PITTSFORD — A funeral mass was held July 25 at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church for Edward F. Grosenbeck, age 99, who died July 22 at Genesis Mountain View Center after a short illness.
Edward was born July 6, 1915 in Poughkeepsie, New York. He was the only child of Elizabeth (O’Neil) and Francis Grosenbeck.
Ed grew up during the Depression and played in a dance band as a drummer to earn extra money while he was in high school. After graduating from high school he worked in a bank and took college courses at a satellite campus of Syracuse University located in Poughkeepsie. In 1936 he transferred to Middlebury College in Vermont. While there he played in another dance band that performed in Vermont and New York and worked at a soda fountain in Middlebury to earn money for his tuition and living expenses. He joined Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and became good friends with a fellow member, Ken Kinsey, who became his brother-in-law nine years later. Ed graduated from Middlebury College in 1939 with dual majors in history and English.
Following his graduation Ed began work as a teacher in Le Roy, New York and later went on to teach at Holland Patent, New York. During this time he kept in touch with his friend, Ken Kinsey and met his younger sister, Frances. Fran was eight years Ed’s junior and it was some time before they started dating. They fell in love but waited to marry until she finished college in 1945.
After their marriage Ed and Fran lived in the Utica, New York area. Ed continued teaching in Holland Patent and began work on his master’s degree in administration through Syracuse University. After he finished his degree, Ed took a job as a school district principal in Fort Ann, New York and the family moved to the area in 1955. Ed worked at Fort Ann Central School for 23 years until his retirement in 1978. After his retirement he took an interim superintendent position at Whitehall Central School while the school board conducted a search for a new superintendent.
Ed enjoyed sports and the outdoors. He and his family spent summers boating on Lake George and winters skiing at Killington in Vermont. In 1967 Ed and Fran purchased property in Pittsford and put in a mobile home to use for a winter ski lodge. Later they built a permanent home. They sold their home in New York and moved to Vermont full time after retirement.
Ed was active in Rotary International in the Fort Ann and later the Killington clubs. He was a Paul Harris fellow and he also started Rotary International student exchange programs in both clubs. He was chairman of the District 719 student exchange program in New York State for a number of years.
Ed was a member of the Killington Ski Club for many years and was an instructor in the Killington Junior Program. He taught a lot of youngsters to ski and his whole family was active in club activities. Ed also worked in a paid position in the program after his retirement.
Ed didn’t have much time to play golf before he retired because of time spent boating, but after retirement he joined the Proctor-Pittsford Country Club in 1978 and played until 2013.
Ed was a musician all of his life. He gave up the drums in the 1950s, but continued to play trumpet, piano, organ and electric keyboard. He was a member of a club in the Rutland area called the Sharps and Flats for about ten years during his retirement.
Ed’s wife Fran predeceased him in 2007. Ed and Fran did everything together and after 62 years of marriage it was difficult for Ed to continue alone at age 92. He maintained a positive attitude and continued to live in his own home with caregivers until January 2014. He loved life and lived it to the fullest.
Ed is survived by the following family members: Greta Adams and her husband Tom of Rutland, and Elizabeth Cassella and her husband Phil and their sons Philip and Nick of Kingsbury, New York.
Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers can be made to St. Alphonsus Parish, 2918 US Route 7, Pittsford, 05763 or Rutland County Humane Society, 765 Stevens Road, Pittsford, 05763.
This obituary first appeared in the July 31, 2014 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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