Obituary of James Grasso
James “Topper” Grasso, died Friday, August 10, 2018 following a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Jim was born in Suffern, NY and was a longtime resident of Ridgewood. Jim was the loving husband of Laura M. Grasso for 20 years, and was the proud father of Anna M., Meghan E., and Joseph J. Grasso. “Topper” as his family lovingly called him, is also survived by his mother, Belle Grasso, his brother Greg, and his father and mother-in-law, Gerald and Eleanor Davina. Jim was predeceased by his father, Joseph Grasso. Jim will be dearly missed by all who knew him, especially his sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins and countless friends. Jim was a parishioner of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel RC Church, Ridgewood.
Jim was a graduate of Suffern High School and Franklin & Marshall College. While attending F&M, Jim proudly played four years of football and joined the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity where he created life-long friendships true to the Dips and Pi Lam motto “Not Four Years But A Lifetime”. Following graduation, he taught middle school Social Studies, proudly coached Football, Basketball, and Track and Field for the Ridgewood Public School District. In 2000, Jim took his passion for his career and sports to athletic administration. He served as the Athletic Director in Paramus, Northern Valley Demarest, and finished his career in the Ramsey Public School District where he pioneered #GoRams.
Throughout his years as athletic director he held leadership posts in the NNJIL, NBIAL, and Big North Conference. Jim was a Past President of the Bergen County Coaches Association, the first Executive Director of the Big North Conference, administered Track and Field for the Big North, and served as a member of the Executive Committee and Scheduling Coordinator until his retirement in 2018. Jim also served as Divisional Commissioner for the Super Football Conference.
Needless to say, Jim was an avid sports fan supporting the Green Bay Packers, New York Yankees, Syracuse Basketball and Penn State Football. While at home, his greatest pleasure was spending time with his family and friends and enjoying college sports. His greatest love was attending his children’s athletic and personal events. One of Jim’s greatest gifts to his family, students, coaches, and friends was his profound interest in improving their lives through caring, guidance and thoughtful encouragement.
The family will receive friends and family on Sunday, August 19, 2018 from 11:00 AM-3:00 PM and 5:00-8:00 PM at the Vander Plaat Funeral Home, www.vpfh.com, 257 Godwin Avenue, Wyckoff, NJ 07481. A Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, August 20, 2018 at 10:00 AM at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel RC Church, 1 Passaic Street, Ridgewood, NJ 07450. The interment will follow at George Washington Memorial Park Cemetery. As an expression of sympathy, in lieu of flowers, donations in Jim’s memory may be made to Ramsey High School Athletic Association, 256 E. Main Street, Ramsey, NJ 07446, memo #GoRams or online at https://www.ramsey.k12.nj.us/domain/505, please make notation in special instruction, #GoRams.