The Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Wyllis Charmian Grasso


December 5, 2017

WAKEFIELD, Mich. - Wyllis Charmian Grasso, 94, passed away peacefully early Sunday morning, Dec. 3, 2017, at Gogebic Medical Care Facility in Wakefield, surrounded by her loving family.

Wyllis was born on Aug. 9, 1923, in Marenisco, a daughter of Theodore and Myrtle (Reace) Russell. She attended Marenisco High School and graduated in 1941.

After graduation, Wyllis worked at Bonifas Lumber Company in Marenisco, and then for George J. Meyer in Cudahy, Wis.

Wyllis proudly served her country in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After her training, she spent most of her time in Washington, D.C. Wyllis was honorably discharged as a yeoman second class on March 7, 1946.

On Sept. 27, 1946, Wyllis married John James Grasso at St. Gall's Catholic Church in Milwaukee. They made their home in Wakefield, and celebrated more than 55 years of marriage.

Wyllis was employed by Wakefield Big Wheel, Lakeview Inn, Indianhead Mountain Resort and Big Powderhorn Mountain Ski Resort. She concluded her working career at Kmart in Ironwood after 15 years, retiring in 2004.

Wyllis was a faithful member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Wakefield and its Women's Guild. She was a lifetime member of the Wakefield Ladies Auxiliary to Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9084, a dedicated member of the Wakefield Historical Society and a devoted member of the Royal Neighbors of America.

In 2009, Wyllis attended a Wakefield Ladies Auxiliary meeting and was presented a citation plaque from the Michigan Department of the Ladies Auxiliary for her work with the VFW's Youth or Adult Patriotic Programs. It was a momentous evening for Wyllis.

In her free time, she took great pleasure watching hummingbirds and playing bingo.

Wyllis is survived by a son, John M. (Anna), Wakefield; a daughter, Kathy, Pittsburgh, Pa .; two grandsons, John Jr. (Tara), Gary, Minn., and Jeremy (Kaarina), Wakefield; six great-grandchildren, Alyssa (Ryan), Jordan, Taylor, Megann, J.J. and Carter; a sister, Gerry Weisinger, Kewaskum, Wis .; and numerous dear nieces, nephews and cousins, including special cousin, Peggy Nordberg, Marenisco.

She was predeceased by her parents; her beloved husband, John J., on Aug. 18, 2002; two sisters and three brothers-in-law, Peggy and William Regis, Mary Lou and Tony Shefka, and Les Weisinger; and other loving relatives.

The family will greet relatives and friends on Thursday, Dec. 7, from 10 to 10:45 a.m., at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 407 Ascherman St., in Wakefield, with the honor guard beginning at 10:15 a.m. A memorial service will take place at the church following the visitation under the auspices of the Ladies Auxiliary to VFW Post 9084.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m., with the Rev. Dominic Agyapong, celebrant. Also in attendance will be the Immaculate Conception Women's Guild Honor Guard.

Pallbearers will be John Grasso Jr., Jeremy Grasso, Alyssa Ahonen, Jim Feiereisen, Mel Oelrich and Randy Patasius.

Following the Mass, military rites will be accorded at the church under the auspices of the Wakefield American Legion Geroux Post 11 and Wakefield VFW Post 9084 Honor Guard, assisted by the U.S. Navy Funeral Honors Team.

Luncheon will be served at the Wakefield VFW Post 9084, 107 E. U.S. 2, in Wakefield following the military service.

Rite of Committal and interment will take place in Lakeside Cemetery, Wakefield.

The family would like to express their appreciation to Dr. Jeffery Miller and the caring staff at Gogebic Medical Care Facility for their compassionate, professional care and the many kindnesses extended to the family.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield. Condolences may be expressed online at


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