Samuel Gridley

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Long time Yakima physician and general surgeon, Samuel A. Gridley, formerly of Mountain Home, died at home, surrounded by his family following an extended illness, on May 22, 2004.

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 29, at the Terrace Heights Chapel of Valley Hills Funeral Home in Yakima, Wash.

For family and friends unable to attend the service in Yakima, a memorial service will be held at a later date in Hagerman.

Dr. Gridley was born in Hagerman and grew up in Mountain Home.

As a teenager, he worked his way though Mountain Home High School as a part time attendant for the local Texaco service station and served as a lifeguard during the summers at the city swimming pool.

Following high school graduation in 1949, he entered the University of Utah, where he studied pre-med for three years.

In 1952 during the Korean War, he put his studies on hold and enlisted in the Army. He was sent to Camp Roberts, Calif., for basic training and was selected to attend Leadership School.

He eventually became a Mortar Firing Instructor. In 1953 he was assigned to Infantry School at Fort Benning, Ga. In 1954 he was transferred to Anderson, Ala., to undergo Chemical Officer's training.

Upon graduation he was assigned to the Army's 59th Chemical Maintenance Company, He was discharged from the Army as a 1st Lieutenant in 1956 and returned to Mountain Home to work in the family business.

Dr. Gridley had a lifelong love of airplanes and aviation.

He learned to fly when he was 14 and wanted to become a pilot in the Air Force. Unfortunately he failed to pass the eye exam due to a depth perception problem.

However, following his discharge from the Army he joined the Idaho Air National Guard and was sent to Navigational Training School.

In 1957 he attended Fighter Intercept School.

In 1958 Dr. Gridley entered Kirksville Medical School, graduating in 1962. While in Medical School, he joined the Reserves and was assigned to a fighter squadron where he flew as the navigator in F-89 Scorpion.

He completed his internship in Carson City, Mich., in 1963, and his surgical residency in Flint Mich., in 1966. Upon completion, he moved to Yakima and joined the medical staff at the Yakima Valley Osteopathic Hospital. In 1991 the Yakima Valley Osteopathic Hospital closed and Dr. Gridley joined the staff at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital and St. Elizabeth Hospital.

In 1998 he closed his private practice but continued to assist many of the local surgeons, something he thoroughly enjoyed, especially the interactions and challenges associated with assisting new surgeons. He retired from practicing medicine in December 2003 to spend more time with his family and to work on his farm.

Dr. Gridley remained an avid aviation enthusiast throughout his life. He was a licensed private pilot with instrument ratings and certification to fly multi-engine aircraft.

He spent much of his free, time flying his plane and often attended regional and cross-country air shows. His family noted that he loved living in the Northwest, being outdoors, working on his farm, hiking, camping, and rendezvousing in his airplane for vacations with his family.

He is survived by: his wife, Patti; two sons, Perry Gridley of Pueblo, Colo., and Stephen Gridley of San Clemente, Calif.; two daughters, Lori Gridley of Thornton, Colo., and Tara Emerick of Kennewick, Wash.; a sister, Glenna Hoagland, and a brother, Philip Gridley, both of Mountain Home,; and four grandchildren.