Mayor Grainger, Consummate Citizen, Dies at 92

The City of Rye mourned the passing of Edmund C. Grainger Jr., who served the community he grew up in well, and in many capacities, over a long and distinguished life.  

Published October 22, 2015 4:58 PM
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Obit-Ed-Grainger-thThe City of Rye mourned the passing of Edmund C. Grainger Jr., who served the community he grew up in well, and in many capacities, over a long and distinguished life.

 

Obit-Ed-GraingerThe City of Rye mourned the passing of Edmund C. Grainger Jr., who served the community he grew up in well, and in many capacities, over a long and distinguished life. He died on October 18, 2015 at his home in Rye. He was 92.

After receiving a B.S. from Georgetown University in 1943, he earned a J.D. from Yale University Law School in 1945, and an L.L.M. in Taxation from New York University in 1954.

During the Eisenhower Administration, from 1953 to 1955, Mr. Grainger served as Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States, Tax Division. In 1955, he joined the law firm of O’Brien, Driscoll, and Raferty in New York City. He was Managing Partner of the firm before his retirement.

In an interview with the paper earlier this year, Ed told us that he got his start in Republican politics campaigning for Thomas Dewey on New York City’s Lower East Side. “I had a fair share of tomatoes hurled my way!”

Before succeeding Clay Johnson as Mayor of Rye from 1966-1973, he served as a City Judge and City Councilmember. As Mayor, Ed Grainger teamed with Martin Victor, his counterpart in Oyster Bay, Long Island, to defeat Robert Moses’ plan to build a bridge between the two communities. “It’s my most lasting memory of my mayoral years,” he said in the interview. “The bridge was no ‘gossamer thread across the Sound,’ as Moses described it.”

After serving as Mayor, Mr. Grainger chaired campaigns for the Rye YMCA, the Rye Performing Arts Center, and the Rye Historical Society Knapp House. He was a trustee of The Osborn Retirement Community and an original founder of Rye Babe Ruth League and Rye Little League. He supported the City’s $1.8 million acquisition of Rye Wood Country Club in 1965, with the firm belief that the 125-acre waterfront property, which became Rye Golf Club, would be a tremendous recreational asset for the community.

From 1980 to 1989, he served as Chairman of Village Savings Bank.

Mr. Grainger was a member of the American, New York City, and Westchester Bar associations. He was a past governor and president of Apawamis Club and past governor and chairman of Westchester Country Club. He was also a member of the US, Westchester and Eastern Senior Golf Associations.

An ever-youthful and active man, he enjoyed golf, tennis (captain of the Georgetown team), paddle tennis, skiing, and bridge. But time with his family was what he loved most.

His family described him as “the most awesome and loving dad, grandfather, and husband in the world. His eyes always had a twinkle when he saw us. He delighted in watching his children compete and just having them around him. He had a smile for everyone he met.”

In addition to his wife, Mr. Grainger is survived by his four children: Terry, Jeff, Janet (Byrne), and Kathy (Hobbins); his sister, Patsy Dyer of Lake Bluff, Illinois; 12 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

A Memorial Funeral Service was held at Church of the Resurrection on October 21.

Donations in Mr. Grainger’s memory may be made to the Rye YMCA.

 

 

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