Phil Grippaldi, 80, of Las Vegas, passed away peacefully on September 14, 2021, surrounded by his loving family. Phil was born in Newark, NJ to Salvatore and Helen Grippaldi on September 25, 1940. Phil was married to Kathy Grippaldi for 32 years and they shared a wonderful life.
Phil spent most of his career as a professional driver, and he retired from FedEx as a courier in 2003. He always enjoyed his work and liked driving for a living. As a young man, Phil developed an affinity for the big cars of the 1950s and doo-wop rock-n-roll music, which he enjoyed his entire life. In 1960, Phil enlisted in the Navy and served aboard the USS Midway, which was a source of pleasure and pride. In the 1960s and 1970s, Phil owned his own business as a route salesman in Newark, NJ, and enjoyed working hard and growing his business. In 1979, he sold his business, and he moved with his wife and three children to Las Vegas. After divorcing in 1987, Phil went back to NJ for a short while and while there, he rekindled his relationship with his high school sweetheart, Kathy Ericson (Michalski). They moved back to Las Vegas and married in 1989. Phil and Kathy spent the next 32 years enjoying life by spending time with family and friends, taking many vacations and cruises, and seeing the world. Phil led a full life as a husband, father, friend, businessman, and hard worker.
Phil was an easy-going guy that got along with just about everyone. He loved to laugh and had a great sense of humor. Phil was a great storyteller and loved to entertain family and friends with stories of his life experiences. Phil always had good advice to offer with one of his “famous” sayings to support his guidance. Phil was the type of person that was always ready to lend a helping hand. He had a heart of gold and would freely give his time or money to help his family or a friend. Phil loved music, but his sweet spot was the music from 1955-1962—doo-wop was king! Phil loved cruising in his big classic cars and going to car shows to admire cars and to talk endlessly with other car enthusiasts. Phil loved pizza and beer on Friday night, which was a tradition that started in his youth—well, not the beer, but definitely the pizza (or tomato pie as his Mom called it)! Finally, Phil loved his wife and his family with all his heart, and he was a fierce protector of them. If anyone messed with his family, they were going to have to deal with Phil, and no one wanted that!
Phil was preceded in death by his parents, Helen and Salvatore. Phil is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 32 years, Kathy Grippaldi; sons Phil (Rachel) Grippaldi and Joe (Evelyn) Grippaldi; daughter Suzanne (Matt) Murray; granddaughter Claire; stepdaughter Kim Sebesta; granddaughters Abby and Becca; stepson Ken (Beth) Ericson; granddaughters Katie and Sarah; brother Nick (Louise) Grippaldi; sisters Arlene Domanico and Sally Zarrillo; sister-in-law Maureen (Doc) Salayko and so many other family and friends. Phil was loved by many and will be missed.
Services will be held 3:00 PM Sunday, October 3, 2021, at Davis Funeral Homes, 6200 S. Eastern Ave., Las Vegas, Nevada 89119