If you ever needed a dose of feeling grounded, finding your center in a chaotic world, or someone to make you feel welcome like no other, you knew the time and care offered by Mark A. “Grady” Gradeless. On May 19, 1958, Clifford and Constance (Smith) Gradeless welcomed the birth of Mark A. Gradeless in Columbia City, Indiana.
Grady attended Thorncreek School and graduated from Columbia City Joint High School with the Class of 1977. He started working at Dana Corporation, where he tirelessly serviced machines from the age of 18 until his retirement. Even though Grady sometimes joked he would “burn the place down”, he did enjoy his work and co-workers and returned to work there in 2016. Mark was retired from the United Auto Workers, was a current member of Steelworkers Union, and was an avid tinkerer. He also enjoyed watching That 70’s Show and having milk and cookies every night.
Everyone who knew Grady was amazed he even made it past his 20s with all of the daredevil shenanigans that he instigated and participated in. He effortlessly found a way to make everything interesting and fun through practical jokes, patience, and direction.
Mark had a force that allowed him to create a commune of his own, right at his own home, better known as Gradyville. He only had as much time as anyone else, but would always find more just for you. One could get common sense advice or detailed advice to fix or fabricate just about anything. Grady was the Mark-Gyver and if he couldn’t help you with something, he would tell you who could. He was also the keeper of all memories for everyone and could easily reminisce to remind you of a forgotten event or person. Even if you did remember, you wanted to hear him tell you again! You could start a drinking game using his unforgettable “Gradyisms”, such as "handy", "groovy", "They were thinking there", "full of beans", "love ya later", "Oh, for Pete’s sake", etc.
Grady was an amazing and unconventional dad, who aged into being an awesome grandfather and great-grandfather. If you couldn’t find Grady at work, you could find him in the barn; the heart of Gradyville. His love for family and friends will always be found there. Grady will always be remembered in the hearts of those that loved and knew him so well, never to be forgotten.
Mark A. “Grady” Gradeless, age 62, of Columbia City, IN, passed away at 11:59 am on Saturday November 28, 2020 at his residence.
Survivors include his daughters Natalee (Travis) Wright of Columbia City and Melissa (Ryan) Skaw of Wasilla, AK; grandchildren Logan Zarones, Hunter Skaw, Wyona Skaw, Zana Skaw, and Ally (Cory) Maynard; great-grandson Caspian Maynard; siblings Mike (Marsha) Gradeless and Ann (Ray) Morris, both of Columbia City, and Chris (Bill) Hackworth of North Webster.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
A private family service will be held at DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. With the current Executive Order, face masks are required for attendance. The family prefers any memorial contributions in memory of Grady be made to Mark Gradeless Memorial Welding Scholarship Fund. Visit www.demoneygrimes.com to send the family an online condolence.
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