Dr. Harvey J. Grinsell, Jr.
Woodstock – Dr. Harvey James Grinsell, Jr., 84, died following a long illness on Saturday January 7, 2011, surrounded by his family. Born in Putnam, CT, he was the son of the late Harvey J. Grinsell, Sr. and Ruth (Beaudrault) Grinsell.
Prior to graduating from Putnam High School in 1945, Dr. Grinsell enlisted in the Navy during World War II as a pharmacist’s mate. He was called back into the Navy as a lieutenant upon completion of his medical degree from Tufts Medical School in 1954. He took his internship at Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Virginia and served as a medical officer for the Arctic Fleet through 1956. At Charity Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana, he co-developed an antidote for hydrocarbon (lead) poisoning and conducted research on methods to diagnose spinal meningitis. He was founder and director of the Day Kimball Pediatric Center, the first known hospital-based program of its kind in the nation. He served as medical director of the John Dempsey Regional Center, where he co-developed one the state’s first early intervention programs for infants with developmental disabilities. He established in-school medical exams, immunizations and screening for children in eastern Connecticut. He brought the federal Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Program to rural communities to improve maternal and childhood nutrition. The Quinebaug Valley Association for Retarded Citizens named Dr. Grinsell “Man of the Year” and the Danielson Junior Chamber of Commerce gave him their “Distinguished Service Award.” Gov. Rell inducted him into the 2009 Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame in recognition of his post-military achievements and outstanding contributions to his community. Dr. Grinsell was honored by the Town of Plainfield for establishing the Plainfield Day Kimball Pediatric Center and he will be further honored with his father, former Mayor Harvey J. Grinsell Sr., for their service to the Town of Putnam with a dedication of a park on the corner of Marshall and Providence Streets which was once the site of the family residence.
Dr. Grinsell leaves behind his loving wife of 60 years, Alma “Trudy” Grinsell of Woodstock; his children, Stephen Grinsell of Plymouth, MA; Gary (& Susan) Grinsell of Villa Park, CA; David (& Lynne) Grinsell of West Hartford, CT; Lisa Danburg of Wareham, MA; and Heidi Grinsell of Marstons Mills, MA; along with eleven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Harvey’s family on Friday, January 13, 2012 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm in the Gilman Funeral Home, 104 Church St., Putnam, CT. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday January 14, 2012 at 10:00am in St. Mary Church of the Visitation, 218 Providence St. Putnam. Burial with military honors will follow in St Mary Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made in his name to the Day Kimball Hospital Pediatric Center, PO Box 632, Putnam, Ct 06260 so they may continue his mission to provide the best possible medical care to the children of our community. For Memorial Guestbook, visit www.GilmanAndValade.com