John P. Grana
WAUKEGAN, Ill. — John P. Grana, 97, of Carlsbad, Calif., passed away Tuesday, April 9, 2013, at Encinitas Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Services will be held at San Marcos Lutheran Church April 15, 2013, with burial at Miramar National Cemetery, San Diego, Calif.
Master Sgt. John Grana was born in Waukegan, Illinois, in May 1915. He left high school to support his family during the Depression and worked with his brother Frank in the jukeboxes repair business. John was inducted into the U.S. Army in April 1941 and after basic training, he was assigned to the 320th Infantry Regiment of the 35th Infantry Division. He deployed to England for further training in May 1944 and landed at Omaha Beach on July 7, 1944. Several days later his unit was involved in the liberation of St. Lo. After heavy fighting through the hedgerows, his unit moved through other heavy combat areas in Patton’s 3rd Army, in Northern France, the Ardennes (Bastogne) and Germany. Staff Sergeant Grana received the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious actions on August 20, 1944, and his regiment received the Croix de Guerre unit award for actions around Mortain, France. He was discharged in December 1945 and for several years again worked with his brother in Waukegan, Illinois. In 1946 he married Teresa Mattera and they had one son, Richard. John re-enlisted in the Army in 1950 and began a long career in food services operations with assignments in the United States, South Korea, Germany, and South Vietnam. His significant military decorations include two Bronze Star medals, the Expert Combat Infantryman Badge, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Vietnam Service Medal. In September, 2012, he received the French Legion of Honor, Chevalier (Knight) from the French government.
Master Sgt. Grana retired after 31 years service in August 1972 and moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he was employed as president of a landscaping company and volunteered with various civic organizations. In 1982 John and Teresa moved to Carlsbad, California, and for many years he did volunteer work with the Red Cross at the naval hospital located at nearby Camp Pendleton.
He is survived by his beloved wife of sixty-six years, Theresa Carol Grana of Carlsbad, Calif.; his son, and daughter-in-law, Richard and Cheryl Grana of Paducah; his grandson, R. Ashley Grana of Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.; his granddaughter, Tara Grana Woody of Lexington; three great-grandchildren, Ashton, Trey, and Grace Woody, all of Lexington; one brother, Jim Grana; and one sister, Rena Jeffers, both of Waukegan, Ill.
He loved his Lord, his family, and his country.