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George F. Holst-Grubbe

SHARON — George F. Holst-Grubbe, 65, passed away surrounded by family on May 17, 2019, at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass., after a herculean battle against a rare blood cancer. 

He was born on Aug. 23, 1953, in Sharon, the son of Mary (Wolcott) and Reidar Holst-Grubbe. 

George was the loving husband of Michelle (Kemp) Holst-Grubbe, whom he met on a blind date. They were married on Oct. 15, 1977, at the United Church of Christ in Stanfordville, N.Y. 

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter, Allison and her husband, Paige; his parents-in-law, Newton and Roberta Kemp; his sister, Christine Napolitan and her husband, Neil; his sister, Terry Waldron and her husband, Marshall; his brother-in-law, Joe Catanzaro; his brother, David Holst-Grubbe and his wife, Leslie; his sister,  Eileen Holst-Grubbe; his brother, Erik Holst-Grubbe and his wife, Dianne; his sister-in-law, Adrienne D’Antonio and her husband, Louis; several cousins; three godchildren; and many nieces and nephews. 

He was predeceased by his parents; his sister, Patricia Catanzaro; and his stepmother, Miriam Landis Holst-Grubbe.

George was a graduate of Housatonic Valley Regional High School and received an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Northwestern Connecticut Community College in Winsted. He was an IT manager for BD Global Services at Becton Dickinson in North Canaan, where he worked for 24 years. He had previously worked at IBM in Poughkeepsie, Fishkill and Kingston, N.Y., where he began as a security guard in 1978, then progressed to the positions of systems analyst and network engineer. As a young man, he worked at Sharon Masonry and was a Sharon town constable and Gold Badge Connecticut State Police Auxiliary Trooper. He was also a certified firearms instructor.

George was a member of the Sharon Fire Department for 47 years, at one point serving as lieutenant. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Bernard Church in Sharon, where he volunteered on the parish council and as a CCD teacher. He served on the Sharon Board of Assessors Tax Review, the Sharon Democratic Town Committee and the Sharon Emergency Preparedness Committee. George and his wife were American Red Cross disaster relief volunteers, and his work in assisting families displaced from their homes received recognition from Elizabeth Dole during her presidency of that organization.

George enjoyed spending time outdoors, especially his own backyard, where he tended his many flower gardens and relaxed on his self-constructed deck.  

He loved to fish, and hunted for many years. A food enthusiast, he enjoyed cooking and was always the chef for family dinners and holiday meals. 

He loved to sing and to attend live concerts, especially his daughter Allison’s performances with her colleagues and friends. At any social event, George could reliably be found entertaining small children or large dogs. George’s favorite holiday was April Fool’s Day — even while in the hospital — and he was known for his sense of humor and practical jokes. Sadly, this obituary is not one of them. 

Calling hours are Friday, May 24, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Peck & Peck Funeral Home in Pine Plains. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, May 25, at 11 a.m. from St. Bernard Church in Sharon, the Rev. John Gwodz officiating. Interment will follow in Ellsworth Cemetery in Sharon.

George’s family would like to recognize the staff, nurses and physicians at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, who in addition to their knowledge and skill provided immeasurable support to him and his family.

 Memorial contributions may be made to The MDS Foundation (www.mds-foundation.org) or to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute - Hematologic Cancers or Stem Cell Transplant (www.danafarber.jimmyfund.org).

To sign the online register, go to www.peckandpeck.net.