We send our condolences to the family and friends of John Gryska, father of two Wellesley children, who died from injuries sustained during a car crash on the corner of Route 9 and Oak St. in Natick on Sunday morning 6:30 am, August 7. Gryska was driving his son to Brae Burn Country Club in Newton, where his son has been working as a caddie this summer.
An oncoming car hit the driver’s side of the Gryska’s car. Gryska was transported by ambulance to Beth Israel where heroic measures were taken by the trauma team, but he did not survive his injuries.
He was a graduate of Weston High School and earned both his BA and his MBA from Northeastern University.
Before tackling the challenges of life after college, Gryska spent time on the ocean, as he had for many summers of his youth. Fluent in Norwegian, and an avid sailor and adventurer, he worked as a crew member on the Saga Siglar, a 54-foot replica of a Viking ship.
He later served as a Ship’s Officer on the Soren Larsen, a 145-foot, British Brigantine tall ship where he said on his Linked In profile that he “sailed across the Gulf of Mexico from Texas to Florida. Across the state through the Intracoastal Waterway and out to the Bahamas. Then across the Caribbean to Columbia and on to Panama. From there we sailed across the Pacific. Stopping at many islands. Up the coast of Australia to Singapore then across the Indian ocean to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. Across the Mediterranean to Italy then up the Rhone river in France through the canals to Paris and out the Seine to the English Channel and London. Then across the North Sea to Denmark then Sweden and Norway sailing around the coast to Aalesund.”
He also gave back by educating others at Sea Semester in Woods Hole and as a mate on board the voyager the Christian Radich, a 275 ft. full rigged Norwegian sailing ship where he trained students in the skills of navigation seamanship and project management
When not at sea or with his children, John spent time in the boardrooms of Fidelity, and most recently as a Vice President and Trust Officer at First Financial Trust in Wellesley Hills.
Gryska leaves his two children, Jay and Go-go, and their mother Katie Sullivan, as well as dozens, if not hundreds, of family, friends, and co-workers.
The services will be held at 10am on Saturday, August 13 at St. Andrews Church, 79 Denton Rd., Wellesley.
RIP John Gryska! May your sailing stories live on forever as will your legacy.
Ackerman Family says
May your sails always be full wherever you may be, John. Love and Peace.
Melanie karlberg says
I loved working with John. He was a funny and nice… His face lit up when he talked about his children. I will miss him.
kati anderson says
Dear Von and Gryska family,
I have had the pleasure of working with your Dad and also Von, knowing both I am sure John was just as brilliant, kind and a real family man. My prayers and thoughts are with you and I would do anything to take away your pain. Keep strong know that continued prayers and thoughts are with you. Lots of love, Kati Anderson and family.
Craig Dandeaux says
Such a tragic loss. John was a wonderful bosun,sailor and teacher to me on Sorren Larsen in the Australian bicentennial First Fleet voyage from the UK to Australia in 1987/88. A timeless man who will be greatly missed.
Chris Roche says
I am saddened at the loss of John who I sailed with in Soren Larsen to Cape Horn in 1991 we were off the horn together on 9th December 1991 when we sat and he sang Fiddlers Green and we had a general shanty session. Although John never joined the Cape Horners I never forgot him. I will be putting together an obit for the up coming Cape Horner Journal and can be reached through the web site http://www.capehorners.org I edit the Journal
Jonathan King says
Thank you Wellesley Report for publishing that Obituary of our dearly beloved Johnny Gryska who graced the 1987/8 London to Sydney eleven tall ships First Fleet Re-enactment Expedition becoming the star and face of that eight month voyage recreating the 1787/8 voyage that founded British settlement in Australia for our 200th anniversary. We were lucky to have Johnny on that voyage and will never forget him.
Barbara & Fran Rockett says
Dar Von and family, We were so sad to hear about John. He worked with us when he was at Fidelity and we sat with him on the sidelines at some of the Wellesley games in which his children and our grandchildren participated. Our prayers and sympathy go out to you and your family. We go back over the years when we were friends with your parents. Sincerely, Barbara & Fran Rockett & family
David Igguldend says
To the Gryska family,
I did leave a message in John’s e-mail address, but I’m not sure if it was downloaded.
Again, my thoughts are with you. Johnnie will be missed and remembered around the world, from Norway to New Zealand, from Southampton to San Francisco. With many of us he loved sailing and the sea; it’s a strong calling.
Please take care of yourselves for your future. Remember him with happiness, not sadness. I believe that is what John would wish.
David Iggulden, shipmate and friend.
Debra Treanor says
I am truly shocked, and saddened to just hear of John’s passing. He was a very caring, and open hearted gentlemen, whom was such a pleasure to know! My heart goes out to his wife, children, family, and friends.