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Lea V. Griesser

September 8, 1937 ~ March 4, 2024 (age 86) 86 Years Old
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Lea Griesser Obituary

GLOUCESTER – Lea Vernon Griesser of Gloucester, formerly of Salem, beloved husband of Faith C. (Hanscom) Griesser, passed away peacefully on Monday, March 4, 2024, at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was 86.

Lea was born in Philadelphia, PA on September 8, 1937, and was the son of the late Leander and Vesta (Hilbert) Griesser. He was raised and educated in Philadelphia, and graduated from Springfield Township High School in 1955.

An honorably discharged veteran, Lea proudly served his country as a member of the United States Coast Guard during the Vietnam War. It was while he was stationed at Coast Guard Air Station Salem on Winter Island that he met his wife Faith in 1959. After his service, Lea pursued a successful professional career, serving as a loan officer at Shawmut Bank, as credit manager for Bursaw Oil, and finally transitioning into credit manager and sales for Bake’n Joy Foods, where he worked for several years until his retirement. Lea found joy and fulfillment in his work and was a well-respected colleague and mentor throughout his career.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Lea was an active member of various clubs and organizations. He was a member of the Lafayette Club and the 10th Hole Club in Salem, where he formed lifelong friendships. Known for his outgoing and humorous nature, Lea enjoyed poker nights with friends and actively participated in his children's activities, whether it was coaching baseball or umpiring games.

His ability to be involved with his children’s lives, work three jobs, dedicate time to coaching and mentoring and also find time to assist other veterans, were just some of the qualities that made him so special. He was a “fly under the radar” kind of guy and did not want attention called to his numerous talents and accomplishments. Through his ability to speak with anyone, anywhere, and genuinely connect with people, he developed long-lasting friendships; people always wanted to be around him.

Above all, Lea’s compassion, kindness and devotion to his family were unmatched. He was often the life of the party at any event he attended, and had a smile that lit up his whole face, especially when surrounded by his family. His grandchildren could recite his silly jokes, funny comments and the goofy things he did to make them laugh. He wanted everyone to be happy, stress-free, and feel loved. He never missed an opportunity to tell the people around him that he loved them, and how that was the most important thing in the world. “Love prevails” was Lea’s motto, and he lived every day believing that.

In addition to his wife Faith, the love of his life with whom he shared 63 years of marriage, Lea is survived by his devoted children Jill El-Ashkar and her husband Emad of Salem; Wendy Davison and her companion Joseph Riess of Danvers; Kimberly Blatz and her husband Eric of Hamilton; and Eric Griesser and his fiancé Jessie Waggoner of Manchester, NH; his grandchildren Shadya, Mohammed, Qasim and Samiyah El-Ashkar; Bradlee and Benjamin Daffe; Trent, Cooper and Oliver Blatz; and many nieces and nephews, all of whom will miss him greatly. In addition to his parents, Lea was predeceased by his sisters Lucille Jenks and Barbara Kahoun.

Lea's vibrant presence and genuine love for his family will be deeply missed by all who knew him. His legacy of kindness, compassion and laughter will continue to inspire those he leaves behind.

ARRANGEMENTS: Funeral arrangements will be private. Assisting the family with the arrangements is O’Donnell Cremations – Funerals – Celebrations, 167 Maple St. (Rte. 62,) Danvers. Expressions of sympathy may be made in Lea’s memory to The American Cancer Society at To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit

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