Daniel Christopher Grady
November 4, 1936 – November 9, 2020
Beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, “Doc Grady,” “Coach Grady,” Dan Grady, passed away on Monday, November 9, 2020, with his beloved wife of 63 years and high school sweetheart, Emily “Cookie,” and family by his side.
Dan Grady was born 84 years ago in the Black Hills of South Dakota to Howard and Maxine Grady. When he was a young boy, his family, including siblings Don and Joann, moved to San Francisco.
While attending middle school in the Bay Area, he developed a passion for athletics as well as gained merit as a Golden Gloves boxer. Just before starting high school, the family relocated to Fresno, California. He worked as a lifeguard that summer at the San Joaquin Memorial (SJM) High School pool. It was there that he met the love of his life, Emily Papageorge, a fellow incoming freshman. During his time at San Joaquin Memorial, he was a notable athlete, excelling in football, track, and swimming. His football talent earned him the “All-League” and “All-County” player nominations, as well as “All City Most Valuable Football Player”. Decades later, the SJM Hall of Fame recognized Dan for his contributions as an outstanding player and coach, notably his participation as a part of the 1953 championship team.
Graduating in 1955, he set off to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, continuing his education and his football career. After his time at Cal Poly, he returned to Fresno to marry his high school sweetheart, Emily, as well as complete his degree in education at Cal State Fresno. Dan pursued his career as an educator and coach. He would later apply the values he learned at SJM in his education and coaching careers. Throughout his life, he adhered to the Christian Brothers’ fundamentals and standards of a valued educator, something that helped guide him through his profession. He went on to earn two master degrees in Counseling/Guidance and School Psychology, and a Doctorate of Education in Psychology, leading to his positions as a principal and superintendent in the Central Valley. He could relate almost all experiences in life to his time playing and learning at SJM. He impacted the lives of many, including former students and players. Dan’s experience as a former player and student of SJM allowed him to connect with all types of people, leaving a lasting impression on all he met. One of Dan’s greatest joys was seeing the way he had impacted the lives of those he had taught and coached. He loved seeing former alumni of SJM whom he had mentored. He enjoyed seeing those former alumni as grown men and women, sharing memories that they still held close to their hearts. Of all of his accomplishments, he was most proud of his family. He cherished the unforgettable times spent camping and vacationing at the coast, most of which were spent at his favored spots in the Aptos and Capitola area. He was also known to his friends as an avid fisherman, and he passed his love of fishing and camping on to his children. The influence Daniel Christopher Grady had on the lives of students, players, colleagues, and his own family will never be forgotten. The difference he made was substantial to all he knew. He changed the lives of many.
He now joins his eldest daughter, Kelly Grady, in Heaven.
Dan is survived by his beloved wife, Cookie Grady. He is also survived by his brother, Don Grady, his daughter Jackie and son-in-law Michael, his son Dan, his daughter Christie, and daughter Ann Marie and son-in-law, Doug Gocke. His surviving grandchildren, whose lives were shaped by his love and wisdom are Nicole, Madison, Brady, Riley, Kelly Gocke, Isabella Gocke, Tanner Grady, Reece Grady, and great-grandson, Camilo Vargas; along with countless friends, colleagues, and those he helped along in their life-long journeys.
He will be laid to rest at a private committal ceremony at St. Peter’s Cemetery.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.whitehurstsullivan.com for the Grady family.
Daniel Christopher Grady
November 20, 2020
Our prayers and sympathy to the Grady family. Mr. Grady was always a kind and happy person, who always had a wonderful tidbit of wisdom to share. What a wonderful legacy of love he leaves.
Steve & Pam Sittre
November 14, 2020
I remember Dan as a teacher at SJM. I also remember his playing days at SJM. All great memories.
November 12, 2020
My favorite memory of Dan was when he somehow became the cheerleader advisor at SJM. He had the girls sign up if they were interested. They were waiting to get the info and expected 6 or 7 girls would be chosen. He announced "You are all cheerleaders and we're going to raise money to pay for all your uniforms." We must have had 40 or 50 cheerleaders and they were the happiest girls ever. I can still see them grinning and cheering as they covered about half the football field while doing their "ghostbuster" routine. Dan loved kids and showed it in what was the best decision I saw in all my years of teaching.