Father J. Clifford Grise, a priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport, passed away on March 25 at the Jerome Home in New Britain.
He was born on Oct. 14, 1919, in Southington, the son of the late David J. and Mary (Flynn) Grise. He attended Southington Schools and then studied at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield and St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. He was ordained to the priesthood on March 17, 1945, in the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford by the late Archbishop Henry J. O’Brien.
During his more than 72 years of priestly service, his assignments included St. Paul in West Haven, St. Joseph in Shelton and St. Mary in Norwalk. He also served as a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force. In 1963, Father Grise was appointed as the first pastor of St. Agnes Church in Greenwich, where he remained until his 1971 appointment as pastor and principal at St. Peter Church in Danbury.
Upon his pastoral retirement in 1986, Father Grise assisted at St. Mary, Star of the Sea, Parish in Longboat Key, Fla., for many years. He returned to Connecticut and resided at the Catherine Dennis Keefe, Queen of the Clergy Residence for retired priests in Stamford.
Father Grise is survived by many nieces and nephews, including Robert D. Foley of Cape Cod, Mass.; Mary Lou Kane of Cheshire; and Lisbeth (Patrick) Dugan of Victor, N.Y.; as well as by numerous grandnieces and grandnephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 30, at Mary Our Queen Church, 248 Savage Street, Plantsville. Calling hours will begin at 10 a.m. at the church before the Mass. Burial will be at St. Thomas Cemetery, Southington.
Donations in Father Grise’s memory can be made to the Development – Expansion Fund of Queen of Clergy, 274 Strawberry Hill Ave., Stamford, CT 06902.
DellaVecchia Funeral Home, 211 N. Main Street, Southington is in charge of arrangements. You may leave online condolences and get directions at www.dellavecchiafh.com in New Britain.