Yesterday, we got the sad news that former Amphitheater School Board member Jeff Grant passed away on Sunday night. Those of us who had the privilege of working with this hard-working, thoughtful and very humble man were better for the experience. His wife, Jo, who runs the Tucson legislative office, is a dedicated and diligent pubic servant in her own right and was appointed to his seat when he resigned a little over a week ago.
Amphitheater superintendent Patrick Nelson articulated Jeff’s legacy to the community in a letter to staff yesterday which was later posted by Jeff’s one-time colleague, former State Representative Nancy Young Wright, on her Facebook page:
It is with sincere sadness that I must inform you that Jeff Grant, Governing Board member for the last ten years, passed away last evening, after a long battle against cancer. I had the true honor to know Jeff as a Board Member and Officer, civic leader, and friend, and I cannot express how much I will miss him. And, I know many others feel the same way.
At his heart, Mr. Grant was a servant. He proved this in Vietnam, as a soldier for his country; as a dedicated public administrator who worked for a number of local governments; as a committed coach and supporter of youth sports programs for more than 20 years; and as an involved member of various civic and community service organizations. We will sorely miss his guidance, wisdom, and sense of humor. He was a true champion for students, staff, parents, and taxpayers, all of whom Jeff served with passion and care for a decade as a Board Member and for many years more as a concerned parent and citizen.
Mr. Grant was a quiet leader for our District – an incredibly thoughtful man who understood the issues facing our schools and who approached those issues with appropriate reflection and pragmatic efforts. As I wrote just days ago to announce his resignation from the Board, Mr. Grant’s focus was always on accomplishing the task before him, and he never cared about receiving any credit that might be due for his efforts. Indeed, he was the kind of man who shunned personal attention and asked instead that all accolades be focused on those he cared most about: our students.
Jeff Grant’s struggle with the disease that finally took him mirrored his quiet, humble resolve as well. It is because of that resolve and all he did for his community and for our students that, despite this sad time, we can focus not on why or how Jeff died, but on why and how he lived. He was an inspiration to others who face similar difficulties.
Please join me in keeping Jo Grant, Jeff’s wife (and our newest Governing Board member who was appointed to Jeff’s office upon his resignation), as well as their children and family in your thoughts.
Information about services will be forthcoming.