John Gallery Grant, 87, of Dallas, TX died May 21, 2021. A private blessing of ashes will be held on June 11 at the Church of the Transfiguration. Survivors include his brother Lexow (VA), his children Bruce Grant (Fort Worth) and Gillian Grant (Dallas). He is preceded in death by his wife Madelyn Stephenson Grant, his parents Gerald Grant and Rosemary Gallery Grant, and his brother Gerald Grant.
John was born in Chicago, IL on June 11, 1933. He attended the Chicago Latin School where he played football, basketball, worked in student government and for the yearbook.
John went to Princeton University, where he was a member of the Republican Club and a member of the Charter Club, serving as the secretary in 1953-54. At Princeton he played on the football team his freshman year, but he gave up football after the fall semester because it took away from his studies. He took tennis lessons and became an avid tennis player for 61 years. His senior thesis at Princeton won an award and was published: "The Tripartite Pact: A study in Japanese Pre-War Diplomacy". While at Princeton, he paused his studies to serve in the US Army with the Chief of Staff in Korea and Japan and this delayed his graduation 2 years. Though he was class of '55, graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in European History from Princeton in 1957.
After graduation John worked for 18 years for McGraw-Hill in the magazine business. While working in Dallas, TX in the late 50s John met Madelyn Stephenson at the poolside of their apartment complex on Turtle Creek and fell in love. While courting, they had season tickets to the first season of the Dallas Cowboys. They married in her hometown of Shreveport on December 9, 1961. Their first child Bruce was born while living in Dallas. John's work with McGraw-Hill moved the family to Palos Verde, CA and later to Pittsburgh, PA where their second child Gillian was born. John's work later moved the family to Houston, TX and in 1976 he left McGraw-Hill to accept an assignment in Dallas as Publisher for Petroleum Engineer International. He moved his family to Dallas to the home he lived in until his death.
He retired from Petroleum Engineer International in 1982. After retirement he did much international traveling, visiting over a 100 countries and going on more than 130 cruises. In addition to tennis, he loved reading. His favorite authors were Ernest Hemmingway and John LeCarre. He was a voracious consumer of news and built his day around reading the local paper and the Wall Street Journal in the morning, reading the Economist in the afternoon, and watching the world news in the evening. He specialized in making "daddy chili" every Christmas eve- based on a recipe published in the newspaper created by LBJ's White House chef in the mid 1960s. He also specialized in smoking various meats in a smoker. He cherished long standing family traditions, like drinking champagne and eating scalloped oysters for a light lunch every Christmas Day. Perhaps his most cherished tradition was "spa duty" nearly every night for more than 4 decades where he and anyone available would soak in the jacuzzi with a cocktail if desired. He preferred a rather strong Beefeater gin martini with just a hint of vermouth.
The love of his life, Madelyn Stephenson Grant, died of kidney failure in 2003. She was active at the Church of the Transfiguration and he enjoyed the social gatherings that came with her involvement. For years they hosted parties and he enjoyed playing bartender. Together they explored the world, taking multiple trips overseas every year. More exotic trips (Africa, Asia, South America, etc) were called "field trips".
He lived self discipline. He exercised regularly his whole life and did an hour long set of back exercises daily for nearly five decades. His discipline was evident in his ever present list on his bureau, his To Do list. He was a man of consistency- with the schedule of his daily routine, to exactly what time and how much gin went into his nightly cocktail, to the quantity of mixed nuts he would enjoy with his pre dinner drink.
John's life was full of intellectual pursuits, the love of travel, reading, thinking about politics, and great traditions. His life was an inspiration to his children. One of the many lessons we learned was that words count. Thank you daddy for being you.