Albert John Grazioli passed away on Monday, April 8, 2019 at the grand old age of 92. Al was a resident of Colorado Springs for 49 years having previously served his country honorably through three wars. He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army and then began another career as an educator and leader at Pikes Peak Community College before finally retiring to a life of hunting, fishing and community service.
A child of the Great Depression, and the son of immigrant parents, Al was born on August 14, 1926 to Charles Grazioli and Theresa Grazioli (Kovasc) in Bellaire, Ohio. Enlisting in the Marine Corps at 17 he served in WWII in the South Pacific as an infantryman and sniper.
After WWII, using the GI Bill, Al was graduated from Michigan State University and later earned a master’s degree in Police Administration. Al was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. Staying on at MSU after graduation, he led the ROTC program and, as an expert marksman, he also coached the pistol team. While at MSU he met and later married his wife, Kathryn DeVane, and the two raised three sons together.
Commissioned into the Army after college, Al served in both the Korean War and Viet Nam. He was a Green Beret and lifelong member of the Special Forces Association. Al was awarded numerous combat medals for bravery, including the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Air Medal, and the Thai Medal of Valor. He retired from military service February 28, 1970.
Al was a Master Mason in Tejon Lodge No. 104, 32° Scottish Rite Mason and part of the Patriot Unit with the Colorado Shriners. His longtime membership in the Falcon Wanderers and participation in volksmarching kept him fit and enjoying long walks outdoors with friends. Al was always known to be a dapper dresser and master storyteller. He was also a passionate fisherman and enjoyed annual hunting trips with his sons in the mountains of Colorado. Al was strong leader, fiercely loyal friend, instructor, mentor, adept hypnotist, dedicated member of the NRA, and despite his tough exterior, had a heart of gold.
Al was preceded in death by his father, Charles Grazioli; mother, Theresa Kovatch; sister, Lillian Hansen; and wife, Kathryn DeVane Grazioli. He is survived by his sons, Albert “Buddy” Grazioli (wife Anna) of Pasadena, CA, Charles Grazioli of Colorado Springs, and Patrick Grazioli (wife Jeannette) of Dallas, TX; and five beautiful grandchildren: Demitri, Dante, Delaney, Gabriella, and William Grazioli.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 28, 2019 at Shrine of Remembrance, 1730 E. Fountain Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80910. A celebration of Al’s life will follow the memorial service at the Olympian Plaza Reception & Event Center, 975 S. Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80910. The family will hold a private interment at Pikes Peak National Cemetery later this year.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Alberts’s name may be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children – Salt Lake City, Attn: Development Office, 1275 E. Fairfax Road, Salt Lake City, UT 84103 and the Special Forces Association Chapter 4-24, PO Box 17508, Colorado Springs, CO 80938-7508, Attn: Scholarship Fund.