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Major Philip M. Grass

April 5, 1924 ~ March 23, 2011

Major Philip M. Grass, 86, left this world to meet his Savior on Wednesday, March 23, 2011, with his beloved daughter at his side.


Born in Addis, Louisiana, to Lucien Anthony and Minnie Annie Seeling Grass in 1924, Major Grass valiantly served his country in the U. S. Army during World War II and Korea. At age twenty, he jumped with the 503rd Parachute Infantry onto the Island of Corregidor. Following the war, Major Grass was an instructor at Airborn School at Fort Benning, Georgia, where Colonel William C. Westmoreland was one of his students. He served in Japan as well, and in 1949 was Commissioned in Armor at Officer Candidate School, Fort Riley, Kansas, and was then sent to Korea in July, 1950 with the 70th Tank. He retired from military service in August of 1962 with the rank of Major.


Major Grass graduated from McNeese State University in 1965 with a degree in education. He was a member of Blue Key, received the Distinguished Student Teacher Award at F.K. White and was named in Who's Who in Colleges and Universities in 1965. He was President of the Louisiana Student Teachers' Association in 1964, and was the first instructor in Developmental Reading in the MSU Department of Education under Dr. Ella Roberts. Major Grass earned his Master Degree from MSU in 1967 and his Specialist Degree in 1972.


He was a sixth grade teacher at Moss Bluff Elementary and Moss Bluff Middle School. He was on staff at the Southwest Louisiana State School for Exceptional Students in Iota for ten months, and then went on to be a staff member of Special School District One with the Louisiana Department of Education. Major Grass had a passion for history, reading and music, and he also loved to dance. He faithfully and joyfully served his Lord as a member, greeter and usher of First Baptist Church of Lake Charles from 1963.


Major Grass is survived by his beloved daughter, Susan Marriner, and her husband Richard, of Lake Charles; one brother, Lucien J. Grass and his wife Maxine of Alexandria; and his beloved nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.


He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Will Allen "Penny" Moak Grass.


Funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at Johnson Funeral Home. Rev. Milton Murphy and Dr. John Paul White will officiate. Interment will be at Prien Memorial Park. Visitation will be from 4 until 6 p.m. on Monday with an American Legion Service at 6:00 p.m. and from 10:30 a.m. until service time on Tuesday.


Memorial donations may be made to First Baptist Church, 830 Hodges Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601.


Susan would like to thank Dr. Ron Lewis, Jr., his nurse practitioner, Barbara Laughlin, and his excellent staff, as well as the nurses and staff of Dubuis Hospital for the gentle and compassionate care given her beloved dad. Susan would also like to express her grateful appreciation to Major Grass's caregiver and friend for the past six years, Lynn Hamilton Gray, who is like a sister to Susan and who selflessly shared with them her loving and compassionate assistance, bringing radiance and joy into their home.


Recently it was said of Major Grass, "He has exemplified the very best in duty to God and country. If a man's worth on earth could be quantified by the good will and love he has built up here, surely he is a man of immeasurable wealth. Whenever his appointment with Jesus comes, I know the Savior will say, well done, good and faithful servant.'"

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  1. BEN SPLIT IT GAUGH HAS THE MEMORY OF A MAN WHO REPRESENTS WHAT A TRUE AMERICAN IS, GOD, COUNTRY, FAMILY. I THOUGHT OF MR. GRASS AS FAMILY BECAUSE THAT IS THE WAY HE TREATED ME EVERY TIME I SAW HIM. HE WOULD GIVE YOU A FIRM HANDSHAKE AND A BIG OLE BEAR HUG!!!!! HE BEFRIENDED ME AT AN EARLY AGE OF 4 YEARS OLD AND I WILL REMEMBER HIM HAVING A BIKE HE RODE TO MCNEESE EVERYDAY RAIN OR SHINE TO BETTER HIMSELF AND HIS FAMILY. THAT DEDICATION ALONE JUST LETS YOU KNOW WHAT KIND OF MAN HE WAS AND INSPIRED ME TO BE THE BEST THAT I COULD BE. HE LOVED MISS PENNY PLIT IT AS I CALLED HER BECAUSE WHEN I WAS VERY YOUNG I WOULD SNEAK OVER TO THEIR HOUSE THAT WAS RIGHT BEHIND OURS AND SHE WOULD COOK ME A GRILLED CHEESE AND THEY ONLY HAD ONE LITTLE COKE LEFT AND I SAID LETS SPLIT IT BUT IT CAME OUT PLIT IT AND THAT WAS MY NAME FROM THAN ON!!!MR. GRASS YOU ARE A GENTLEMAN AND A SCHOLAR AND THAT IS THE WAY I WILL REMEMBER YOU.LOVE,BEN PLIT IT GAUGH

  2. I just want to say how blessed I am to have met Maj. Grass. He was such a delight when he came into the bank. Everyone greeted him and when he left he left us with a smile on our faces. I just wanted to express my condolences for his family. He is such a peaceful place now and so happy to be reunited with his love. He will be greatly missed. Thoughts and prayers for his family and friends.

  3. I met Phil at McNeese in the '60's. He was a very special person and I have appreciated knowing him. I know he will be missed by many – but we can all look forward to meeting him in Heaven.FBC Member – P. Maxine Hall

  4. I met Phil while we were both attending McNeese. He was a Prince of a Man. The world is a lesser place with his absence. Please accept my condolences.

  5. I was in your fathers class at Moss Bluff Elementary when I was in the sixth grade.I think I cried the first day of school when I got the news! By the end of the day I no longer feared the famous Mr. Grass. He ran his classroom in a military way with a lot of displicine. We had a lot of fun. I also remember him talking to us about you and your mother. I graduated from Sam Houston in 1979 so it's been years since I sat in your father's classroom, but I still remember Mr. Grass!

  6. I was one of Mr. Grass students from Moss Bluff Middle. I really enjoyed his teaching. our class really loved him. I have often thought of him thru the years. I am sorry for you loss. The Lord above has a really truely Loving Angel up there now. Your Father was a awesome great Man. He will be missed.

  7. Mr. Grass was such a joyful customer of mine at the bank for 10 yrs. He always had that beautiful smile on his face and I always enjoyed his visits. I also got to see him at the McNeese Football games at times with his little beanie hat. What a wonderful man with an even more wonderful spirit! I will miss him deeply.

  8. My condolences to the Grass family. While I didn't know Major Grass I was close friends with Nancy when we were children. The Grass family was just the best. God Bless you all. Liz Ward

  9. Susan -Knowing your dad and being neighbors was such a blessing in my life. He always had a big hug for me. I know that he has been reunited with his beloved bride Penny in heaven. May God's comfort surround you and give you strength during the coming days.

  10. Susan, all the year's that I've worked here at SWB and known you as Mr. Marriner's wife, I never knew that you were also the daughter of one of my most beloved teachers from middle school. I absolutely adored Mr. Grass. Guess that is what they mean by the word's it's a small world. He was a wonderful, caring man who will be truly missed.

  11. Susan,We'll miss Uncle Philip forever.Your Dad was our family's hero as Cliff said, our inspiration, our angel here on earth. An angel I think in the mode of John Travolta's Michael, an angel who loved life and dancing and good times and people. I especially appreciated that Uncle Philip was a pedagogue and a bibliophile, loving books and learning and teaching all his life. A hero not only for Corregidor and Korea, and for returning to civilian life and forging ahead with a second career, as well as participating in and contributing to his community, but also for accepting thankless tasks and doing them with good humor and gusto (Granny's toenails). He left the world a better place and I would like to think he left each of us a better person. We all will grieve his absence in this sphere the rest of our lives, but I look forward to the reunion on the other side – to that welcoming smile and huge bear hug. Rest in PeaceBeloved Uncle Philip God Bless you, Susan

  12. Susan,Words cannot express my sorrow.Your Dad was so special to me. He had so much influence on my college years.I will miss him!All my love,Kathy (almost sister-in-law)

  13. Your Dad was one of my favorite teachers at Moss Bluff.He was very strict,but I learned so much from him! One of my classmates,( a little boy) pulled my long hair while we were walking to the cafeteria before I could even say Ouch, your Dad was fussing at him! I felt sorry for the little boy because when Mr.Grass fussed,everybody stopped to listen to him! Sure wish we had teachers like Mr.Grass again.God bless,keep you comfort you always.

  14. Exceptional post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Kudos!


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