Doyt C. Grasse of Swoyersville, Pa., passed away June 15, 2015, at Celtic Hospice in Wilkes Barre, Pa.
Born in Flushing, N.Y., he was the son of the late Doyt L. and Blanche Korb Grasse.
Doyt was a self-employed artist and painter his entire life. He graduated from Williamsport Institute of Art in 1965 and briefly settled back in his native Queens, N.Y. An accident caused his right hand to be crippled, forcing him to learn to write and paint with his left hand. Highlights of his early career included custom hand lettering the names of professional sports figures on their lockers for teams like the New York Mets and New York Jets. Doyt spoke of a brief encounter once with a young quarterback, whose eyes he felt on him as he finalized the last name “Namath.” He was also responsible for many banner advertisements that would hang in the perimeter walls of ballpark stadiums.
Doyt and his family settled down in Riverhead in 1969. He worked with a number of local sign companies before opening his own with a partner in Selden. Ten years later, the partnership dissolved and a little building on Railroad Avenue, across the street from the train station, became his next venture. For more than a decade, local businesses and business owners would see some of the most creative artwork to come from Doyt. In addition, he specialized in portraits, pinstriping and airbrushing on motorcycles, race cars and yachts. Much of his work can still be seen today in various local establishments and on some of those vehicles.
Semi-retirement in the mid-1990s saw Doyt heading to eastern Pennsylvania. Here he would spend the rest of his life being active in his local community doing paintings for friends and neighbors.
Doyt considered the most difficult and important accomplishment in his life to be simultaneously giving up smoking and drinking 20 years ago after a serious medical emergency. As a result, he spent an amazing amount of time painting life-size murals at local establishments that hosted A.A. Meetings with the desire to prompt inspiration. Community buildings, firehouses and libraries in the Swoyersville and Kingston area of Pennsylvania are just a few of the many places he donated his time and talent to.
Surviving are his sons, William Grasse and his wife, Suzanne, of Tyler Hill, Pa., Erik Grasse and his wife, Renee, of Georgetown, Texas, Odin Grasse and his wife, Bridget, of Florence, Ky., Doyt Grasse Jr.and his fiancée, Erin, of Alstead N.H.; nine grandchildren; his brother, Phillip Grasse and two nieces of Brooksville, Fla.; and his sister, Sally Gosman of Hankins, N.Y.
Online condolences may be made at www.corcoranfuneralhome.com