OBIT RobertGrady

1/12/43 – 10/18/14

Bob Grady passed away on October 18, 2014, at the age of 71. He died suddenly as a result of a ruptured aneurysm while visiting Yosemite Valley. Bob is survived by his wife of 45 years, Jan Grady, as well as two children, Sean and Erin, a step-daughter, Dianne, and three grandchildren, William, Claire, and Abigail.

Bob was born in Chicago in 1943, to Paul and Bernice Grady, and was raised in Maywood, Illinois. He and his older brother Paul Lee enjoyed athletics and were avid basketball and baseball players. Bob also loved listening to classical music and playing the piano.

He graduated from high school in 1961 and then attended MIT, graduating in 1965 with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. He was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, and he was a star player on the MIT basketball team. In 1965 he received the Clifford Award as the Outstanding Athlete at MIT, which is given to only one athlete per year across all athletics.

He moved to California for a job with Philco-Ford Corporation and worked as a Field Engineer, traveling to Air Force Satellite Tracking Stations. After finishing his travel assignments, he continued working while attending Stanford University on the Honors Coop program, earning his Master’s Degree in 1969 in Electrical Engineering, with a strong emphasis in Computer Science.

In 1970, he joined Hewlett Packard, working as an engineer and then as an R & D project manager, developing computer hardware, firmware, and software products. In his 28 years at HP, he also held management positions in many areas of R & D, Information Technology, and Corporate Engineering. He developed a particular interest in the processes needed to create high-quality software products, and he wrote and published three books on software metrics and project management.

After their marriage in 1969, Bob and his wife, Jan, bought their home in Los Altos and raised their family there. Bob played basketball and softball on local teams through the recreation program. He and Jan traveled extensively all over the world, but his favorite place was always Yosemite National Park, which the family visited at least twice a year for the last 46 years, hiking the trails and taking photographs. He was an early adopter of “green technology”, installing 20 solar panels on his roof in the mid-1970’s to heat his house and jacuzzi.

After his retirement from HP in 1998, Bob’s activities included oil painting, travel, golf, and swimming.  Collections of his landscape paintings were exhibited in shows at the Los Altos Library. His latest project was to paint a landscape from each of the 50 states, which necessitated traveling to all of them to take photos.  Before he died, he managed to complete paintings of 32 of them.

His family and friends will greatly miss his love, warmth and enthusiasm and the joy he took in every aspect of his life.

A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held on Monday, November 10, at 11:00 a.m. at Los Altos United Methodist Church, 655 Magdalena Ave, Los Altos. For other information, contact Spangler Mortuary at

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