OBITUARY

Christopher Sande Grella

October 14, 1986October 14, 2020
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Christopher Grella October 14, 1986 - October 14, 2020 Chris took his final ascent, exactly 34 years from the day he was born, after a five year plus battle with a cancerous brain tumor. He fought valiantly, smiling and talking until the end. Chris was a cherished son to Steven and Laurie Grella, a great brother to Steven and Steven's wife Mendy and two nieces, Rylee and Addison that Chris adored. Chris leaves behind many doting Aunts, Uncles and cousins coast to coast. His Nana in Florida, Sonja Frano, was here in the Spring and cherishes the time they had together when Chris was feeling great. Chris loved our family gatherings all through his life but especially in the end. He would tell me to make sure we gathered for the love of each other not because we had to. Chris was a lifelong resident of the South Bay. He attended the Playhouse School, First Lutheran School and Church, Calle Mayor Middle School, South High School and graduated from Long Beach State in 2010. He also graduated from Officer's Candidate School, Quantico, Virginia in 2009. Chris played hockey at TSA and for Calle Mayor. He switched over to football at South but always went back to the skates. Chris had many jobs starting with The Gable House, where many have started. He had a passion for aviation and worked at South Bay Aviation on and off for over ten years. After a brief teaching experience, he realized his lifelong love of aviation and went to work for Landmark Aviation at LAX. He worked at Landmark until being struck down by his illness in 2015. Chris always hoped to get back to work. It was another adventure for him, not a job. During Chris' rehabilitation, he walked for miles with his best bud Mickey and his Uncle Michael when he was in town. Chris became the neighborhood's son and Mickey became the neighborhood dog, they were a great team, loved by all they met. You've probably seen them , they traveled well together and were always looking for new paths for Mick to sniff. Chris was also a great friend and held these friendships for life. He loved to talk, listen and hear of others experiences in life. He hopped in the car when he could and would take off for a San Onofre surf trip, or a snow trip to the mountains or a camping trip to anywhere, volleyball at the beach, Two fer Tuesdays, spear fishing at the cove or a drive up or down the coast just to see what was there. He was an easy person to be with who enjoyed music, cooking, laughing, family and friends. While Christopher died at a young age, he led a very fulfilling life and for that we are grateful. We will miss him every day and cherish the memories he left us. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to UCLA brain tumor research by mail at UCLA Foundation in memo line write "to Brain Cancer Research Fund in Memory of Chris Grella" and mail to UCLA Neuro-Oncology, 710 Westwood Plaza Suite 1-230 RNRC, Los Angeles, CA 90095 or online at https://giving.ucla.edu/Standard/NetDonate.aspx?SiteNum=168, as a "Tribute Gift" in Memory of Chris or to First Lutheran Church and School at 2900 Carson St, Torrance, CA 90503. Services will be held at First Lutheran Church under the Covid guidelines.

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Memories

Christopher Sande Grella

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Lorraine Grella Kuron

October 23, 2020

So very sorry on the loss of Christopher. He was such a good looking young man that reminds me so much of his grandfather, George. After reading all the tributes he sounded like a wonderful son, brother, uncle and friend that brought joy and happiness to all. He will always be a part of you and your memories. My heart goes out to you during this difficult time.

Tony Tran

October 21, 2020

I had the privilege of meeting Chris early in his rehab process. We joked around early on about his difficulty with expressing what he was thinking. We weren't sure if he should be concerned about finding his words or if I should be because I understood what he was thinking before he finished his thoughts. With Erika, we got Chris to stand again, finding his balance by telling him to "stand like a ballerina". It simply clicked and he had it. Funny, how that was the cue that worked. We celebrated his birthday in the hospital and Mia and I celebrated his graduation to go home by wearing tutus to commemorate his hard work. He was nervous at times, but he committed with 500% effort and trust. And sure enough, he walked out to go home.

We continued to work together so he could even run and jump when he came back for more therapy. Working with Chris was effortless because he would always rise to the challenge and would keep coming back for more. It was hard work, but he was able to smile and have fun in the process. He was very dedicated to getting better so but he was able to have fun in the process. He would talk about how he was analyzing the last session so he could continue to get stronger, his adventures with Mickey, his days at CSULB and just about life and the family. But he never complained, never talked back, never stopped trying. He had a calm and gentle soul with a smile to match his kind heart. He was always a joy to be around and we were all lucky to know him. I'm grateful for having met Chris and knowing someone with such strong character and just being so generous and kind to all those around him. He knew all of us by name and was so gracious to everyone. It was an honor to work with Chris. My deepest condolences to the family. Please know you did a wonderful job with raising Chris because he is so missed by us all.

Linda and Greg Holt

October 20, 2020

Dear Laurie, Steven and Grella family,

We are deeply saddened and heart broken by the news of your beloved Chris's passing.

His difficult journey was one of extreme courage, fortitude and endurance and we will always admire his brave character, a true Spartan.

We also know that Chris knew just how much he was loved and supported by his parents and family and that his brief time spent with you all was truly a blessing.

We are holding you in heartfelt prayer in hopes that sometime in the future, your grief will be replaced by only the loving memories and happy times you shared together in his lifetime.

May God's love bring you peace and comfort.

We are and always will be here for you.

All our love,

Linda and Greg Holt

Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit"

"Tears are God's gift to us. Our holy water. They heal us as they flow." R Schiano

Patrick Sandate

October 20, 2020

Chris,

I know it's been many many years since our days at FLS. I'm heart broken, and although I'm sad we never really kept in touch throughout the years, I know you lived a full life and had many memories and adventures with so many loved ones by your side. I can remember our days being kids at FLS, and I believe too I can even remember one young college filled night where I came across you and I believe Daniel Brubaker at a party. I will always have the memories of our childhood as kids, sleep overs and bdays, and great times as kids. My thoughts an prayers go out to your family, friends, to everyone who knew and love you so much! Rest easy bro, love ya!

Monica Berg

October 19, 2020

Dear Laurie and Steve,
I don't have the words to express my heartbreak for you both and Steven. I'm just at a loss.........Chris was such a beam of light from way back in grade school. He was such a great kid, always smiling and always with that spark in his eyes, that made us wonder what joke was coming next. My daughter had such a cute crush on him, you know we used to laugh about that, because most of the other girls in the class did too. Please know you are being thought of constantly, prayed for every day, and will be held up in prayer going forward.
Sending this with my love and respect and deepest condolences,
Monica

Mike Sutherland

October 17, 2020

Ricky Hayes just called me with news of your horrible loss. I have no words. Chris was one of the special young men who I had the blessing to know in my years in youth ministry at First. His smile and laughter were as infectious as his friendship was loyal. I will be praying for you Laurie and for the family. I have thought of you so many times over the years.

Dietrich Puscas

October 17, 2020

I’ll never forget my first day and moment meeting Chris. My first day at Calle Mayor was rough and I had given up, feeling alone crying by myself. There was only one person that day who befriended me and introduced me to his friends. He found all the positive things to say to me and build my confidence. He took my weakness and replaced it with strength. His kindness toward me as a stranger and newcomer changed my path. I know that his journey through the heavens will be filled with support and love, just as he gave his support and love through his life. May God bless his soul for he has purpose in the heavens.

Emma Fishel

October 17, 2020

I am so sad to hear of your loss of Christopher. May god bless your family through these hard times. You are in my prayers.

Pat Dawson

October 17, 2020

Chris was such a funny and genuine guy. Even though we had lost touch after school I would often think about our time playing football and goofing off together and smile. I was so sad to hear of his passing, and my deepest condolences to his family and all his close friends. Rest In Peace my dude

Daniel Curtis

October 17, 2020

I haven’t seen Chris in so many years, yet hearing about his passing makes it feel like I was just hanging out with him yesterday. Playing football with him on that JV team was something special. We had a team full of goofballs, and Chris was no exception. He would do the best impressions of our coaches and just kept everyone laughing nonstop. The world definitely lost ‘one of the good ones’ as he treated everyone with respect and had that one-of-a-kind charisma and smile. RIP brotha.

FROM THE FAMILY
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