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In Memory

Phillip Grigsby

Phillip Grigsby

Rev. Phil Grigsby passed away on November 23, 2021.  According to his hometown newspaper, the Schenectady Daily Gazette, “his dedication to serving the community had no bounds.”  City Councilwoman Marion Porterfield said, “A lot of the things that he did were innovative and hadn’t been done before.  He treated everyone with dignity, regardless of what their situation was.” 


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12/04/21 10:50 AM #1    

Walt Galloway

Jan and Family...I'm so sad to hear of Phil's passing.  He was a dear friend (and roommate as JCs) at Oberlin and reading his obituary I would have loved to have stayed closer to the two of you over the years.  Thankfully we all saw each other at our 50th a couple of years ago, and I hope to see you and give you a big hug at our 55th cluster reunion in 2023.  May Phil rest in peace and may we all be thankful for his full life and love.  heartheart My love goes out to you and your family, Jan.  Walt

12/04/21 11:18 AM #2    

Michael Lubas

In this season of Thanksgiving and Incarnation, Phil's life and ministry incarnated the gifts of grace to all God's people.  Blessings of comfort to you his family, friends and colleagues.

Mike Lubas

12/04/21 11:45 AM #3    

James Gertmenian

A great life . . . a wonderful legacy.  Oddly, after 50+ years, we connected briefly on FaceBook just a few months ago.  I'm sorry not to have known him better through the years.

12/04/21 12:19 PM #4    

Wayne Alpern

I did not have the privilege of knowing Phil. But his life and obituary are true testimony why Oberlin is vital and our class remarkable. What an exemplar of our best ideals. Every time I read what one of us has managed to achieve, like Phil, in a multitude of endeavors, I am humbled and honored to be a member of this noble crowd. Thank you, Phil, for this parting lesson of what a meaningful life can be. 

12/04/21 06:41 PM #5    

Jon Dreger

Dear Jan...and family.  As you know, I did not keep up with the two of you over the years.  My loss in not doing so, as I wish I had.  Phil was a quiet, kind and gentle soul, and the world was a better place for his having been in it.  May his soul rest in peace, and may all the fond memories you shared sustain you through your grief.  I really enjoyed our brief time together at our 50th, Jan, and I hope to see you again at our next reunion.  jon

12/04/21 06:43 PM #6    

Tom Witheridge

What a wonderful notice in Phil's local paper, which says everything we need to know about him. Regrettably, I knew him very slightly, but he did a better job of living the Oberlin life than I have. My long-distance love and condolences to his family and many friends.

12/05/21 08:43 AM #7    

John Kirkwood

Jan and family, Gayle and I missed connecting during our post-Obie years at Yale and yet always had warm memories of you and Phil, and somehow always thought we'd catch up again. Our thoughts are with you.


12/06/21 12:38 PM #8    

Janet Phillips (Grigsby)

Phil and I were married a week before graduation in 1969.  Yes, we had 52 1/2 glorious years together!  In May 2021, however, he was diagnosed with ALS -- after a gazillion tests, since ALS can only be diagnosed by elimination of alternatives. Unlike the famous physicist Stephen Hawking who lived about 50 years after being diagnosed, my dear Phil went quickly.  At the end, he could not move or speak and was losing the ability to swallow and eat.  The family and I miss him terribly.  Thank you to each of you who have posted memories.  Phil was truly a great representative of what makes Oberlin special!  Love to you all! - Jan (Phillips) Grigsby

12/06/21 01:18 PM #9    

Tom Thomas

Additional memories have been posted on the Class of 1968 website . . .

Edward McKelvey:  I remember Phil as a modest, friendly fellow who was always willing to help someone. He married Janet Philips, also class of 69, of whom I have similar recollections. Both were good friends in college, though we (at least I) did not keep up in the years that followed. I did run into them at the 50th reunion of the class of 69, as I was just leaving the faculty there.

Carolyn Rieth:  Yes, I remember them as very nice friends at Oberlin. I knew nothing about their lives after Oberlin, so I appreciated reading the obituary and and wishing I had been more in touch with them. Very sad to hear of his passing at too young an age. My condolences to Janet and the rest of his family.

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