Theresa Grassi died on Sunday, May 7, 2023, at age 95. She succumbed to natural causes at American River Care Home in Sacramento, California.
Mrs. Grassi was born on a farm in the town of Gurabo, Puerto Rico, to the late Illuminado and Christina Rodriguez. Her father was a carpenter and farmer. Her mother was a home maker to a large family, which included 8 daughters and 3 sons.
After Hurricane Phillipe destroyed many areas of Puerto Rico in 1928, including the Rodriguez family farm, the family started a migration to New York, with the older children relocating with their father and a few close relatives, first. The younger children remained on the farm with their mother. The farmland was ultimately sold to a wealthy relative, and the family was reunited in the Bronx.
Mrs. Grassi completed her high school education in the Bronx and started working in the garment industry. During the 1950s, she met her soon-to-be husband Joseph R. Grassi, Sr. at a Latin night club in New York City. After a courtship, they were married in 1954. They were devoted to each other for nearly seven decades. They were both devout Catholics.
While her children, Joseph, Jr., and Ronald were young, she was a homemaker, but found time to attend the College of New Rochelle, taking several classes that interested her. During the 1970s, she trained as a makeup artist and soon started her own personal brand of cosmetics, which she sold by teaching makeup classes at a variety of venues in Westchester County, NY. She actively supported her husband’s political pursuits, during campaigns for local office in Pelham, NY. Shortly after her husband retired from a career in Public Health, in 2002, the couple sold their home in New York and moved to California, but after some time they relocated to the Boston suburbs, ultimately returning to California, to the Sacramento area.
Mrs. Grassi loved her family and her husband, she enjoyed many gatherings of relatives, especially celebrations of life with the large extended Rodriguez clan. With a Polaroid camera, she became the family’s self-appointed photographer; eager to capture countless joyful moments during many family occasions.
Mrs. Grassi is predeceased by her parents, her husband Joseph R. Grassi, Sr., brothers Gonzalo Rodriguez, Nick Rodriguez, Felix Rodriguez, sisters Tina Vasquez, Paz Ortiz, Gloria Rodriguez, Carmen Rodriguez, and Leila Estrella.
She is survived by her sons, Joseph Grassi, Jr. and Ronald Grassi, daughters-in-law Terry Grassi and Marisela Guzman-Grassi, grandchildren Marcus Grassi, Christopher Grassi, and Daniela Grassi, and sisters Josephine Monopoly and Elsie Rodriguez, and many nephews, nieces, grandnephews, and grandnieces.
There will be a Catholic memorial mass at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, at Saint Francis of Assisi Parish, located at 1066 26th Street, Sacramento, CA 95816. The memorial mass will be live streamed and recorded, via the link: Will be linked here soon.
Internment will immediately follow, with family and invited guests, at East Lawn Memorial Park, 4300 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95819.