2006-03-16 / Obituaries

John W. Gravdahl, 82

John W. Gravdahl, 82, died Friday, March 10, at Newport Hospital after a series of illnesses. He was the devoted husband of Eleanor C. (Johnson) Gravdahl for 57 years.

Born in Bronx, N.Y., and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., he was the son of Johannes and Dagny Gravdahl, both Norwegian immigrants.

He was a graduate of Brooklyn Technical High School. After graduation, he was employed by Gibbs and Cox, Naval Architects, who designed the S.S. America and S.S. United States.

He then attended and graduated the Merchant Marine Academy at King's Point, graduating in 1944. During his service as an engineer in the Merchant Marines, he traveled world wide.

Later, he attended Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering. Upon graduating, he was re-employed by Gibbs and Cox as a surveyor and repair supervisor. He then was employed at Todd Shipyard as the Chief Estimator and Draftsman followed by employment at City Investing as President of Wilson Shipyard in Wilmington, Del. He purchased, owned and operated A. Moe and Co. Inc., a ship and engine repair firm in Philadelphia, Pa. and served as President and CEO, retiring in 1986.

John lived in Livingston, N.J, Wynnewood, Pa., and Gladwyne, Pa before retiring to Jamestown in 1990, to in his beloved home "Birdview" with his wife. During the last three years of his life he was a resident at the St. Clare Home in Newport.

John was the former Treasurer and President of the Mary J. Drexel Home in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., a member of the Society of Naval Architects, the Conanicut Yacht Club, and the Dumplings Association. He was active in the Bethany Lutheran Church while in New York and at St. Paul's Evangelical Church while in Pennsylvania.

He loved to play bridge, garden, enjoyed woodworking, cooking, and entertaining.

Besides his wife, Mr. Gravdahl is survived by his son, Jeffrey W. Gravdahl of Villanova, Pa.; his daughters, Nancy L. Sall of Bryn Mawr, Pa., and Barbara Lee Trout of Jamestown, as well as his cousin Susan Parsons, of Darien, Conn. whom he considered his daughter.

In addition, he is survived by sons-in-law, Michael Sall and Robert Trout; daughter-in-law Christina Gravdahl; his grandchildren, Jennifer Sall, Elizabeth Sall, Kathryn Sall, Anja Brannstrom, Kirsten Gravdahl, and Joshua Trout, as well as many cousins in the United States and Norway.

Funeral services will be private. Mr. Gravdahl requested that he be cremated and his ashes be scattered at sea. A memorial service will be held this spring.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the St. Clare Home, 309 Spring St., Newport, RI 02840, or the Jamestown Emergency Medical Services, 11 Knowles Court, Jamestown, RI 02835.

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