Beloved husband and father, Barry Michael Grenier, left our world on Friday, February 5th, 2021. He couldn’t have written his final chapter any more perfectly. He celebrated his 76th birthday with wife, Irene, and dearest daughter, Gaby, and son-in-law, Virgil. The next day, gloriously sunny, he went to his tennis club where he suffered a cardiac arrest, surrounded by his “band of brothers”. Taken to the nearby VA hospital, he was given the tenderest of care until his passing 5 days later.
A man who loved the world and everyone in it, he was born in Chicago Heights, Illinois to Leo and Rosella Grenier in January 1945. A very loving family, he is survived by sisters, Sandy and Cherie, and brother, Randy, with numerous nieces and nephews. He graduated from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa and made his way to San Francisco. Coming from a family of salesmen, he entered the fastener industry and in 1980, started his own fastener company, Pro-Stainless Inc in San Jose, CA which this year, celebrated it’s 41st year in business. All of his employees are long-term which speaks for itself; a well-run company with a man they loved to work for.
He enjoyed sports, especially tennis, and shared his joy of baseball, camping, horseback riding, and card games with all his friends and especially his daughter, Gaby. With his wife, Irene, they toured America’s historic sites as well as those in Europe. He and Gaby pursued his other passion, cooking, by taking lessons in France, Italy and Spain. He loved to feed people—breakfasts, pastas, soups, cakes and cookies—the all of it, which he made himself. He grew herbs and vegetables and lately even flower arranging became one of his many talents. When he was President of the Men’s Club at St. Nicholas School, meetings or work parties always ended with his good food.
It’s more than what he did, but what he did it for that made him inspiring and unforgettable—his love of his fellow man.
No words can better capture one’s life than his own, here is a little excerpt from a bio he had written for a high school reunion at Marian High in Illinois:
“After college, and waiting to be drafted, I spent a summer in Fond du Loc, Wisconsin as an Assistant Manager of an Osco Drug store. Realizing retail wasn’t for me, and anxious to get on with my life, I volunteered for the draft. Boy, were they glad to see me!! I was drafted in January of 1968 and got out with a medical discharge 28 days later due to an old baseball knee injury. Armed with my new G.I. haircut and $50 in my pocket, I hopped into my Volkswagen convertible and headed for San Francisco. I took a job selling Industrial Fasteners, nuts and bolts, and blended into the San Francisco scene. I met my wife, Irene, and we married in 1971 in Sausalito. We have a daughter, Gabrielle, who graduated from NYU. I started my own fastener company in 1980 in the heart of Silicon Valley. When we started the business, not only were personal computers a dream but faxes and calculators hadn’t even been invented yet! I guess that makes us all pretty old.
I enjoy tennis, fishing and handball when I’m not working or traveling thanks to key employees who have been with me for over 25 years. It’s as good as it gets.” (His favorite phrase).
He loved children. While driving, if he saw a little league game, he would stop to watch. He taught games galore to any child who needed a lift. He also taught 3rd graders how to make “Stone Soup” (which was actually his chicken dumpling soup). To help give other children a lift in Life, donations in Barry’s memory can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Shriners Hospital for Children.
*There will be a Celebration of Life held when COVID restrictions are lifted. Information will be posted once details are confirmed.