson AFB in Fairbanks, Alaska, to CINCPAC in Wahiawa, Hawaii, and finally to northern Virginia, where Doug, by then a Lieutenant Colonel, served with the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. Judy’s own career in business management and training was complemented by her tireless involvement in the community, wherever it was she called home. She was particularly proud of her work in education, and her efforts helped shape policy and curriculum in Hawaii and Florida.
Upon her husband’s retirement, the couple settled in Marietta, Ohio, where she fulfilled a longtime dream of running a bed and breakfast. The House on Harmar Hill gained acclaim as much for Judy’s warm hospitality (and scones!) as for its award-winning porch views and lovingly-restored period interiors. For seventeen years, Marietta benefitted from Judy’s boundless energy and generosity of spirit. Whether serving on her countless boards and committees, delivering meals to the elderly, or even teaching Tai Chi, she dedicated herself freely and whole-heartedly to the lives of the people around her. Nor was her generosity limited to local causes – in recent years, she travelled frequently to Guatemala to offer hands-on help in education and health promotion to the poorest families.
Following her husband’s death in 2016, Judy moved back to her hometown of Blissfield, Michigan, and soon became involved in local activities such as the American Legion and Downtown Development Committee. Following a cancer diagnosis in October 2017, she drew on the unwavering support of her sister Jacalyn Bates and other close relatives in Lenawee County.
She was a cosmopolitan and vivacious lady who loved travelling with her sister and grandson, filling up her passport with trips to Turkey, Indonesia, Croatia, and Mexico, to name but a few. Her enthusiasm, energy, and love lit up the lives of everyone she knew, and she will be sorely missed by friends and family far and wide, in particular her son, Dr Justin Grize, of Kraków, Poland, her daughter, Kari Rice, and her beloved grandson, Carter Rice, both of Parkersburg, West Virginia.
A memorial service will be held for her at Anderson-Rudd Funeral Home, in Blissfield, Michigan, on Saturday, 1 December, with a visitation from 3:00 PM followed by a memorial service at 5:00.
A church service will be held at 11:00 AM on Sunday, 2 December, at Deerfield Church of God, 386 Kingsbury Road, Deerfield, Michigan, to be followed by a celebratory meal.
The family suggests wearing a bit of teal in honour of her involvement with ovarian cancer awareness. Condolences may be given to Judy’s family at www.andersonfuneralservices.com. In lieu of floral tributes, please direct donations to the Deerfield Church of God – tributes will be shared between ovarian cancer awareness and local causes. Envelopes are available at the Anderson-Rudd Funeral Home, Blissfield.