Charles W. Griscom
Captain, United States Marine Corps
"Some people had Batman, some people had Superman," said C.J. Joyce, commander of the Sons of the American Legion. "I had Charlie Griscom."
Charles W. Griscom died Thursday morning from an apparent aneurysm. He was 88.
The Gulf Cove (Florida) resident served in the Marine Corps in World War II and in the United States Army in the Korean and Vietnam wars.
He spent 30 years in the military, reaching the status of captain and earning five Purple Hearts, four Bronze Stars, two Air Medals and a Silver Star.
His ashes will be placed in Arlington National Cemetery in September.
"He was my hero," said friend Duncan Morton. "I can't imagine anybody with five Purple Hearts. After one or two, anyone else would have stopped getting involved. But not Charlie."
Griscom based his life around the military. He was a frail, but steady fixture at recent Memorial and Veterans day services. He was a life member of the American Legion, Rotonda Elks, Englewood Veterans of Foreign Wars and Marine Corps League.
More than 150 friends, family members and comrades gathered at 1 p.m. Saturday in Rotonda to remember Griscom, whom they described as an "American hero," "an upright man" and "a giant among men."
"It's hard to start when you already have a tear in your eye," friend Harold Tendam told the crowd. "I loved Charlie. I think Charlie was the best thing that happened to me in my later years."
Alan Lapergola, of the American Legion Post 113, announced the Veterans Golf Tournament in Rotonda will now be called the Charles W. Griscom Jr. Memorial Veterans Golf Tournament.
The Englewood VFW then presented Griscom's family with a plaque honoring his services.
"Daddy was at his best when he was in the military capacity and around military men," said Griscom's daughter, Mary Lynn Bonafede. "He will be missed."
Griscom is survived by daughters Bonafede and Charlotte Cook, and by sons Charles W. Griscom III and William Bruce Griscom.
Captain Griscon is to be buried with full military
honors in Arlington National Cemetery on 26 September 2005.