John Grierson



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Greece: Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at age 59. Predeceased by his grandson, Bryant Grierson; father, John M. Grierson; grandmother, Jane Versluys. Survived by his mother, Gail Grierson; loving wife, Nancy Grierson; children, Keith (Nancy) Grierson, Amy (Al) Melita, Jennifer (Brian) Riley, Craig (Jerriann) Grierson, precious Deanna Grierson; sister, Lana (Gary) Brumbaugh; grandchildren, Sydney, Dylan, Dakota, Sam, Emily, Andrew, Natalie, Connor, Megan, Kadence & Anden; special niece and nephew, Laura & Mark Brumbaugh; uncle, Henry (Lilly) Versluys; several nieces, nephews and cousins (who will miss his “Booga Bear” stories); many special friends. John was a proud member of the Gates Volunteer Fire Department, was a firefighter and the Past Chief of the North Greece Fire Department and the current President of the Rochester Theater Organ Society. Friends may call Thursday 2-8 PM at the Vay-Schleich & Meeson Funeral Home 1075 Long Pond Road. His Funeral Service will be held Friday 10:00 AM at Greece Assembly of God Church, 750 Long Pond Road. Private Interment. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to North Greece Firemen’s Exempt, the Rochester Theater Organ Society or The Journey Home in his memory.


  1. Erich A. Wendley on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    As a member of the Rochester Theatre Organ Society, John was instrumental in booking Mr. Joseph A. Donohue for 2 organ concerts at the Auditorium Theatre. I am Mr. Donohue’s Assistant, and got to know John through this memorable experience. My heart was saddened by the news of his passing. The Grierson name has with my family for many years, as my Dad grew up going to the RKO Palace Theatre, to hear Tom Grierson play that magnificent organ. You have my deepest heartfelt sympathy. Sincerely, Erich A. Wendley

  2. Yvonne, Mike, Lauren & Josh Weilert on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Craig, Nancy, Deanna and family. Keep your eyes towards heaven! Even though you are missing John, know that he is with Jesus celebrating! In fact, he’s probably teaching everyone up there what it was like being a fireman and how proud he is of his family. You are all loved and appreciated. Y

  3. Keith Grierson & Family on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Dad you made our lives better, brighter and full of so much joy. We are not finished loving you’¦so no matter where we are’¦we will always love you and hold you close in heart.

  4. Kim Don Jacob and Nikolas Stanwix on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Dear John, well I guess you can say your time has come, however we all really don’t understand at this point why you? John you were one of the most loving, sincere, helpfull, honest, wonderful persons that I (we) have ever known. You were always there for whoever needed you, I know Don is truly missing a wonderful friend, and more like a brother. We are all so deeply sorry for all that you had to go through the last year, and especially the last few months of your life…god must truly have bigger plans for you…however that does not make it any easier on the ones left behind. To Nancy And Deanna, words are not enough to express our sorrow that we feel for you both…just know that he is with GOD…and no longer in any pain. We are here for you both at anytime, Nancy if you just need a couple of days break or whatever …deanna is welcome at anytime…or you can both come! We are here and I want you to know it as well as john. Cherrish all the days you had together,you all were blessed to have each other!!!! To Johns Grown Children and grandchildren, we are sure you all what a special man he was, and that you all need to embrace each other and cherish all of your memories!!!! God Bless You John You Will never be forgotten…you leave very high standards …and God Bless the Grierson Family…You should be proud of who you are!!!!

  5. Nancy Adams on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Dear Nancy – John was a great friend and I will miss him terribly. Know that during his time on earth, he made a lot of people smile and was always there if anyone needed help. He was truly a very special person. You know that you can call any time if you need anything. God bless, Nancy

  6. Rob & Marion Morton, Jennifer, Carolyn, Sarah & Emily on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Dear Nancy & Deanna, We were so sorry to hear the news about John, and just want you both to know that we are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. Sincerely, Marion, Rob and the girls

  7. Mike and Annie Cottingham on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Dear Nancy and Family – Mike and I are so sorry to hear of your loss. John was a very special person. He always had a smile on his face and always so friendly to everyone he came into contact with. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

  8. Mary Sloan on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Dear Nancy and family, I remember all the fun we had back in the day when John would visit with us at the Rochester Fire Dispach Center. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Illness prevents me from paying my respects in person – but all of you, including John, are in my prayers. Mary G Sloan

  9. JOHN ROBSON, Kingston Theatre Organ Society on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Everyone will miss John’s jovial and concerned manner, especially me (in Kingston, Ontario). I have thoroughly enjoyed my association with John during his blessed lifetime, unselfishly blessing others with his cheerful manner. John followed well in the footsteps of his grandfather, and kept RTOS in a volatile state of success. RTOS, the theatre organ world and especially myself in KTOS. It was always a pleasure co-operating with John in inter-society activities. John was the type of person who makes theatre organ the venue it is. His spirit of joy and caring will remain with everyone he knew, especially me. John’s spirit and memory will always be a guiding light. I can hear his grandpa saying ‘I’m proud of you!’

  10. Joyce Flynn on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    How sorry I am to hear that John has passed away. I worked with him at EK. What a great man, loved to joke around, always heplful with problems at work or with private concerns. My prayers are with his family.

  11. Sean Phillips on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    I alwaiys admired John, he always kept his chin up high during good and bad times. In his short life, he has made some great accomplishments. I know he was proud of his children. It’s sad how a disease can take some one so young, but the lord only take the good while young. He is now with his grandson and father; looking over his familiy. God bless the familiy.

  12. Richard Hodge on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    I am so proud to say that John was my friend. It is impossible to convey all the ways John always made my life and the lives of all those around him better. His friend and co-worker, Ed St.George said, ‘I had the high privalege of knowing John for more than 15 years and was always impressed with his tremendous work ethic, upbeat attitude, community involvement, longstanding service as a firefighter, broad technical knowledge, love of family and friends and an unbounded willingness to help others…a big guy with an even bigger heart. He set an example for all these attributes that I will always remember.’ I am sure that all those who knew and loved John agree with Ed. The world is a little better because of John and I will miss him…. Dick Hodge

  13. Stephen Litzenberger on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    I am very sorry to hear this, I am a member of the Rochester Theator Organ Society and have played the 3 manuel Theator Organ many times. He will be badly missed, what happened? Was this suddenly? He looked in good health the last time I saw him. Stephen Litzenbetger

  14. Ed St. George on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    I had the distinct privalege of knowing John for over 15 years through my connection at Kodak and ITT. John’s bouyancy, fun-loving spirit, unselfish desire to always help others, technical knowledge, strong work ethic and clear love for his family and friends will, among other things, be the attributes that I will always remember about John. I will never forget him and I know he will live on in the hearts of those who loved him, most especially his family. Please accept my sympathy during this very difficult time. He’s a tremendous loss for those of us on the earth, but a hug gain for those in the heavens. Warmest, heartfelt regards……Ed

  15. Myrtle Kester on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    I will miss your wonderful presence on the stage for the ROS . I once lived in your Grandfathers community and we always admired his home. I am old enough to have even heard him play. My prayers are with your beautiful large family. I know they will all miss you.

  16. Bob Agness on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    I worked with John at EK in teh 120/220 Dept. He was a joy to work with, a jokester at times that everyone liked. He will be missed.

  17. Craig on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    I would like to thank the person that wrote the last entry they are 100% right. The service that was done for my father was not for him, only the pastor from Parma Greece and the last part where Keith spoke had anything to do with him. The talk that Mr. Speer gave had NOTHING to do with my father and was more a political rant. The talk or waste of time that the pastor from the Greece Assembly of God gave again had NOTHING to do with my father it was just readings trying to sell the church. My father was a good man a deserved hell of a lot more. That service was supposed to be a celebration of my fathers life and it was not. Thank you Keith for telling everyone there what good guy our father was and all that he did and YES HE HAD 4 OTHER KIDS. I WILL MISS YOU DAD. Thank you for everything. RIP NOW!!!!! LOVE Your son Craig

  18. Ted McWharf on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    I’ll miss John’s smiling face and great attitude at the RTOS concerts. My condolences to his family.

  19. Ralf Kurzowski on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    It was a pleasure to know John from the fire service over many years and at work. We shared many stories. John was a good friend to know and he will be missed. God Bless his family at this time. John will be missed by many.

  20. Paul Fly on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    John and I were ‘next door nieghbors’ here at work for the last year and a half. He would always stop and say ‘Hi nieghbor’ every morning he was here in bld. 601. We might chat for only a minute, but those visits will be missed. When my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer last year his visits became more frequent and we would often talk about how things were going for both of us. In the brief months I knew him I came to count John a friend. I am sorry for your loss and I know John will be missed here…

  21. RIP John Grierson on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    John Grierson’s memory was not served by the farce of a funeral service that he was given on Friday. I doubt he wanted to be cremated. He deserved better than that, and everyone knows it. Thankfully his son stood up and spoke at the end of the serivce, because nobody else really bothered to mention the fact that he had four grown, adult children who cared about their father. And to Firefighter Speer- your politically motivated speech did absolutely nothing to honor the memory of John Grierson. You should be ashamed of yourself. RIP John Grierson, 1948-2008

  22. Theresa Mazurett on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    John was a great person & will be missed by many people. He had a great sense of humor. My prayers are with your family in this time of sorrow. God Bless you & your family. Theresa Mazurett

  23. Sharon Campbell on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    John was a very funny, caring person, that always had a smile on his face. I didn’t know John very well, but I knew that he was a wonderful man with a huge heart. He will be missed by all whose lives he touched.

  24. Scott Foppiano on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    John, old friend, rest in peace. You have had a long battle of it but are in a much better place now and can enjoy the peace and beauty of God. I will always remember your sense of humor and kindness, your jokes and hospitality when I would come to Rochester and perform for RTOS. Future visits will not be the same without seeing you, but rest assured you are in the hearts and memories of everyone who had the priviledge of knowing you. I know you will always hear and love the music of the Mighty Wurlitzer. God bless.

  25. Ellen Teichman on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    June 1, 2008 For those of you that don’t know me, I am Lana’s best friend Ellen Teichman and also known as Aunt Ellen. I have known the family from the day I was born and I consider Gail as my second mother. I never had a brother and I was jealous of Lana having a BIG brother since I was the big sister in my family. I saw John go to proms, balls and weddings and I wanted to get all dressed up. John had a great sense of humor and always made me laugh. John was Mark’s godfather and I am his godmother. At the christening which seemed at the time lasted forever, since I was standing there holding a ten pound baby. Under John’s breath he was saying things like let’s get this over with and father don’t drowned the kid. He always called me Ellen Ba Ellen and Lana, Lana Banana. He was a very kind person who was always there when my grandparents needed his assistance in the old neighborhood. My grandfather liked John very much until one day he saw John with a beard and thought that he had become a rabbi. When Lana’s family had a brand new garage built we decided to camp out in it. Well, John scared the pants off us that night by throwing rocks on the roof and making howling noises. I know that he will be missed by his family, the firehouse and the Rochester Theater Organ Society very much. The Grierson name is very famous in Rochester because of John’s grandfather being a great pipe organist. John, may you rest in peace and have fun playing Skipo with dad and gram. Love, Ellen Teichman Ellen Teichman (Fairport, NY) Contact me

  26. John, Marcia Cronk & Family on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    My brother John..we are so sad that God has decided to call you home. You will be sadly missed, especially by me. Our prayers are that we will meet again some day in glory. The Lord must be in need of a electrician. He’s got a good one now. Our continued prayers for your family.

  27. Bill Welsh on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    My buddy John was a big man with an even bigger heart. He would do anything for anyone and would never expect anything in return. Throughout my career working with John at both Kodak and ITT John was always there for me. He was one of those guys you could always count on, I will miss him dearly. The word Friend does not do justice to the way I feel about John….he was a very special man and I know he touched many people’s life’s. My thoughts and prayers are with John’s family.

  28. Marie Otto on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    My condolences to the family. John had a great personality. I knew him from the organ concerts. We will all miss him . Cancer is such a terrible disease. I lost my husband to pancreatic cancer 5 years ago tomorrow. He was gone in less than 7 weeks. He was only 69. Keep your memories close at heart. They become more precious everyday.

  29. Gene Preston on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    My deepest sympathy to Nancy and the entire family. Chief, The pain is all gone now. You left us with many fond memories and a proud family, many following in your fire service footsteps. Chief, president, dispatcher, apparatus operator, EMT, firefighter; you did it all, with ease and so professionally. Thanks for leaving your mark on me at district board meetings, training sessions and our many visits at Kodak Park where we often relived ‘the big one.’ Your spirit lives on to guide us each time the pagers open. That is helping us get through this difficult time. I can picture you now in the greatest fire station of all, working for the divine and eternal chief, serving just as you did here in Gates and Greece. Chiefs there before you such as your dad have already showed you around. My Gamewell and Master Box #5 that you so admired has sounded its final memorial tribute to you, a tradition started by the FDNY whenever a member passes. CHIEF JOHN GRIERSON 5 – 5 – 5 – 5. Rest in peace old buddy. Gene Preston, NGFD

  30. Betty Weber-Worden on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    My deepest sympathy to your family. John will be greatly missed by the Rochester Community.

  31. Pat Davlin on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    My prayers go to the family of John in the hopes they will find comfort in knowledge that our God is a God of love. Seek his peace and he will provide the strength you will need to get through this time of loss. May God bless all of you.

  32. Steven Suski on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Nancy, So very sorry to hear of John’s passing. Though we cannot be there in person to express our sympathy and give you hugs, you remain in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. We will make a donation in his memory. Love and Prayers, Steve, Chris, Daniel and Jonathan Suski

  33. Hugh and Norma Ratigan on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Norma and I would like to express our sincerest and deepest sympathy in the passing of John. We were always most appreciative for his generous help as well as his fathers as they both put in countless hours to help RTOS bring the wonderful sound of pipe organ music to Rochester audiences. His death is a loss to us all and we would like to express our sincere condolences to the entire family. Hugh and Norma Ratigan

  34. Karen Colizzi Noonan on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    On behalf of Theatre Historical Society, our most sincere condolences to John’s family. His kindness, warmth, genuine love of music and the beauty of the theater organ will be long remembered. We were all better for having known John Grierson.

  35. Gary Brumbaugh on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Our sincere thanks to Pastor Glenn Evans and the Parma-Greece United Church of Christ for inviting us to the Rememberance Celebration yesterday afternoon. I was given the opportunity to speak about John and I would like to share my words here as well … For me and my family, some of our fondest memories come from being with John when we made our annual journey to the hilltop. Two roads lead to the hilltop I am speaking of ‘¦ County RT 16 and State RT 414. On the hilltop is Watkins Glen International, the sprawling racetrack that is home to one of NASCAR’s two road-course races each year. John really enjoyed walking through the huge crowds on race weekend there wearing his bright red and black #8 Bud Racing Team shirt. He indeed walked and looked like a real crew member. People would come up to John and wish Dale, Jr. and the team ‘Good Luck in the Race!’ or shout ‘Go #8!’ Not wanting to disappoint, John would always thank them ‘¦ Another of John’s favorite things to do at the track was to enjoy a big, tasty Mongolian Barbeque. The Mongolian Barbeque was featured at a small trailer on the vendors’ row. John liked the Mongolian Barbeque because ‘¦ well first, the line was short! How many people, after all, have the stomach for something called ‘Mongolian Barbeque’ before noon on a Sunday?! And second, I think he liked the attention when we teased him about what types of meat (or even pets) might be in that piping hot stir fry. John met many race car drivers, crew chiefs, and team owners over the years at the track, and in the hotels and restaurants during race weekend. Like most fans John could tell you about every celebrity he met and the circumstances. Can you guess why driver Dorsey Schrader comes to mind? You guessed correctly if you said ‘John met Dorsey in line waiting for Mongolian Barbeque.’ John could strike up a conversation with anyone. And he did one particular day during race qualifying. He shared conversation with a Kodak worker who sat behind us. By all accounts we thought he was a friend of John’s. And the man was so impressed with my young son Mark’s use of the stopwatch and knowledge of the drivers that he tipped Mark a few dollars for the information as qualifying ended and we parted ways. We told John to be sure to thank the man again when he returned to work. ‘I can’t’ said John. ‘I have no clue who he is. All I know is that he works at Kodak!’ We can only imagine where John is and what he is doing now. Today is Sunday and the NASCAR race is in Dover, Delaware this afternoon. I can only imagine that John is sitting in the Lord’s house (and you know the Lord has an HDTV!) And John is talking to Dale Earnhardt, Sr. ‘¦ and together they’re cheering Dale, Jr. on to victory! That is the John Grierson we know! God bless you, John! Go #8!

  36. Larry and Dianne Root on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Our thoughts and Prayers are with the family in this difficult time. John no longer has to suffer the illness and is now in the hands of the Lord. John’s comittment to the RTOS will be greatly missed as it was easy to see that his heart and soul gave all to the members at each and every concert. He will be missed by us all. Larry/Dianne Root London Ont. Canada

  37. John A Roman on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Please accept my deepest sympathy on your loss.I had the privilage of working with John at Kodak.I will always remember his wit and guidance. He was a friend and mentor to me.I will miss him. John A Roman

  38. Mr. &Mrs. Harold Garno on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Sincere sympath to the entire family. Amy, we are especially thinking of you. God Bless you .

  39. Phil Williams and Marcia on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Sincerest condolences to the Grierson family on John’s passing. We knew John from RTOS and got to know him at the after concert dinners with Deanna. We will miss him, his smile, humor and love of theater organ music. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Phil And Marcia, Remsen, New York

  40. Tom Free on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    So sorry to hear of my old friends passing. My regret is that I had not seen John since I moved to Florida. He truly was one of the ‘ good guys ‘ and I will miss him. Thanks for being a friend and a brother in the fire service. Tom Free Orlando, FL

  41. null on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Some people asked me for the words I shared at Dad’s service so I figured I would post them here: The following was not planned’¦but based on the service to this point and the fact that the preacher was ending the service without giving anyone an opportunity to say anything in honor of Dad: Excuse me’¦do you mind if I say a few words? With all due respect preacher’¦ I never knew that to be my Dad’s favorite song. I always thought it was AC DC’s Back in Black! From the moment I walked into this church I noticed that drum set over there and even though I know my Dad’s body is there in that urn’¦my Dad was a drummer and he’s over there so I am going to go stand over there with him. Planned remembrance and eulogy: For the first time in my life, I’ll celebrate Father’s Day this year without my dad. The man who had the most influence on the man I became passed away on Tuesday. He was my Dad, my Chief, my friend, and my best man. He was John Edward Grierson and he was only 59. It has been said that the loss of a parent is one of life’s most traumatic events. I now know the devastating truth of that statement. I’ve been told that, in time, the hurt will fade, only to be replaced by positive memories that soothe the soul. Right now that seems so far away. Maybe it’s because my father and I had a simple and loving relationship. He was a remarkably good man, but like many of the inspiring role models and mentors of today, not without fault. I was not always proud of the decisions he made nor was he with mine but he was still my Dad and I was his son. Dad was the guy you called if you needed something done. Regardless if it was Kodak, ITT, the Rochester Theatre Organ Society, church, the firehouse or at home, Dad could typically handle anything thrown his way. It was with this same expectation that when Dad informed us so matter of fact of his prostate cancer, we thought he would beat this and move on. The cancer obviously had other plans and moved very aggressively, only giving him a short time from diagnosis. Since that time I have reflected on so many things, that it seems each thought brings forth an old memory or story that was tucked away for so long and so far away. I remember when as a young child Dad would take me to North Greece to bunk over with him during his dispatching days. I would wake up in the morning and make a comment to Dad about the quiet, uneventful night. So many times he would just laugh at me because I had slept through a job or the ‘big one’. He would tell me about the bells and whistles howling, the fire fighters coming into the station to assemble for the call, the trucks blaring out and their eventual return’¦all of which again I had slept through. I remember the time that Dad helped me with my pinewood derby car for the cub scouts. He was so proud of the fact that he had acquired this piece of metal that we secured to the hood of the car. The problem was that when we went to the event the car needed to be weighed in to qualify and to his surprise and mine’¦it was too heavy. In the end my car looked like Swiss Cheese from the holes drilled into it (to reduce its weight). I or ‘we’ did not win’¦but it did not matter because we had that time together and we had a good laugh on the way home. I remember the time that Dad was picking me up from my then part-time job at Wegmans. I was rather new to the job and working outside pushing carts. I remember how when I got into the car Dad asked in his sternest voice, ‘What were you doing out there’? I just looked at him clueless as to what he was getting at. He went on to tell me about how he had been watching me in the parking lot for the last 20 minutes with my head down low and moving like a snail. He told me I needed to ‘put some pep in my step’. He told me if I ever wanted to go anywhere I needed to hold my head up high and get moving. I’ve tried my hardest. I am pretty sure he was proud. In the movie Frequency, John Sullivan is stunned to discover that he is able to communicate with his

  42. Dave Harris and Family on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Thank you John for all you did for Barb and my self when Barb and I went through her kidney transplant. Your help and devotion to your fellow church members truly saved you a spot in Heaven. We will be seeing you again someday.

  43. Dave Wickerham on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Thoughts and prayers from Dave, Rhonda and the Wickerham family.

  44. Phil and Jo Ann Edin/ Greece AG Church on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    To the Grierson Family: You are in our thought and prayer. May God reach his loving arms around you and surround you with his love. Phil and Jo Ann Edin.

  45. Diane & Roy (Bubba) Balch on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    To: Nancy & Deanna The last time we saw John was at Jacob’s 7th Birthday party at the YMCA in Canandaigua. As always Nancy & John greeted us with a smile, a hug and a genuine interest in how we were doing. John will be missed by many including us. Our Love, thoughts and prayers are extended to each of you….

  46. Ethel Chadwick on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Used to see John all the time at work. So sorry to hear of his passing. May the Lord comfort you all and may you have many wonderful memories! God bless you, Ethel Chadwick

  47. Gary and Gina Cronk on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    We extend our heartfelt wishes of sympathy to Nancy,Gail,Lana and Gary, and entire family during this period of mourning. Although he will be missed by all who knew him-let us also take time to celebrate John’s life and all the goodness he represented to family and friends. May he now rest eternally in our Lord’s most coveted Kingdom. Take Good Care Cousin

  48. Edward Pink on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    You will be missed Your family is in my prayers sorry I couldn’t be home It was so nice to talk to john on sat

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