ELMER LEROY GRADY Aug. 5,1926 – June 6, 2021
Parents Bert Austin Grady and Lela Adeline Grady (Robertson), Sister: Leverne Zimmerman
Children, Kenneth LeRoy Grady, Regina Marie Sherman, Douglas Everett Grady, Donald Karl Grady, 7 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren. Liked: Hunting, Fishing, Square Dancing, and Playing Cards (Pinochle and Cribbage).
Elmer survived the Great Depression but was angry with God, because he prayed for food and only got a 50-pound bag of beans. He and some of his high school buddies started working as machinists. Then they joined the war effort. He went into the Navy and worked on a destroyer. They were on their way to Pearl Harbor when it was attacked, so they had to anchor in the ocean.
After the war he worked at the Columbia Dam, then went to Los Alamos National Laboratory where he machined plutonium. He enjoyed hunting and fishing around Taos and served as a volunteer fire fighter in Los Alamos and Pojoaque for many years. He retired after working at the Lab for thirty-five years.
He moved to Oregon where he lived with his sister and her husband until they moved into an assisted living facility. He bought a trailer and moved to Redmond, Oregon. A few years later he was diagnosed with bladder cancer and given three months to live. He lost his sense of smell and propane gas was leaking into his trailer, which he didn’t realize. He was trying to light the stove when the manager of the mobile home park went to visit him. After that the manager said that he was a danger to himself and the other residents of the park and could not live there by himself.
He moved back to Los Alamos, and into Aspen Ridge assisted living to be near his son Ken and his family in the area. He would go over daily to watch sports at Ken’s home, and on Sunday went to church with his family. Elmer became a Christian late in life. He started giving five dollars a week to the offering, that was a big deal for Elmer since most of his life he didn’t want to give to religious institutions.
He was in Aspen Ridge for three years before the Covid pandemic hit, and his family couldn’t visit except through a window. Ken still took him his favorite meal, McDonalds quarter pounder without cheese, a six-piece chicken nuggets with a large coke. Elmer was miserable being stuck in his room for the last year not being able to go down to the dining room and just waiting for them to bring him cold food.
Finally, when we could take him out, we took him to his doctor where we found his kidneys were failing. We scheduled a picnic at Ashley Pond with the grandkids and great grandkids, also Doug was able to come. Kay and I had to go to Santa Fe to drop off a car for repair, and the assisted living called and said they sent dad to the Emergency Room. We called the hospital and they said they sent him back to Sombrillo. Luckily Doug was able to track him down at the Aspen Ridge lost and found. Later that week Elmer passed away at the ripe old age of 94, four years after the three months the doctors gave him to live.
He asked for his ashes to be scattered up in Taos, not down here in that muddy Rio Grande.