Paul William Grillo of Peabody and Topsfield, MA, August 31, 1944 – October 8, 2016

Posted By on October 10, 2016


Jake, Matthew, and Lindsay are heartbroken with the passing on from this world of their much loved Papa, Paul William Grillo. Paul slipped away, at home, in the early morning hours of October 8, 2016 after a twenty-five-month battle with glioblastoma multiforme. He fought his brain cancer with the heart and soul of the warrior that he was. The disease stole his mind and his body, but it couldn’t take away his essence. He died as he lived, with determination, dignity, integrity, honor, and a positive attitude.

            Paul was the second child born to Jack J. and Emily J. (Stoia) Grillo, on August 31, 1944 in East Boston. His family moved to Peabody when Paul was nine. He immediately embraced a more country life, working at Brooksby Farm in the orchards and making apple cider, throughout his school years. He graduated from Peabody High School in 1964. He joined the Naval Reserves for two years then transferred to the Army, where he qualified to become a member of the elite Army Special Forces, Green Berets. After fifty-eight weeks of intensive schooling and training, he became a medic and volunteered for Viet Nam, working with and caring for the indigenous people. He suffered a severe head wound during an ambush by the enemy forces in 1967 and was awarded the Purple Heart. He attained the rank of Sergeant and was honorably discharged in 1968. To this day, he has maintained close ties and friendships with his fellow brothers and teammates of B-36. Also, Paul was a life-time member of the Special Forces Association, Chapter 54, the VFW, and the American Legion, Topsfield Post 255.

            In August of 1970, Paul married Rosemarie Regis and they settled in Peabody, raising their two daughters Karen and Paula. In search of more rural surroundings, he moved his family to Topsfield in 1978. Always an entrepreneur at heart, he began his company, then, Taylor Rental Center, which later became Events for Rent, a venture he truly enjoyed for thirty years. He looked forward to going to work every day, meeting the rental needs of his clients, engaging with his customers and vendors, and then returning home to his family. While in the rental business, Paul was active in various rental associations, especially the American Rental Association of Massachusetts, holding several board positions, including president. When Stage Door Costumes of Lynn became available for sale, he bought it and moved it to Peabody Square­— another hat for Paul to enjoy wearing. He retired in 2003.

            Family was paramount to Paul. Summer weekends were spent together on their boat with friends and relatives. A yearly favorite destination was the Fourth of July Esplanade concerts in Boston with other boaters on the Charles River. We all remember the week-long boating excursion to Martha’s Vineyard. In recent years, Paul looked forward to our annual whole-family vacation in Ogunquit, Maine. Who had more fun, Paul or the grandkids?

            Always one to engage in conversation (even with total strangers), Paul loved a lively and spirited political discussion. He held his ground and made his convictions known. Morning coffee at “The Office” with his close fellow American Legionnaires, started many a day off on the right foot. He’ll be with you in spirit from now on. He took great pride in maintaining his yard and lawn, and could often be seen buzzing around on his beloved tractor.For a time, he volunteered at Windrush farm, dabbled in wood carving, and was an enthusiastic Bruins fan.

            Paul is survived by his wife of forty-six years, Rosemarie (Regis), his daughters and their husbands, Karen LeBlanc (Chris) of Boxford, and Paula Grillo (Dana Stewart) of Roslindale, his grandchildren, Jake, Matthew, and Lindsay LeBlanc of Boxford, his brothers, Larry Grillo (Linda) of Weymouth, Jacque Grillo of San Francisco, and sister, Diane Abdulla (John) of Gloucester, his mother-in-law, Rose Regis of Topsfield, his sister-in-law, Elaine Regis of Beverly, many cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Emily Grillo, his father-in-law, Victor Regis, and his best friend, Mike Pietraszek.

            Rosemarie and her daughters are grateful for the many prayers that were offered in Paul’s behalf and to everyone who supported them in any way with their love, kindness, and compassion. Paul William Grillo was the consummate gentleman and a very good man. A visitation will be held on Thursday, October 13, 2016  from 4:00 until 8:00 PM at the Conway, Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home at the 82 Lynn  St., Peabody      . His funeral will be held on Friday  at 11:00 AM at St. Mary of the Annunciation Church, 24 Conant St., Danvers. Relatives and friends are kindly invited.  Burial will be in Pine Grove Cemetery, Topsfield.  Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline St., Boston, MA 02215, or to the M.G.H. Cancer Center, 99 Endicott St., Danvers, MA 01923 or to the Fisher House (A place for veterans families to stay while the veteran is in a hospital) P.O. Box 230, So Walpole, MA 02071 in his memory.   For directions and guestbook, visit