Neil Blaine Grissom
June 2, 1943 – July 15, 2019
Neil Blaine Grissom passed away peacefully in his sleep at home in Jacksonville, Florida at age 76 on Monday, July 15, 2019 after a 9-month battle with aggressive Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Neil was born on June 2, 1943 in Covington, Kentucky and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1962 after graduating from Holmes High School. He completed basic training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California, followed by additional jungle warfare training in Camp Schwab, Okinawa. Neil participated in some of the most extensive training given to any military unit in the world. He then received orders to go to Viet Nam as Marine Reconnaissance for the 3rd Recon Battalion, Operation Shu-Fly, in support of the CIA and other security forces during 1962-1963 (before military action in that country was at its peak.) For the safety of our country, Marine Recon is called upon by the President of the United States to be the eyes and ears of the Marine Corps, CIA, and all Special Ops divisions.
Neil was granted 100% Permanent and Total disability for service connected injuries (cancers) sustained from Agent Orange exposure during the Viet Nam conflict. His military decorations include: Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Viet Nam Service Medal with Bronze Star, Republic of Viet Nam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation, and Republic of Viet Nam Campaign Medal with device.
In addition to serving as Treasurer of Third Recon Battalion Association’s Charlie Company since 2008, he was a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled American Veterans (lifetime member.)
Over the course of 37 years Neil was employed by C & O Railroad in Cincinnati, Ohio; C & O System Board in Richmond, Virginia; and CSX Transportation, Inc. in Jacksonville, Florida. Prior to moving to Neptune Beach, Florida in 1989, he lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he married his wife Barbara in 1972, and Richmond, Virginia, where his daughter Wesley was born in 1980. In 2003 he retired from CSX as Senior Director of Labor Relations.
Neil enjoyed Florida’s warm weather, all things dogs, music from the 1950s and 1960s (especially Van Morrison), refurbishing historic rifles, target shooting, and watching boats sail along the Intracoastal Waterway from his lanai.
He was preceded in death by his father, Neil Garland Grissom, of Harlan County, Kentucky and his mother, Dora Florence (Felts), of Corbin, Kentucky; half-sisters Louise (Wurth) and her daughters, Jean (James Knauf) and June (Jump); Lenora “Snooks” (Warner), Betty; and half-brother Pete Grissom (Clarabelle).
Neil is survived by his wife and best friend of 47-1/2 years, Barbara (Williams), and his loving daughter, Wesley Gibbon (Travis) of Neptune Beach, Florida. He is also survived by his niece, Lois Ann Brockman (son Andrew); nephew James Keith Warner (Connie); and great nephew Steven Knauf (wife Lori, sons Kyle and Konnor), all of Northern Kentucky.
Neil’s cremains will be interred at the Memorial Garden at St. Paul’s By The Sea Episcopal Church in Jacksonville Beach as well as the Columbarium at Jacksonville National Cemetery. A portion of his ashes will be scattered at the Marine Corps bases in Quantico, VA and Camp Pendleton, CA (near San Diego’s Marine Corps Recruit Depot.) Additionally, a token amount of Neil’s cremains will be launched to orbit the earth in a 2020 memorial spaceflight mission.
A memorial service with military honors will be held on Saturday, August 31st at 10:30am at St. Paul’s By The Sea Episcopal Church in Jacksonville Beach, FL. Deacon Reverend Bill Carroll will officiate. Following the service, the family will receive friends at a Celebration of Life reception at Marker 32 restaurant in Jacksonville and all are invited to attend.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorial gifts to K9sForWarriors.org
- Celebration of Life Saturday, August 31, 2019
Neil Blaine Grissom
September 10, 2019
Neil and I grew up together in Covington- My best friend in those teen years. His Mom and Dad were salt of the earth people. So many great memories. Neil joined the Marines and me the Navy, We wrote each other while serving all over the world. After our service wa completed Neil moved south and me to California, we connected by phone several times over the years. Just not enough-
Crying as I write this note, Neil was a good guy and a good man,
Please God keep him in your grace and care- and yes Neil as last talked, we showed those "doubters" as to accomplishments.You did great my friend, just great!
August 31, 2019
Barbra I still can not believe a world without Neil. I loved getting to know you two over the years and have fond memories of the time spent together. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. And as always, please let me know if there is anything that I can do for you.
Pam and Allan Moore
August 29, 2019
We will always have great memories of having Neil as a backyard neighbor and our Friday night dinners with he and Barbara and other neighbors. His quiet laughter was contagious and he loved his country and served it with honor. We were privileged to call him friend.
August 28, 2019
Dear Grissom Family,
Thank you so much for sharing Neil with me during Stephanie and my short stay in Jacksonville. He was a great neighbor, an even better friend, and one of the best Americans I know. Neil and I had great times putting lots of lead downrange at the sportsman's club in St Augustine, but the best part was hearing his stories. He knew an incredible amount about firearms and military machinery, and hearing his firsthand accounts of these tools in action (and some of the hijinks that went on!) was a gift I wont forget. He was a humble, caring, and generous man, and a true Patriot. Neil will surely be missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him.
Thank you for your service Sir, and Godspeed.
August 28, 2019
Dear Neil, thank you for the great time we had spent together with the boys back than at the seaside. I enjoyed very much your open and very caring mentality. Even we didn't meet much time before it felt like having a great time with food and beers with a good friend. And last but not least it was just great fun.
Since I also like to listen to Van Morrison very much, my thoughts will also be with you from now on.
A big thank you and all the best wherever you go now, Philipp
Katie And Beck
August 27, 2019
So sorry for your loss.
Katie, Beck, Violet, and Josephine.
Let your soul and spirit fly
Into the mystic—-