Cecelia Adele Grissom
Born: June 17, 1931
Died: November 23, 2020
Cecelia "Ceil" Adele Grissom, age 89, passed away peacefully on November 23rd, 2020 surrounded by her family.
Ceil was born on June 17, 1931 in Chicago, IL. She grew up in the Chatham neighborhood. She attended Dixon Elementary School and Hirsch Metropolitan High School, where she made many friends and was a cheerleader. After graduation, Ceil moved to Hawaii to live with her sister Beulah and help care for her nieces. This experience inspired Ceil to become a nurse. She received a full scholarship and earned her RN from French Hospital in San Francisco. During her time in California, Ceil taught herself how to drive stick shift in her convertible MG on the hills of San Francisco. She then returned to Chicago where she worked as an emergency room nurse at the University of Chicago Hospital. She later worked at Cook County Hospital where she met her husband, Dr. James Hinshaw Grissom. As a public health nurse, she made home visits in some of the under-served neighborhoods of Chicago.
Ceil and Jim lovingly raised five children together in Glen Ellyn and were active members of St. James the Apostle Parish and School. Ceil was also involved with DuPage PADS, ESSE, and the community as a whole. She cherished quality time with family and friends and enthusiastically hosted many memorable gatherings. Ceil's legendary backyard ice skating parties and bonfires will not soon be forgotten. She treated everyone as family and often seemed like a second mom to many of her children's' friends. There was always fresh pizza dough rising in the kitchen and sliced veggies and fruit available for nibbling. Ceil's passions included cooking, music, running, skiing, tennis, and travel. Prior to marrying, she embarked on a trip to Europe with her girlfriends on the Queen Mary. She continued her travels throughout her life, enjoying frequent family road trips across the country, vising extended family in Switzerland, and exploring the rest of Europe on a shoestring. At one point her propensity for adventure compelled her to take up flying (small airplanes). Sadly, her flight instructor suggested she delay her pursuit (when he learned that her 5th child was fairly newly born). Ceil's sense of humor rivaled few. Her zest for life and her warm and welcoming spirit will be deeply missed by her children and grandchildren and by the many people she brought into the fold.
"Do all things prayerfully;" "It behooves us to be kind to one another for everyone is fighting a battle about which we know nothing;" and "We have so much to be grateful for" were daily mantras. Also, "How would you like your little face pushed in?" jokingly, when we tested her limits.
Ceil is survived by her children James Jr. (Cynthia), Margaret O'Brien, Irene (Robert) Atchison, John (Melissa), and Joseph (Roger); her grandchildren Michael, Robert, Ashton, Micah, Matthew, Megan, James, Jacob, Benjamin, Anna, Hewitt, Asia, and Kiel; her brothers John and Ray St. Aubin; her nieces, Cecelia and Juanita Bowman; and her sisters-in-law Mary Ellen St. Aubin, Cynthia Letarte, and Catherine (John) Garra. She was preceded in death by her husband, James Grissom; parents, Emma and Albert St. Aubin; brothers, Paul and Pernell; sisters, Laverne and Beulah Bowman; and nephew Joseph Bowman.
Services will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, please consider planting a tree to help combat climate change. Contributions to the Alzheimer's Association
and the National Association for Down Syndrome are also appreciated.