Anthony (“Mr. G”) Grandinette died on Feb. 28, 2017, at age 90, of Naples, FL, formerly of Bayville. A native of Carbondale, PA, Tony grew up in Syracuse where he attended Central High School. He served two years in the Air Force, after which, he attended SUNY Cortland to pursue a career in physical education which would span the next 40 years. At Cortland he competed for the Red Dragon football, gymnastics, baseball and track teams and coached tennis. He loved the complexities of gymnastics best, but also displayed style as a football running back. His 75-yard touchdown in the 1948 opener against Clarkson still ranks as one of the longest in the school’s history. Active in the MAA, Beta Phi Epsilon, the Newman Club and the Lyceum Committee, Tony earned a B.S. in physical education in 1949. Throughout his life Tony continued to compete athletically and was a member of International Senior Softball championship team in the 70 plus age group in 1998. He was inducted into the Cortland Hall of Fame in 1980.
Between 1949 and 1953, Tony taught in the Syracuse School District while earning a masters of science degree from Syracuse University. From 1953 to 1955, he worked as a civilian for the U.S. Department of the Air Force in Tripoli, Libya, teaching and supervising physical education for children and directing the base-wide recreational program at Wheelus Air Force Base. Additionally, he organized a basketball tournament between the Italian, Arabic, and American schools in Tripoli. In appreciation for his efforts, the school named the tournament trophy in his honor.
After returning to Syracuse for a year, Tony began his long association with the Locust Valley School District—a union that would span from 1956 until his retirement in 1982. His teaching career on Long Island began in Brookville. Upon centralization of the school district, he taught in Locust Valley Elementary School and was moved to the Bayville schools when Brookville was closed. He remained active in the NYSHPH and was Nassau Athletic Council Gymnastics Chairman for seven years.
Tony literally wrote the book on New York State scholastic gymnastics. A prime mover in the organization of the sport for high school, he became the first gymnastics chairman for the New York State Public School Athletic Association. He wrote the original rulebook, which provided a unique set of guidelines gleaned from the AAU and NCAA but specifically adapted for the nascent high school competitors. The International Olympics Committee adopted Tony’s concept of modified rules for various age groups for its own national rulebook.
During his tenure as gymnastics coach at Locust Valley High School, Tony, (affectionately known as “Mr. G.”) coached his teams to multiple first place division titles and a County Championship. His teams also won a staggering 22 consecutive dual meets as well as an undefeated record from 1972 through 1974. Many of G’s gymnasts went on to Division One collegiate programs; they include an NCAA vaulting champion as well as multiple gold medalists in the Maccabean Games. Mr. G was inducted into the LVHS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.
Coinciding with his retirement from teaching, Tony opened a private gymnastic school called G’s Gym, where he spent many more years teaching children in the community. Tony developed a keen interest in perceptual motor deficiencies, which he studied and became certified in at NYU. At G’s gym, Tony ran a perceptual motor program for 4-year-olds, worked with perceptually handicapped children of all ages and conducted an open gymnastics program for children 5 to 18 years of age.
Tony had a philosophy that athletics could serve the community by teaching children the importance of discipline, the significance of working with others for a common goal, and the benefits of physical fitness as a lifestyle. He also believed a direct consequence of developing strong youth athletic and recreational programs would be increased social interaction amongst adults thereby fostering a stronger sense of community and improving the quality of life for everyone. In his community, Mr. G is credited with starting Bayville’s first Little League football and baseball programs. Later in life, Mr. G instituted Bocce programs in both Bayville and Naples, FL, always encouraging participation to improve social interaction among the community.
Tony was also a village trustee, chaired the Recreation Commission, organized youth baseball and football programs, directed the Catholic Youth Organization Gymnastic and Basketball clinics and served as a Boy Scout Merit Badge Counselor. He was active member of the American Legion, eventually serving as Commander of Bayville Post 1285. He was also an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Knights of Columbus with over 25 years of consecutive service.
In his home office was a quote by Abraham Lincoln, which read: “I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.”
Tony was proud of the places in which he lived and he actively contributed to those places in a sincere and genuine manner. Above all else Tony loved his family and friends. A direct result of dedicating his life to working with children, developing community programs wherever he went and participating in sports over the course of his lifetime, Tony developed many deep and meaningful friendships.
Tony, having survived his beloved wife Ida, leaves three children: Maria, Steven and Anthony Jr. and two grandchildren, Dillon and Danielle.
Visiting held at Oyster Bay Funeral Home, 261 South St., Oyster Bay, www.oysterbayfuneralhome.com. Funeral Mass St. Gertrude RC Church, Bayville. Interment private.