2011 TC Pressroom
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College Columbia University

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Carrol Grady Remembered

The Teachers College community paid tribute to Carrol Edward Grady, a long-time employee of the College and the Duplicating Department, who passed away suddenly on March 6.

The memorial service, which filled the Horace Mann Auditorium to capacity, included co-workers, former faculty members, family members and friends who either spoke about their memories of Grady or provided musical interludes.

Sharon Hewitt Watkins, TC Controller, gave opening remarks describing Grady as a "special person that crossed our path." Interim Dean Edmund Gordon read a statement from President Arthur Levine, who was away on College business at the time. Gordon read, "For almost 40 years [Grady] was an integral part of the College, touching us all in one way or another, through the work that he did, but also, simply by his presence among us."

Grady was a man who loved his family and his model trains. As Betty Engel of Document Services explained in giving Grady's biographical background, he grew up near a train station and for a time shared his affinity for model trains with his former neighbor, comedian George Carlin.

Daniel Tamulonis, Director of the Peace Corps Fellows Program, added that Grady instilled the same love of trains in Daniel's son, Isaac. Grady even gave Isaac a starter train set.

Rocky Schwarz, the Manager of Document Services, noted that Grady's train hobby was an example of his love of mechanical things. He praised Grady for having taught him things from avoiding paper jams to how to keep his tie straight with a paper clip. Now, he said, Grady was teaching him how to grieve deeply.

As part of the reminiscences, it was brought out that Grady had been an elevator operator in the 1960s for the Thompson Hall elevator. For the job he wore white gloves and a bow tie.

Musical interludes were provided by Professor Robert Taylor and retired Secretary Penny Plotkin, who sang "Shall We Gather at the River," and by TC student Bryan Dryer who performed a vocal jazz improvisational piece.

Written reminiscences are included on the Web page www.tc.columbia.edu/~wpcenter and in copies of a memory book that was presented to Grady's wife, son and siblings.

The members of Grady's family thanked everyone from the College for all their support.

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