John Peter Grabbe, age 67, passed away on Sunday, January 29, 2023, at his home in Walpole, Massachusetts. Born in Los Angeles, California on January 23, 1956, he was the fourth child and only son of the late Eugene Munter and Arien Ruth (Braack) Grabbe. His early life was marked by extensive travel when the family lived in Europe, first in France and then in England. At age 4 he was learning French in a preschool outside of Paris, but spent most of his childhood in Southern California.
In 1971, John moved to Hawaii with his parents, where he graduated from Punahou High School in 1973. Following his graduation, John earned his bachelor's degree at the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1976. John received his medical degree at the University of Hawaii in 1980, followed by a pathology residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
For the next 42 years, until his death, John worked as a pathologist at Cambridge Health Alliance and Mass General. John married Deborah A. Blackburn in 1981. They made their home in the Boston area, and ultimately settled in Medfield, where they raised two children, Michael and Alexandra. Since 2006, John has lived in Walpole.
John lived a life that was full of interests and passions. He held a deep spirituality and was fascinated with Buddhism. He was a tech enthusiast, spending much of his free time building and tinkering with computers, home entertainment systems, and smart home devices. He was also a voracious consumer of science fiction in all forms: movies, books, and audiobooks. He loved cobb salads, bbq, and Mexican cuisine. And John was an animal lover. He volunteered at local animal shelters and was the proud owner of many cats over his lifetime.
John's greatest joy in life was his family. He was a devoted father to his two children, Michael and Alex, and a proud grandfather to four grandsons. He was selfless, dependable, and kind, always putting the needs of his loved ones first. He generously contributed to his grandsons’ college funds, loved giving them presents, and he never missed an opportunity to bring a smile to their faces. John was also close with his three sisters and cherished the weekly Zoom calls they shared on Sundays. John's love and kindness will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
John is survived by his son Michael Blackburn Grabbe (Julie Lutz) of Reading and daughter Alexandra Blackburn Weiffenbach (Matt) of Medway; grandsons Evan Lutz Grabbe, Owen Lutz Grabbe, George Zachary Weiffenbach, and Jason John Weiffenbach; former wife Deborah B. Shakotko; and sisters Willow Follett, Beth Johnstone, and Linda Grabbe; his two cats, Waldo and Mario.
A Celebration of John’s Life will take place at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in John's name may be made to either the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 7023, Merrifield, VA 22116-7023 https://www.diabetes.org
or the Medfield Animal Shelter, PO Box 271, Medfield, MA 02052 https://www.medfieldshelter.com/.
Arrangements by James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, Walpole.