James A. Gryga, 80,


James A. Gryga, 80, Kokomo, Ind., passed away at 11:19 p.m. on Sunday, June 3, 2012 in his home. He was born on Dec. 27, 1931, in Grand Rapids, Mich., to the late John and Clara (Dominiak) Gryga. The family moved from Grand Rapids to Port Washington in 1932.

James graduated from Messmer High School in Milwaukee in 1949 and then attended the University of Notre Dame for two years. He left school to serve our country with the United States Air Force, spending two years in Japan during the Korean War and four years in the Air Force Reserve after active duty. James married Elizabeth J. Lynch on Sept. 15, 1957, in Port Washington and she preceded him in death in May of 1999.

James worked for IBM in Chicago from 1956 to 1960, and then went to work at General Motors – AC Spark Plug in Milwaukee where he designed guidance and recovery systems for the Apollo space program. In 1967, James was transferred to Delco Electronics in Kokomo, Ind. He worked there as an electronics semiconductor designer, and retired from GM in 1996.

James belonged to the Kokomo Chapter of the National Management Society, the Isaak Walton League, American Legion, the Knights of Columbus, St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, and served on the Church Board there. James was the Scoutmaster of the St. Joan of Arc Boy Scout Troop #508 for more than 10 years, and was inducted into the Order of the Arrow. He also was the co-leader of the Kokomo Jr. Rifle Club for six years.

In addition to these activities, James was an avid fisherman, hunter and gardener. He was also a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan, and never missed a Green Bay Packers game, even going to the extent of buying a high-power antenna to be able to pick up the Milwaukee radio station from Kokomo.

James is survived by his son, James A. Gryga, Jr.; his grandchildren, Megan Gryga, Connor Gryga and Emily Gryga; along with his sisters, Mary Beth (Ted) Flierl and Ann (Bill) Flierl; a sister-in-law, Carol Gryga; and close friend, Terry Munson.

James was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Elizabeth Gryga; daughter in-law, Cheryl Gryga; and two brothers, John Gryga and Charles Gryga.

Mass of Christian burial will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 11, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 430 N. Johnson St. in Port Washington with the Rev. Tom Lijewski officiating. James will be laid to rest in the parish cemetery. The family will receive visitors at Eernisse Funeral Home, 1600 W. Grand Ave. in Port Washington on Monday from 4-6 p.m.

The Eernisse Funeral Home, Port Washington is assisting the family with arrangements.