December 11, 1948 – June 21, 2020
On Sunday, June 21, 2020, Grant Sellers Pritchard, loving husband, father, grandfather, and a giant among men, died at the age of 71.
Grant was born on December 11, 1948 in Long Beach, CA to Elizabeth and Edgar Pritchard. At the age of nine, his family relocated to San Francisco, where he later attended Lowell High School, graduating in January of 1967. He went on to enroll at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, earning a degree in Agriculture and leading the school’s dairy judging team to national accolades in 1969.
In the spring of 1969, Grant was introduced to Mary Garden who would become the love of his life. They married in August of 1970 at St. John’s Church in San Francisco. They went on to have three children: Scott, Matthew, and Lindsay, all of whom remain close to the family. Grant and Mary’s marriage spanned nearly fifty years, and despite the requisite challenges, was always filled with abundant love and unwavering respect. Over time, it provided a model for their children who each found loving and supportive partners in Jena, Jody, and Wayne, respectively. Grant’s love and interest extended to his children-in-law, who found in him a paternal presence and unmitigated enthusiasm for all their pursuits.
Grant was actively involved in his kids’ activities, coaching multiple sports, leading Cub Scouts, and volunteering his time for various school and extracurricular activities. Most notably, Grant was present as a father. Despite the pressures of his career and other commitments, he showed up everyday to support his children, show a deep and genuine interest in their lives, and provide gentle guidance when needed. That same commitment held true for his six grandchildren who were always able to find his broad, proud smile on the sidelines of their games and in the audience of their performances.
Throughout his life, the church and Christian faith provided a north star and an outlet for his desire to serve others. He was active in church youth groups and camps as a young man. And as an adult, he served as a Deacon and Elder at the First Presbyterian Church of San Rafael, a community he held near to his heart.
Grant’s career played out in three phases. With a newly minted degree in agriculture and an insatiable appetite for ice cream, he spent the first decade of his career managing dairy plants for Carnation, Berkeley Farms, and Arden in the Bay Area; Portland, OR; and Seattle, WA. Flush with management experience and with an eye for growth, he made a lateral move into law firm administration, serving as Executive Director and managing the business operations of several large San Francisco law firms over the course of 20 years. Grant earned an MBA from Dominican University in 2004 and spent the last decade of his career serving in two capacities: as an independent management consultant, and as an adjunct professor of business at Dominican University, University of San Francisco, and UC Berkeley Extension.
Grant showed an early interest in technical hobbies that carried on throughout his life. While in Junior High, he took part in an advanced electronics program at Lux Labs in San Francisco. While attending Cal Poly, he earned his fixed wing private pilot’s license, which he renewed later in life and took flight above Northern California. But his most notable pastime was working with radios. Grant was an avid Ham Radio operator, earning a number of advanced FCC certifications. With the call sign KK6JJ, he enjoyed DXing with radio operators across the globe and at least two in low earth orbit. He is a former president of the Marin Amateur Radio Society (W6SG) and served in civilian leadership positions for the Radio Amateur Civilian Emergency Services (RACES) and Marin County Office of Emergency Services.
Throughout his life, Grant had a great love for music. From the soaring notes of the church organ to the vocal harmonies of the Beach Boys, a good tune was sure to bring a smile to his face. In recent days, he returned to the piano, committing himself to daily practice with a positive attitude and desire to grow.
Grant was preceded in death by his father, Edgar, his mother, Elizabeth, and his sister, Rosemary. He is survived by his loving wife, Mary; his three children and their spouses, Scott and Jena, Matthew and Jody, Lindsay and Wayne; his six grandchildren, Mason, Rowan, Marley, Autumn, Carson, and Ashtyn; and his faithful canine companion, Koala.
Grant was a kind and gentle man. He leaves a lasting legacy of love, curiosity, and service. He will be missed greatly by all who knew him, and his spirit lives on in the smiles, laughter, and lasting embraces of his family and friends.
In consideration of everyone’s health and safety in the current environment, the family is holding a private celebration of Grant’s life.