Death of a Classmate - Philip “Phil” Grant Graessle - 5th Co.

San Diego  - Captain Philip “Phil” Grant Graessle (Ret.) passed away on Saturday, May 6th in San Diego, CA.  He was born on January 16, 1932 to Howard and Adeline Graessle in Los Angeles, CA, the younger of two sons.

Phil started his college education at UCLA, but then transferred to the U.S. Naval Academy.  He graduated from the USNA in 1954 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.   Phil then became among of the first Supply Officers to start and graduate from the Navy Supply Corps School after its move to Athens, GA.  Phil’s education would later include an M.S. in Operations Research from the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, CA.  Of the several junior officer tours, Phil served as a Naval Attaché to MAAG Thailand.  While serving with COL “Bill” Amos USA in Bangkok, Phil met his wife of fifty years.  Other tours that Phil often told stories about include:

·        Third Class Midshipman cruise about the USS MISSOURI (BB-63) where he missed the liberty call at Cherbourg because he was cleaning out a boiler
·        Marching in the inaugural parade for President Eisenhower
·        His first junior officer tour aboard the USS ELDORADO (AGC -11) patrolling the Taiwan Straits with 7th Fleet earning the China campaign medal
·        His first Department Head tour about the USS MARSHALL (DD-676)
·        The second to last Supply Department Head aboard the USS BENNINGTON (CVS-20). This included a deployment to “Yankee Station” off Vietnam.
·        Navy Exchange Officer, Headquarters Support Activity, Taipei
·        Commanding Officer of Fleet Accounting and Disbursing Center – Pacific
·        Officer in Charge of Navy Exchange Service Support, San Diego. His last assignment before retiring from the U.S. Navy in 1980

After retiring from the Navy, Phil worked with several Navy support contractors, developing the system that Commander Naval Air Forces knows today as AFAST.  Phil was an active member of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church serving multiple terms on the Vestry.  He also volunteered for several community organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, SCORE mentoring and Stephan Ministries.  Phil had several hobbies.  He loved to sail and would regularly attempt to swing a club at a golf ball.  He also enjoyed carpentry and building electronic kits. Every shipmate and friend who exchanges stories about him always remember Phil for his quick but gentle and humorous wit.
Phil is survived by his two children Philip “Grant” Graessle II (also a Supply Officer) and wife Carolyn of Patuxent River, MD, and by Molly Martin and husband Russell of San Diego, CA. Phil has three grandchildren: Arthur, Anelisa and Samantha.  Phil is also survived by his niece and nephew of Kaneohe, HI from his brother CAPT David Graessle, CEC.

Phil’s wife, Sally Graessle (nee Amos), preceded him in 2012 and is laid to rest in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.  Phil will be interred there with her.  

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