TRYON -- After 90 active, adventurous, and loving years, Earle Keith Grady (Lt. Col, USAF Ret), died peacefully on June 19th at Spartanburg Regional Hospice Home. The son of Lemuel Keith Grady and Mabel Griffin Grady, Keith was predeceased by his parents and his beloved wife of 61 years, Frances ‘Chris’ Allen Grady. The couple were devoted to one another and spent much of their marriage stationed in the Pacific and Europe, where they savored the cultural richness with their daughter, Fran.
Keith was an athletic standout at both Christ School in Asheville and University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and an engineer by education. Entering the USAF as a Lieutenant, Keith was deployed to Greece, Germany, Guam, Vietnam, Thailand, and Japan among other bases. In 1974, Keith retired as a Lt. Colonel to Tryon, NC, the town his great-grandfather, Lemuel N. Wilcox, founded in the 1870s. The young Mr. Wilcox traveled from Pittsburgh in 1869 and purchased the land on which he soon designed the Town of Tryon City. Keith was the last residing Wilcox descendant in Tryon, with both his grandfather and father playing important roles in the development of the town.
Keith’s passions spanned from cooking to painting to tennis; known throughout the area competitive tennis community for his wicked serve with its terrifying spin. His love of cooking no doubt was handed down from his Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle Harold Crandall, who began the Tryon landmark restaurant, Auberge, in the 1930s and he prided himself on plating the perfect meal.
Keith came by his artistic talent honestly as well, being the great-grandnephew of one of Tryon’s famed artists, Lois Wilcox. For decades he studied the art of the watercolor and leaves behind a fantastic collection of original work.
The Grady’s were active and generous in their support of many organizations, including the Lanier Library, Hospice, Tryon Painters and Sculptors, St. Luke’s Thrift store and the Tryon Fine Arts Center.
Surviving Keith are his devoted daughter, Frances Elizabeth Grady, a sister, Martha Grady Carswell, and two nieces.
In lieu of flowers, please honor Keith’s memory with a donation to Lanier Library, Tryon, NC.
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