OBITUARY

Sharon Lynn Grady

August 13, 1952November 5, 2018

Shar (66) passed away on November 5, 2018 at 3AM in Phoenix, Arizona.

Shar was born to Gerald and Nina (Huckins) Street on August 13, 1952 in Highland Park, Michigan. Shar went to work for Mountain Bell after her graduation from High School. Shar’s telephone company career of 29 years saw her working for such companies as Nevada Bell, USWest and Qwest.

Shar had many roles during her tenure beginning as a mail clerk and working her way into progressively more responsible roles such as service representative and co-manager of a Quality Assurance team, ending her career as the senior manager of Work Force Administration for Residential Repair Services at Qwest.

Shar was generous in many ways. One that she enjoyed most was to adopt a family for Christmas ensuring that all members had a wonderful Christmas dinner and gifts from Santa. She also had a strong love for animals and had been a subscribed donor to such organizations as ASPCA for years. Shar had many diverse hobbies that kept her occupied. She loved visiting and hiking in Sedona, writing poems and short stories, spending time in the surf at San Diego, searching for hidden rock treasures in the desert or at one of the many gem and minerals shows that she would attend with her family and close friends during the year.

Shar is survived by her husband, Tim and son, Chris.

She is also survived by her Goddaughter Keyanna and her 3 beloved kitties Mavis, Tink, and Tasha.

She was preceded in death by her parents Gerald and Nina Street and her brother Mike.

For condolences Shar’s family asks you visit her website at www.almoore-grimshaw.com.

REMEMBERING

Sharon Lynn Grady

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Cindi Huff

November 29, 2018

Shar was one of the best friends I ever had and would do anything for you. One time I was distressed over a situation with a family member and she dropped everything to meet me for lunch and sat with me until I got it all out. This was Shar’s nature. I met Shar at the phone company. She was my boss at the time and we didn’t always see eye to eye, but there was always a respect there. She was one of the smartest people I knew. We both lived through a strike and the stressful days of having to take over jobs from workers that had left to strike. During this time a young and distraught teenage boy decided to take his life by leaping off the top of our 28 floor high rise. Also, when Sept. 11th happened, we were, again, in a stressful situation together at work as we were on one of the top floors of the high rise and being told to keep essential employees answering the phones even though we could see that the neighboring high rises were being evacuated because they weren’t sure if a plane would target our buildings. All this stress Shar handled with grace. I am happy to say that our relationship got a lot closer the years following our working together. My husband and I had so much fun with Shar and Tim, playing cards on a regular basis at our house and alternating who supplied dinner. Tim and I always played against Shar and my hubby and it would get so competitive and funny. We got out a voodoo doll and would jokingly stick pins in it pretending it was giving us an advantage. As with all good things, our card get togethers came to an end when we decided to move and downsize into a smaller home a couple hours away. Shar at this point was walking, but clung to Tim for assistance. She was trying to regain her health and Tim and her were working with a trainer to get in shape and try to regain some strength that had been lost. I will always remember our Rocky Point trips; Shar loved the ocean! Love you forever Shar...I will never forget you.

Jessie Long

November 13, 2018

I met Shar on an American Idol fan site several years ago. A small group of us became fast friends and would spend hours each night on our computers chatting, laughing (lots of laughing), sharing stories about our families, and enjoying each other's company. When we all decided to meet in Kansas City to attend a concert, Shar and Tim took a flight into Detroit, out of their way, to meet me at the airport and catch a connecting flight so that I wouldn't have to fly alone. What a kind thing to do for someone they hadn't even met in person yet! Our little group all had a wonderful time and that remains one of my favorite memories. Although I lost touch with Shar in recent years, she and Tim have always been in my thoughts. I was heartbroken to hear the news of her passing. "Mrs. Cats", I am blessed to have known you, you will not be forgotten. Tim, my heart goes out to you and your family.

Annemarie Karstens

November 13, 2018

When I was young, I just remember Shar, and Tim & Chris, as like an extension of my family, even though we weren't related. I loved Shar very much, but when I think back, what I really most remember was how very much she loved me. She doted on me and always made me feel special. She was a bright light in my life, as are Chris and Tim, and my memories are really happy, loving ones. My heart is with you, Grady's. Big hugs and kisses, sweet Shar.
Love, Annemarie

Barbara Flanigan

November 12, 2018

Shar was one of the most thoughtful , kindest person I ever had the pleasure of working with, Shar taught me many things. She worked harder and smarter then anyone I know, she made us a success with everything she did.
She was a friend, a fellow Leo. I am so saddened to hear this news and my heart goes out to Tim & Chris.
Barbara

Mike Neill

November 11, 2018

I went to central high school at the same time that Sharon went there.
She was always a very nice person.
I am so sorry for your loss.
That time in the 60’s , Vietnam, draft cards, —those were the crazy times.
Sharon was always polite and funny. . I think she lived somewhere around camelback rd and 10 th st. at the time.
May God heal your pain.
Respectfully,
Michael P. Neill

Bill Dooley

November 10, 2018

We have so many great memories of spending time with Shar, Tim, and Chris. Our hearts ache for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you through this difficult time. We send our love.
Bill and Sally

Maria and Ray Hoffman

November 10, 2018

Tim.

Ray and I were just remembering you and the good old days

We are beyond sad for you and your son

Please know we are thinking of you both

Most sincerely

Maria and Ray Hoffman
480 837-8025
15915 East Tombstone Trail
Fountain Hills
AZ. 85268

FROM THE FAMILY

Shar at the wedding of Annemarie Karstens in 2004.

FROM THE FAMILY

Shar in 2009

FROM THE FAMILY

Shar in 2015

FROM THE FAMILY

Shar at the wedding of Annemarie Karstens in 2004.

FROM THE FAMILY

Shar in 2009

FROM THE FAMILY

Shar in 2015

FROM THE FAMILY

Shar in 2015

FROM THE FAMILY

Shar at an event for American Idol's Clay Aiken in 2000.

FROM THE FAMILY

Shar in 2000

FROM THE FAMILY

Shar at the wedding of Annemarie Karstens in 2004.

FROM THE FAMILY

Shar, in black swim suit, with friend and mother, Nina, doing a little sun worshiping in Phoenix.

FROM THE FAMILY

Shar with older brother, Mike.

FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Kindness and compassion is something that we all strive for in our lives. Shar managed to share those attributes throughout her life with everyone around her.

Shar was born in Highland Park, Michigan on August 13, 1952 to Gerald and Nina Street. Mom and dad welcomed their new baby girl with open arms and hearts. The Street’s first child, Shar’s older brother, Mike, was born with a congenital lung disorder so they were painfully aware that not every child is fortunate enough to be born as healthy as Shar.

Mike’s illness made it difficult for him to participate physically in many of the normal activities for a young child. This presented Shar with the opportunity to develop a love for more sedate activities. She would spend hours every day helping her brother with his collections of baseball cards and other memorabilia. As she began to understand the power of the written word she became an avid reader which would take her to places and give her experiences that she otherwise would not have had.

Shar’s mother, a registered nurse, was constantly searching for something that could make her son’s life a little easier. When she learned of Phoenix, Arizona, then a Mecca for people with extreme allergies and respiratory problems, she was determined to relocate the family.

At the age of 3, Shar, her mother and brother, moved to Phoenix, Arizona with expectations that her father would follow when he was able to settle affairs in Michigan. Unfortunately her father’s move was never to come. Gerald felt that he could not leave his aging mother who had come depend on her son for his help and support.

In Phoenix Shar found it possible to spend much more of her time outside. Shar had fond memories of exploring public places and making mud pies with her new found friends. She would now divide her time between her desire to explore and experience life with that of befriending her brother who still was unable to spend much of his time outdoors.

Unfortunately Mike passed away within a few short years upon arriving in Phoenix. Though a profoundly sad experience for both she and her mother this removed the conflict of having to split time between her brother and experiencing her own life. This event also led to her loving and caring mother becoming much more protective of her daughter, not wanting to lose another child.

For the most part Shar was able to enjoy a healthy activity level while her mother was working and yet appease her mother’s desire to have her close when she was home. This balancing act continued into her mid-teens when one of Shar’s friends was kidnapped and murdered. Her mother’s need to protect became too much for Shar and she moved out of her mother’s residence when she turned 18.

Shar had taken a job as a mail clerk with the regional telephone company, Mountain Bell, during her final year of high school with the specific goal of being able to live on her own as soon as she turned 18. She had no idea that she had begun a career that would see her retiring after 29 years of service.

Shar began her career at the phone company as a mail clerk processing payments from customers. She quickly developed friendships with co-workers including two people, Sue Stallard and Lil Buck, who remained close friends throughout her life. Shar advanced from the mail room to working in the Central Office where she would collect payments directly and assisting customers with service complaints. Soon she was advanced to a Customer Service Representative taking requests from residential customers. Shar’s accuracy and abilities to organize and multi-task led to further advancements until she reached her final position, Senior Manager of the Work Force Administration (WFA) teams for Residential Repair Services.

In that position Shar was responsible for all WFA teams for USWest/Qwest. This spanned multiple states with teams in Arizona, Minnesota, and Utah. Shar felt a great deal of responsibility for her employees acting as their voice to upper management. This was one of the most rewarding jobs Shar had ever held but also was the most stressful.

In her final role with the phone company Shar was always on call and frequently worked through the night taking short breaks to sleep. Unfortunately this cost her a great deal physically. Though she would work through many illnesses she encountered some that required hospitalization. When she was admitted to the hospital for a burst aneurysm she made a decision that she would have to leave the job she loved in order to correct her health. Shar retired from Qwest in 2002.

Shar did not experience life alone. From high school on Shar was very active in the dating scene in Phoenix sometimes having multiple men vying for her attention. Shar met her future husband (Tim) in early 1976 during a time when she already had two serious boyfriends.

Shar was approached by a friend, Anna Schwartz-Gainey, who proposed a blind date with a man, known by Anna’s neighbors, that was felt to be someone Shar might be interested in meeting. Shar’s romantic life was already quite active so she declined the meeting. Only after persistent requests, through friends, on behalf of Tim, did Shar reluctantly agree to the blind date.

Shar and Tim hit it off immediately dating only a few months before agreeing to make the relationship permanent. Shar and Tim were married in the Church of the Beatitudes on October 1, 1976.

Almost immediately Shar agreed to relocate to Reno, Nevada so that her new husband could advance his career. So Shar found herself moving out of the house that she shared with good friend, Sharon (Healy) Benson, and, with the help of friends, Bill and Sally Dooley, Shar quit her job with the phone company, packed all of her belongings, and moved to Reno in the summer of 1977.

The early years in Reno were somewhat challenging for Shar. New residents were not easily accepted in Reno because of its large transient population of casino workers so Shar had to find friends from within Tim’s small group of co-workers, at least until she was able to find employment.

During her four year stay in Reno Shar worked as a bank teller and then as Residential Service Customer Representative for Nevada Bell. Shar was pleased to be able to return to a job that used her prior telephone company experience but her greatest joy, while in Reno, was in becoming a mother.

Shar gave birth to her son on November 13, 1978. This followed a long and difficult pregnancy but it did not detract from her elation in the presence of her new son. Shar was able to take maternity leave from work making it possible to attend, day and night, to his every need. Shar wrote the following poem during that period.


What a joyous gift I have been given

and after the unworthy life I’ve been living!

A baby boy so small and sweet

with correct number of toes on each of his feet

Thunk goes my heart when I hold him near

and each little move I find incredibly dear

The world so big, my child so small

I don’t deserve such a treasure at all

How will I find the worth to be

the mother of such a miracle as he


The time in Reno came to an abrupt end in 1981 when Shar was diagnosed with Lupus. In order to retreat to the relative security of her friends and husband’s small family in Phoenix she again quit her job, picked up all her possessions and relocated.

Initially Shar and family moved in to her mother-in-law’s home. Shar was able to return to her prior telephone company employer and was thankful for the built in child care services but in many other ways these living arrangements presented too many challenges and the family moved in to their own apartment in fairly short order.

For the next few years life was quiet and satisfying for Shar. She proceeded to develop long lasting relationships with others in the apartment building, perfecting her skill at assisting telephone customers, and caring for her own family. It was during this period that Shar developed a close bond with another family in the apartments who had children roughly the same age as her son. It seemed that if Shar couldn’t be found in Sue Karstens’ apartment, Sue could be found at Shar’s.

All seemed to go well in Shar’s life until the late 1980’s when she began developing physical symptoms that made it appear something was developing that needed to be taken care of. Most certainly there was the Lupus that she had been dealing with for almost a decade but these symptoms were inconsistent with what might be expected from Lupus. Thus began Shar’s multi decade search for a medical professional that would actually listen to her concerns rather than blaming her situation on Lupus, stress, weight or other general illnesses frequently diagnosed when nothing else can be found. Even with health issues and increased stress at work Shar would find time to enjoy annual vacations and occasional weekend outings with her family or friends.

Two of Shar’s favorite locations to visit were San Diego and Sedona. Shar had fond memories of spending family vacations with her mom in San Diego. These vacations would most often just include the two of them. Shar would have her mother to herself doing things that made both of them very happy, enjoying the sun and surf during the day and exploring San Diego and vicinity at night. Shar often convinced her new husband and son to visit San Diego with her acting as tour guide pointing out all of the things that she and her mom used to do.

Sedona was a recreational destination enjoyed by Shar throughout much of her life. This was due primarily because of its proximity to Phoenix and its ability to offer sun and water at Slide Rock. Shar did not begin appreciating the true splendor of Sedona until the early 90’s. At that time Shar had begun hunting for mineral specimens in their natural settings and, on one trip to Sedona, purchased a Rock Hunter’s Guide. After several suggested hikes and a couple of guided Jeep tours Shar felt a new love for the Sedona area. It was not unusual for family vacations to be spent in Sedona hiking, collecting, and renting jeeps in order to explore Sedona’s back country without restriction. The following poem provides insight into Shar’s true feelings for Sedona.


Red Rock country speaks to my heart,
and my heart answers, with reverence and joy.

Blue sky, red mountains and singing creeks
hug my soul and awaken it.

Songs of long ago people run through me
and I am filled with awe.

God is here and I stretch closer to Him.

The hardness of the world is behind me and I feel
the privilege of each breath I take and sight I see.

My heart soars in the sky, towards the clouds and
the cliffs and comes back renewed.

Thank you God.


The decade of the 90’s was a tumultuous time for Shar. First her mother was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. Shar expressed her love for her mother by taking an extended leave of absence from her employer so that she could be present for her mother’s dangerous surgery later relocating her to Phoenix in order to help with her post-surgical care and extensive cancer treatments. Shar was able to dedicate this period in her life to enriching her mother’s final months until her passing in 1990. Just a few years later Shar decided to again take an extended leave of absence in order to help her grandmother who was finding daily life more difficult due to failing health. Just a few years after losing her grandmother Shar would find herself facing her own medical crisis.

Shar had been experiencing ever increasing difficulty with her vision going from eye doctor to eye doctor until, in the summer of 1997, Dr. Aileen Villareal insisted that she return to her family physician for more extensive diagnostic tests of her head. An MRI was scheduled and it was determined that Shar had a brain aneurysm which was so dangerously close to bursting that Shar received word from her doctor, on the same day as the scan, that Shar needed to immediately go to the St. Joseph’s emergency room where neurologists, who had been told of her condition, were awaiting her arrival. Unfortunately Shar’s aneurysm burst while taking this call but, thanks to the quick actions of her son, Shar arrived at the hospital receiving emergency surgery that saved her life. Little did anyone realize that this would only be the beginning of several months of hospitalization.

The surgical neurologist, Dr. Spetzler, treating Shar’s condition found that she not only had the burst aneurysm but had a second aneurysm on the other side of her brain. Due to Shar’s tenuous condition they could not take the risk of dealing with the second aneurysm during the first surgery and would have to perform a second surgical intervention.

Recovery from a burst aneurysm is long and painful while the body absorbs the blood that has pooled in the brain. This required several weeks in intensive care followed by a week of step-down care. Shar was advised of the second aneurysm as soon as it was felt that she was in a suitably stable condition and she chose to have the second brain surgery before leaving the hospital. The second surgery was successful with an appropriately shorter recovery. Shar was finally discharged from the hospital after a bout with an exotic infection that made it necessary to continue extensive antibiotic treatments at home.

Even during these difficult times Shar was constantly doing for others though charitable donations and acts. One of Shar’s greatest joys was in providing a Christmas meal and gifts for a deserving family. At first the Christmas family event was through work where Shar helped plan and execute this event organizing co-workers and making sure that deliveries to the families were completed in a timely fashion. It wasn’t long before Shar felt that she wanted to adopt a family on her own. It was during this period that Shar met the Blass family consisting of mother, Kathy, and daughter, Keyanna. They have remained good friends to Shar for the last 18 years.

As the beginning of the new millennia passed Shar made a decision to end her career at the phone company if the opportunity presented itself. In 2002 Shar was offered an additional year of credited service giving her a total of 30 years, the minimum for a management employee to receive management benefits.

At the beginning Shar filled her time caring for her husband, cats, household chores, and developing a new pastime, learning about anything and everything via the web. Shar felt content for awhile but before long believed that something was missing in her life, the challenge that only working outside the home can provide. By 2003 Shar was looking for employment. She spent that year working in a few different jobs until she came to realize that her physical limitations would not allow her the luxury of outside employment.

For the next ten years Shar busied herself working around the house, hosting family occasions including swim parties, planning and executing family, helping her mother-in-law during her final years, continuing her exploration of the web, and selling and buying on ebay. Unfortunately Shar’s health also continued to decline leading to frequent interactions with the medical community in search of a solution for the symptoms she was experiencing. It was during this period that Shar experienced her first unexplainable fall. She could not recall initially recognizing that she was beginning to fall and, once she became aware that it was occurring, she could do nothing to stop it.

At first her falls came infrequently, one every 6 months or so. But over time they increased until Shar finally decided to begin using a walking cane occasionally, sometimes two when walking over uneven surfaces. Shar’s medical issues were not the only problems brewing in the Grady household during this period.

Stresses between Shar and her husband had been developing for many years leading to Tim living away from Shar’s home twice and by 2013 the couple made a decision to live separately on a permanent basis. Shar had realized during the previous separations that she would not be able to manage caring for the home that she had shared with her husband so chose to move into an assisted living facility that was in close proximity to their home.

Though Shar was frustrated by the quality of the dwelling she believed that, with some help, she could make it into a home that she would be happy to live in. Shar would invite friends over to share a meal or participate in board games. Initially Shar was pleased with this arrangement sometimes hosting friends or family for a meal that she cooked, at other times hosting them in the homes dining room. The only discomfort came in the absence of privacy.

There is a certain level of access that an assisted living facilities staff must have to the apartments. Shar felt this could be managed by arranging for the apartment to be occupied whenever staff were doing normal maintenance or cleaning activities. Unfortunately that was not as manageable as she had imagined and before living in the facility for a full year Shar had purchased a small condominium and again found herself packing up and moving.

Shar had immediately fallen in love with her new condo when she first laid eyes on it. She would be able to take care of daily living chores on her own and again have sufficient levels of privacy. So she began making it her own right away installing new window coverings, replacing the a/c, and having the roof re-covered.

By this time Shar had advanced to the use of a rolling walker which she used when needed in the condo but usually not when going out. For the most part Shar was still able to get around the condo on her own, was able to cook for herself and to do light cleaning so Shar continued to host friends, Trudy Ewing and Keyanna Blass were frequent visitors, and family for an occasional meal or celebration. She was even able to make friends with neighbors at the condo and occasionally participate in HOA meetings. However, at the same time the frequency of her falls had increased to once or twice a month. Usually these falls were small and still unexplainable. Shar had given up any hope that the medical community would ever find anything to help her so she was only seeing a Rheumatologist for care of her Lupus.

All remained status quo for Shar until January 2016. The number and severity of her falls had increased, her ability to care for herself was waning, and attempts to cook for herself were very dangerous. At the pleading of friends and family Shar finally agreed to make one more attempt with the medical community to identify her issue(s).

Early in 2017 after Shar had seen several doctors and physical therapists, it was suggested that she see a new neurologist in Scottsdale, Dr. Seth Kaufman. After several clinical tests and a few meetings with the doctor it was determined that Shar had both Parkinson’s and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). One of the hallmark signs of PSP is the inability to maintain ones balance.

By the time of diagnosis Shar had given up reading, because it was too difficult, was going out infrequently, required too much assistance and she had begun to fall in public, and was occasionally using a wheelchair. By May of 2018 Shar was receiving 24 hour care giver services, spending most of her time in bed, and was unable to see other than gray figures.

Shar experienced a massive cerebral hemorrhage on November 3, 2018 resulting in her death at 3 am on November 5th. Shar fought valiantly throughout her life to remain active and vital even in the face of her illness. She will be remembered and loved by her family and friends.