PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Gary Grunin, a lifelong resident of Pittsfield, passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 19, 2022, at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston at the age of 71.
The son of the late Keve and Yetta Grunin, Gary was born in Pittsfield on April 20, 1951. A member of the Pittsfield High School class of 1969 and Berkshire Community College class of 1971, he was a devoted family man, business professional, and community member.
Gary married his high school sweetheart, Jean Hoag Grunin, on Sept. 5, 1971, and built a wonderful life together.
His professional career began working with his father in the family business, Berkshire Cleaning Contractors. Through Gary's vision and work ethic, the business developed to become one of the largest corporate maintenance firms in Berkshire County.
Based on the success of the company, relationships built, and strong reputation for quality work, Gary had the opportunity to further expand the family business, when he and his wife purchased Stevens World of Carpets in the late 1980’s. Originally located on Summer Street in Pittsfield, Stevens World of Carpets moved to the Allendale Shopping Plaza in the early 1990s, serving the residents of Berkshire County. With quality products, a vast inventory, and timely service & installation, the retail venture thrived under the direction of Gary and Jean.
While successfully operating multiple companies, Gary proudly served the residents and business community of Pittsfield in a variety of elected and volunteer roles as well. With a passion for lifelong learning and civic engagement, Gary was a City Councilor from 1995 to 2001.
Representing Pittsfield’s Ward 4, and also elected as vice president of the City Council, he took great pride in community development endeavors aimed at improving the quality of life in the city he called home.
In addition to his elected municipal roles, Gary fulfilled a variety of civic duties, which included serving as an Executive Board Member of the Central Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, Pittsfield Economic Development Authority (PEDA), Berkshire Public Theatre, and Pittsfield Family YMCA, as well as Chairperson of the Pittsfield 4th Of July Parade Committee. An avid sports fan, Gary was also a strong advocate of unfulfilled civic initiatives in the late 1990’s aimed at developing a new downtown stadium in Pittsfield and maintaining professional baseball in the city.
An active member of the Bousquet Ski community in his younger days, Gary rooted for the New York Yankees during the summers – but his true sports passion centered around being a devoted fan of the New England Patriots. A long-time season ticket holder, Gary attended multiple Super Bowls and took great delight in experiencing the Patriots championship dynasty era.
Gary took great pleasure in traveling to destinations throughout the world with family and friends, he enjoyed taking cruises and felt most relaxed reading a book on a sandy beach with blue skies and an ocean breeze. Upon retirement, he maintained a full-time residence in Pittsfield with his wife, while spending many happy winters in Sunrise, Fla., and summers with family and friends in Cape Cod. Gary also treasured time spent with his four-legged friends, enjoying the bond and companionship between a man and his dog.
Gary is survived by his wife of 50 years, Jean Hoag Grunin. In addition to his beloved wife, he is also survived by his two children, son Scott (Susan) Grunin of Brewster, MA, and daughter Sara (Jim) Abel of Pittsfield. Known as "Papa" to his grandchildren, Kaleb and Hayden Grunin, and Ryan and Jack Abel, Gary took great pride in watching the accomplishments and pursuits of his four grandsons.
He also leaves his brother Lenny (Cindy) Grunin, brothers- and sisters-in-law Richard and Pat Ames, Andy and Kathy Hoag, and Mike and Martha Downs, as well as close friends Tony and Carla DiBiase, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
FUNERAL NOTICE: Family and friends are invited to attend an informal Celebration of Life Social Gathering at Proprietor's Lodge, 22 Waubeek Road, Pittsfield, on Wednesday, June 29, between 4 and 7 p.m.. Visitors are encouraged to come and go as they please in honor of Gary, share memories, and provide condolences & comfort to his family during this time.
In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Pittsfield Family YMCA or Pittsfield Babe Ruth Baseball in care of DERY FUNERAL HOME, 54 Bradford St., Pittsfield, MA 01201.