Gary Grechika

Gary John Grechika

Saturday, April 8th, 1950 - Thursday, July 30th, 2020
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Litchfield - Gary “Cheeks” Grechika, 70, passed away on July 30, 2020 at home. He was the husband of June Rylander Grechika. Gary was born on April 8, 1950 in Waterbury, Connecticut to the late John Grechika and Rose Rossi.
He graduated from Watertown High School and earned an associate’s degree from Mattatuck Community College.
Gary was a lineman for Eversource (formally Connecticut Light & Power) for 36 years until retirement in July of 2007.
Cheeks was a member of the American Legion Post 87 for many years. He served in Vietnam from 1969-1970 in the Army Infantry. He was truly a hero and received the Bronze Star and an Army Commendation medal. He was respected by his brothers in arms and he and his wife were able to attend a few reunions with his Vietnam buddies. He was also a hero to his family and loved them above all else. Gary was an extremely generous guy and was a champion of the underdog or of anyone who struggled, his heart was huge. He supported “Save the Children” for many years and the local soup kitchens. Cheeks was a Yankee fan forever and loved all sports. He was an avid fisherman and fished with his old friend Johnny Unikas out on Lake Quassapaug. They usually got “skunked” but always had a great day together. Pete Williams and Brad Carlson were also great friends to Cheeks. I know they had “a couple of beers” together many times.
Cheeks was adored by his loving wife June, he truly was the love of her life and they did everything together. They bought a rundown wreck of a house and together made it a lovely home. He supported June’s every whim, including mini horses, miniature goats, hens and bee hives. “Humor me farm” was his pride and joy.
Gary’s family would like to thank their very kind neighbors, The Thayers, the Blasavages and the Greens for their support during his illness with lung cancer which he battled valiantly and never complained.
June was grateful she was able to keep Cheeks home during his last few months with the help of his daughter, Krista.
June would also like to thank Liz Winklemann for her support and love and also thank her daughter, Sara, and daughter-in-law, Liz for being by his side the last night of his life. He was surrounded by so much love. Cheeks loved his sweets. Two days before he died, he enjoyed chocolate chip cookies made by June, he was on the couch, under a cozy blanket, eating a cookie and said “it doesn’t get much better than this.”

June would also like to thank his oncologist Dr. Katoch and Stacey and Dave from Smilow Cancer Center in Waterbury for their kindness. Also a thank you to Hartford Health Care hospice, especially Tara Golden, who was an angel. He will be missed by everyone he touched in his life.
In addition to his wife June Rylander, he is survived by his sons; Jeffery of Brandon Florida, Jason (Nitza) of Riverview, Florida, Jeremy of Valrico, Florida, his daughter, Krista Anthony of Norwich, Connecticut, and their mother Patricia Grechika of Tampa, Florida, his step sons; Jeffrey Foster (Catherine) and Daniel Foster (Liz), his step daughter, Sara Reynolds (Dave), his sister, Sharon Romano (Joe) of Watertown, Connecticut, his brothers, Jimmy (Sandra) of Oakville, Connecticut, Richard (Terry) of Atlanta, Georgia and Glen (Lori) of Bonita Springs, Florida, 14 grandchildren; Erica (27), Taylor (25), Rose (25), Jeffrey (23), Eric (23), Destini (21), Alyssa (15), Madison (14), Jaden (10), Brooke (6), Ben (18), Emma (16), Jack (12), Sophie (9), and great-grandson Waylon. He was predeceased by his parents, John and Rose, his brother Johnny, and his sister Janet Bradshaw.
There are no services or calling hours at this time. There will be a celebration of life at a later date.
Donations may be made to “Save the Children” 501 Kings Highway East, Suite 400, Fairfield, CT 06825 or the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans,, or to one of your own choices.
Kindly visit to send the family an online condolence.
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Sara, Dave, Jack, & Sophie

Posted at 11:52am
Papa, You are and will forever be terribly missed. We were so blessed to have you in our lives, and we know that you are still with us, watching over all of those who love you. Rest In Peace.

Krista Anthony

Posted at 02:16pm
Rest In Peace, Dad. I will miss you everyday.
Love, Krit


Posted at 06:29pm
June and family sending our deepest condolences and prayers for you all at this difficult time. Donald,Allie Franco and family

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