Obituary of Philip J. DeGrandis
Philip J. DeGrandis “PJ”
HILTON: Passed suddenly on August 16, 2019 at age 49. Predeceased by his father, Philip; mother-in-law, Anne Iwasiw. PJ is survived by his loving wife, Christine; children; Samantha & Ethan DeGrandis; mother, Josephine DeGrandis; brother, John DeGrandis; aunts, Menina Saraceni, Ida Miller; uncle, Jim (Barbara) Tuzzeo; father-in-law, Peter (Maria) Iwasiw; sisters-in-law, Patty (Richard) Fluegel, Teresa (Frank) Zemer & Larisa (Robert) Bagley; several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
PJ’s life story will be shared WEDNESDAY 4-7 pm at the funeral home, 1411 Vintage Lane, Rochester NY 14626. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Thursday 9:30 AM at St. Lawrence Church, 1000 N. Greece Road, Rochester, NY 14626. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please direct donations to American Heart Assoc., PO Box 3049, Syracuse, NY 13220-3049 and St Jude’s Children’s Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
PJ was an amazing man. He always put anyone and everyone before himself. He is the most gracious and kind-hearted person you would ever meet. He will never be forgotten and is loved immensely by all. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him and loved him.
Philip DeGrandis 8/16/19
The husband of Christine DeGrandis, and the father of Samantha and Ethan DeGrandis, the son of Josephine and Philip Sr and brother of John - Philip DeGrandis was an all-around family man. He loved his family and neighbors more than himself, and that can be seen through every action he made in his life. For example, instead of just laying back and relaxing during the hockey season and watching Ethan play, he would take pictures of each and every kid on the team, so that at the end of the season, he could make a collage for every player on the team, and he wasn’t paid or asked to do any of this – he just genuinely wanted to do it. He also loved his cat, Flash, so much, that he went into work to create a placemat for his food bowls with him on it, along with a sweatshirt with a picture of Flash on it.
I was so blessed to be PJ’s wife. He said he fell in love with me from first sight, and never stopped loving me. Such a beautiful soul, genuine to the core how could I not fall in love with him! He proposed to me on Christmas Eve at Crescent Beach, outside under one of the Gazebos. It was freezing cold outside, but my heart was so warm. We had a magical wedding, which he helped me plan and put all the special touches on. We built a life, a family together and he has blessed me with two amazing, beautiful, smart, creative, funny, compassionate children who embody all of his amazing personality and strengths. Always thinking of others and putting the special touches on everything was what he did. Each Christmas He would make sure to write Sam and Ethan a letter from Santa even when they were older and we would stay up together until the wee hours of the morning together to make Christmas as special for them as we could. I remember the one Christmas when he was building a hockey shooting tarp in the basement at 3 am, so Ethan would be surprised the next morning. He set up a scavenger hunt throughout the house for both kids to ultimately find out that we were going on a trip to Disney with close friends. That’s what he did everyday of his life – he made everyday special for everyone around him. I wish he could be here to see them grow up and share in their futures, which I know will be so bright because of him. But I know he will watch from above and guide us when needed and smile upon us– Our Guardian Angel in Heaven. – I Love you PJ
“Felipe,” as we all called him, was a spectacular son, husband, father uncle, neighbor, friend, or any other title your could think of. He was the complete package a person ever could be. Being around him was the best thing in the world, and I wish I could see his face and make him laugh just one more time, or watch a movie with him one more time, or just hug him and say “goodbye” for one last time. I’ll never forget the times when we would go to see Marvel movies together, as we saw each and every one that came out, and then talk about and dissect each and every bit of the movie in the car ride home. I’ll never forget the numerous hockey games we would go to, where he would cheer me on screaming, “Go Ethan!” from the stands, and how I would constantly look to him to give me hand signals on how to improve my game. I’ll never forget going to our favorite restaurant, Red Robin, together, and sharing the lava cake with him, even though he let me eat the cake part instead of the ice cream on top because he knew I liked the cake the most. I’ll always remember how he would come home from the grocery store with my favorite dinner – without even asking me what I wanted for dinner.
One of my favorite stories of him was the story of introducing me to roller coasters. I used to be scared of them when I was a little boy, but the day when I was tall enough to ride my first roller coaster, The Viper, at Darien Lake, came, and he came to the rescue. He repeatedly told me that I would enjoy it, and that I would never regret riding the roller coaster, and he made me feel safe, leading to me riding the roller coaster. That was the most fun I had ever had at that point in my life, and right when we got off of the ride, I screamed, “Let’s ride it again!” and he watched me and chased after me as I went to get back in line to ride the roller coaster again. All he cared about was making me happy, and he did a fantastic job at doing that, as I don’t remember a single sad day when I was with him. He was the light in my life, and he always will be.
Dad. I honestly don’t know where to begin. I can’t say much of your younger years but based on what loved ones have to say, it’s clear you were easily the best son a mother could have, the best man a woman could have, and just one of the most fun, kind, caring, lovable people to be around. However, I can say a lot about the time from when you first held me in your arms up until now. Thank you for giving me the greatest childhood a little girl could ever ask for. For playing dress up with me, putting up with my tea parties, and going to every single daddy daughter dance with me. Those daddy daughter dances were always my favorite. Neither one of us really knew how to dance, but we didn’t care. We threw caution to the wind and just danced freely. That will always stick with me. “dance like nobody’s watching.” I love that. I love that you gave that to me. I love that you were always there to play with Ethan and Me. All the other dads would be outside grilling on a hot summer day but instead you were in the pool playing with us. You would always support us in our somewhat crazy dreams. Like me becoming a snowboarder. Haha that’s a joke. You knew it too, but you went along with it anyways. That’s one of the things I always admired and loved about you most. Your ability to just go along with what everyone else wants, always putting others before yourself. That is one of the many things you taught me I hope to embody as I grow up. You taught me to do things for others because you want to, not because they want you to.
We’ll never forget him telling pointless, but hilarious stories about his childhood, such as his brother, our Uncle John, going to the bathroom behind their TV leading to the two of them getting in trouble. After all of these stories, we would start laughing hysterically, and wouldn’t stop for a good 30 seconds. We’ll never forget Christmas mornings with him, and how he would always have his camera out to capture our pure excitement. He was the best dad a child could ever ask for, and we wouldn’t have changed any single characteristic of him if given the choice., and most certainly the best man he could’ve possibly been. If we had to describe him in five words, it wouldn’t be easy because there’s some many different things that make him the man he is, but if we absolutely had to describe him with five words, these would be the words: the most loving person ever – and there’s not a single word I would change in those five words.
We’re not sure why you’re up there right now if we’re being completely honest, but we are firm believers in the saying “everything happens for a reason.” Perhaps someone needs you more than us right now, which is hard to believe because, believe me, we need you more now than ever and life seems to have an empty void all the sudden, along with our hearts. But maybe, this is where we have to live by your legacy. “Always put others before yourself.” And for the first time ever, be as selfless as you were throughout your entire life. Even though you may not be here physically, we feel you spiritually and know that you’re up to greater things up there. Just know that every penny we see, we’ll pick up; just like how every person you met - you touched their lives. We see you, we feel you, but we miss you. We know this is only a temporary goodbye for we will meet again someday, but boy is it a hard one. For now we hope to only make you proud in every single way possible and grow up to be the people you’ve always wanted us to be. We love you Dad.
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